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Jungle Jack Hanna, Jeff Foxworthy coming for 2018 SE Wildlife Expo

The longest weekend of the year for wildlife enthusiasts is coming back strong in 2018, with a slew of new events and TV star power too. Charleston welcomes the best wildlife artists to town on Valentine’s Day weekend for the 36th year, especially for those who love sporting art that depicts our outdoor heritage. The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, better known as SEWE weekend, brings together a range of folks from serious art collectors to dog handlers, looking to spend a few hours or a few days focusing on the outdoors lifestyle.
The first new event for SEWE in 2018 is scheduled for Wednesday February 14th the Gaillard Center. The inaugural ACE Award will recognize exceptional contributions to wildlife and nature conservation, and ACE stands for Award for Conservation Excellence. This unique event is sponsored by SEWE, the Banovich Wildscapes Foundation, the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and Bass Pro Shops. Celebrity presenters, wild animals, wildlife artists will make this dinner and awards ceremony a memorable night for conservationists.
The first full day of SEWE begins on Friday February 16 when all exhibiting locations open at 10 a.m. and remain open until 6. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is well known for his redneck jokes and his successful career as a TV show host, but did you know that he is also a sketch artist? Foxworthy makes his first trip to town for SEWE in 2018 and he will host a Question and Answer session about where he finds the inspiration to create his art. The chance to engage with Jeff Foxworthy in this setting will allow him to share his knowledge and passion for the outdoors with SEWE patrons.
Absent from SEWE in 2017, Jungle Jack Hanna returns in 2018 bringing his mega-watt star power and his cadre of teaching animals with him. His three shows at the Gaillard Center are slated for Friday at 2 p.m., and on Saturday at 12:30 and 3:30. Hanna is a riveting TV show host, but his appearances in person at SEWE are very special because of the way he treats each and every fan that asks for a photo or autograph, or maybe asks a question about one of his animals from the Columbus Zoo. Hanna is a tireless ambassador for wildlife, and he knows that the SEWE audience is a great place to bring his message.
Another new event for SEWE in 2018 is the Discussion on Longleaf Pine Preservation taking place on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Garden And Gun Magazine offices. Bill Palmer is the CEO of the Tall Timbers Research Station, and he will be on the panel of experts that talk about longleaf management practices and the relation to bobwhite quail recovery. Tall Timbers hosts a Field Day each year in South Carolina for landowners interested in quail habitat, and this event hopes to reach a similar audience. This event costs $20 and includes cocktails.
The Colonial Room at the Francis Marion Hotel will host the inaugural ladies brunch benefit entitled Birds of a Feather. This classy affair is Saturday from 10 until 2, and the $100 ticket includes a silent auction, raffle items, live painting by Peggy Watkins plus food and bubbly. Proceeds from the event go to the Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance in Africa. If you can’t attend this event and you still wish to raise funds for SEWE, there is a raffle for $100 a ticket for a 2018 Scout boat.
Sunday at SEWE will include a Discussion on the Future of Oyster Aquaculture from 2 to 4 at the Garden and Gun Magazine offices. Editor David DiBenedetto will be on the discussion panel that includes Ryan Croxton, owner of Rappahannock Oyster Co., and Cyrus Buffum, founder of Seaborn Oysters. No discussion of our favorite salty snacks is complete without a sampling of oysters and bourbon, so there is a fee of $20 to attend. Custom oyster knives are sure to appear at this event!
New for 2017 and being brought back for an encore in 2018 is the Lowcountry Social, a celebration of bluegrass and barbecue at Brittlebank Park on Saturday night. Entertainment from the Bluestone Ramblers band, BBQ from completion-tested pit masters, and a host of raffles and giveaways will make attendees kick up their heels. Of course Brittlebank Park is best known as the home of the Dock Dogs long jump and the Finals will be held on Sunday at 4 p.m., with qualifying jumps beginning Friday morning and continuing all SEWE weekend. Visit the Internet at www.sewe.com for a full calendar of events each day, and to plan your own wildlife weekend itinerary.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (394 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com