The city of Charleston’s annual First Day Festival will take place on Sunday, August 8, 2021 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Gaillard Center (2 George Street) and the South Carolina Aquarium (100 Aquarium Wharf). Each year, the festival serves as a celebration of the importance of education and a kick-off to the new school year. Students who attend the festival will receive pre-packed bags of school supplies while they last.
About the Festival: The First Day Festival is a celebration of education that brings students and families together with educators and community providers to share information about available resources and support services, to provide children with free school supplies and to enjoy a fun day prior to the start of the new school year.
Gold Level Sponsors for this year’s event are Limehouse Produce and ServPro Downtown Charleston.
What to expect: In addition to the school supply distribution, the Gaillard Center will host a number of exhibits providing information on student support services and community resources, as well as a free food distribution with the Lowcountry Food Bank.
Liberty Square, located in front of the South Carolina Aquarium, will feature the city of Charleston Recreation Department’s Kids 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.
Additionally, DHEC will be on-site at the Gaillard Center providing free Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations to eligible adults. Appointments for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be made at the Festival and will take place at the Arthur W. Christopher Community Center, located at 265 Fishburne Street.
Due to the nature of the event and consistent with the recommendation of the city’s Covid-19 Task Force, masks will be required inside the Gaillard Center.
Parking information: Festival parking will be available for $1 in the Aquarium (24 Calhoun Street) and Gaillard Center (33 Alexander Street) parking garages. A free shuttle service will be provided, and will run between the Aquarium and Gaillard Center throughout the afternoon so Festival attendees can easily move between event locations.
What they’re saying: Mindy Sturm, director of the Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth & Families said, “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. 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.”
Learn more: For more information on the First Day Festival, please contact Mindy Sturm at firstname.lastname@example.org.