The North Charleston Arts Festival is an annual nine-day event highlighting national, regional and local artists and performers in the areas of Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Crafts, Photography, Media Arts and Literature. For over 30 years the festival has made quality arts programming affordable and accessible to the widest spectrum of the public, attracting over 30,000 residents and visitors from throughout the Southeast and beyond to experience over 100 free and modestly priced performances, workshops, exhibitions and activities in a variety of venues, including libraries, community centers, schools, civic auditoriums and parks. Named a "Top 20 Event" by the Southeast Tourism Society, the event has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the state of South Carolina. The Main Event, held the first weekend in May at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center, offers free admission and parking to over 40 performances on four themed stages; General Audience, Cultural Heritage, Bands and Youth Entertainment. Other Main Event activities include judged art and photography shows, the SC Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibit, a gem & mineral show, an antique show, children's activities, art & craft booths and a food courtyard. The Arts Festival continues with over 60 events and exhibitions throughout the week at various locations. An array of free and ticketed offerings include street dances, concerts, theater presentations, film screenings, an art walk, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, a National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition and much more. The festival concludes with the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park featuring performances by professional groups and Tri-county schools, children's activities and fireworks over the Cooper River.