Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Masks to be required inside Gaillard Center at city’s First Day Festival

Surgical mask on white background

Photo: Digital Vision

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston is set to hold its annual First Day Festival Sunday, with some big differences.

This year will be the first time the event is being held both at the Charleston Gaillard Center as well as at the South Carolina Aquarium. But for those entering the Gaillard Center, masks will be required, city spokesman Jack O’Toole said.

The First Day Festival is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The annual event serves as a celebration of the importance of education as well as a kickoff for the new school year.

Students who attend will receive prepacked bags of school supplies while supplies last.

The Gaillard Center will also host exhibits providing information on student support services and community resources as well as a free food distribution with the Lowcountry Food Bank, O’Toole said.

Liberty Square, located in front of the South Carolina Aquarium, will be the site of the Charleston Recreation Department’s Kid Zone with a variety of activities and entertainment.

“A limited number of free boat rides in Charleston Harbor and timed tickets to the South Carolina Aquarium will also be offered during Festival hours, and can be picked up at the Gaillard Center,” O’Toole said.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be on-site at the Gaillard Center providing free Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to eligible adults. Appointments for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be made at the event and will take place at the Arthur W. Christopher Community Center, located at 265 Fishburne Street.

Parking will be available for $1 in the Aquarium and Gaillard Center parking garages. A free shuttle service will be available, running between the Aquarium and Gaillard Center throughout the afternoon.

The 2020 First Day Festival was canceled because of COVID-19.

“The First Day Festival is one of our community’s most cherished annual events, and it wouldn’t be possible without our outstanding regional partners who come together each year in support of our students,” Charleston Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth & Families Director Mindy Sturm said. “With last year’s event having been canceled due to Covid-19, we’re excited for this opportunity to not only generate excitement for the start of the new school year, but to make sure local students have the tools they need to start out strong.”

The Aquarium parking garage is located at 24 Calhoun Street. The Gaillard Center parking garage is located at 33 Alexander Street.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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