The historic and charming city of Charleston in South Carolina is known for its rich culture, architecture, and natural beauty. It is also a popular destination for sports and music fans, who flock to the city for various events that offer opportunities for tailgating.


Tailgating is a popular activity in the South, especially during college football season. It is a social activity that involves gathering with friends and family in a parking lot or other outdoor space, usually before or after a sporting event or concert, and enjoying food, drinks, games, and entertainment.


Famous Events for Tailgate Parties in Charleston, SC


Here are some of the most famous events that attract thousands of tailgaters in Charleston:

  • Cooper River Bridge Run
  • Charleston Wine and Food Festival
  • Fourth of July Fireworks
  • Charleston Carifest
  • The Citadel Bulldog Football Games
  • The College of Charleston Cougars Basketball Games
  • The Volvo Car Open Tennis Tournament
  • The Speleto Festival USA Arts Festival
  • The Cupid’s Chase 5K
  • Concerts at Credit One Stadium
  • Charleston Farmer’s Market
  • Blessing of the Fleet
  • Charleston Food Truck Festival

Cooper River Bridge Run 

Complete Cooper River Bridge Run results, including top 50 finishers in each age group, photos and more | Special Reports |

The Cooper River Bridge Run is an iconic 10K race held annually since 1978. The event is usually held in April and October. It sees over 60,000 participants and spectators. The route winds through scenic parts of Charleston, culminating in a thrilling finish on the Cooper River Bridge. Tailgating is a major tradition before the race, with friends and family gathering along the route to cheer on runners and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Expect live music, food trucks, and plenty of camaraderie.


Charleston Wine and Food Festival

Charleston Wine & Food Festival - City of Charleston

The Charleston Wine and Food Festival is an internationally renowned event held in March. It spans four days and features hundreds of wineries, restaurants, and culinary personalities offering tastings, demonstrations, and seminars. While not strictly a tailgating event, the festival’s vibrant atmosphere spills over into surrounding areas, with many attendees setting up picnics and enjoying the food and drinks outdoors. 


Fourth of July Fireworks

Here's what Charleston July 4th events are still happening | News |

Charleston has one of the largest Fourth of July fireworks displays on the East Coast, with fireworks launching from the harbor and visible from many locations throughout the city. Tailgaters can choose from a variety of spots to watch the show, such as the Battery, Waterfront Park, Patriots Point, or the USS Yorktown. They can also join the festivities at the Riverfront Park, where they can enjoy live music, food, and drinks.

See also  8 Popular Tailgating Games to Play in South Carolina


Charleston Carifest

Charleston Carifest Caribbean Carnival | Charleston Events & Charleston Event Calendar

Charleston Carifest is an annual festival that celebrates Caribbean culture with music, dance, food, and a parade. It takes place in late June and attracts thousands of people from different backgrounds and countries. Tailgaters can join the fun at Brittlebank Park, where they can enjoy the Caribbean Village, featuring food, crafts, and entertainment. They can also watch the Carifest Street Parade, which showcases colorful costumes and floats.


The Citadel Bulldogs football games at Johnson Hagood Stadium

The Citadel goes 0-11 for first time in program history | Citadel |

The Citadel is a military college that competes in the Southern Conference of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The Bulldogs have a loyal fan base that tailgates at the Johnson Hagood Stadium, a 11,500-seat venue that was renovated in 2005 and 2016. The stadium is named after a former governor and Civil War general who graduated from The Citadel in 1847. The Bulldogs have won six conference titles and made two playoff appearances in their history.


The College of Charleston Cougars basketball games at TD Arena

Cheap Charleston Basketball Tickets | Gametime

The College of Charleston is a public liberal arts college that competes in the Colonial Athletic Association of the NCAA Division I. The Cougars play their home games at the TD Arena, a 5,100-seat multipurpose arena that opened in 2008 and replaced the John Kresse Arena. The arena is named after the Toronto-Dominion Bank, which purchased the naming rights in 2010. The Cougars have won seven conference titles and made five NCAA Tournament appearances in their history.


The Volvo Car Open tennis tournament at LTP Daniel Island

Credit One Charleston Open is a Pioneer in Women's Professional Tennis: 51 Years and Counting - Mount Pleasant Magazine

This event is held on the clay courts of Daniel Island. The WTA tennis tournament attracts top players from around the world. Tailgating is a popular activity, with fans setting up tents and chairs to enjoy the matches and soak up the lively atmosphere. Food trucks and vendors add to the convenience, making it a fun-filled day out.

See also  Best BBQ Pit Rental Services in Charleston, SC

The Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America and one of the premier events on the WTA Tour. The tournament is held annually in April at the LTP Daniel Island, a 10,200-seat stadium that is part of a tennis complex that includes 20 courts. The tournament was founded in 1973 and has been hosted in Charleston since 2001. It attracts some of the best female players in the world.


The Spoleto Festival USA Arts Festival

Beautiful, entertaining and urgent"- says Spoleto Festival USA director of 2023 season | South Carolina Public Radio

The Spoleto Festival USA is one of America’s major performing arts festivals, featuring opera, theater, music, dance, and visual arts. The festival was founded in 1977 by composer Gian Carlo Menotti as the American counterpart of the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. The festival takes place annually in late May and early June at various historic and outdoor venues in Charleston, such as the Dock Street Theatre, the College of Charleston Cistern Yard, and the Charleston Gaillard Center.

Tailgaters can enjoy the outdoor concerts at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard or the Marion Square, where they can bring their own food and drinks or purchase them from local vendors.


The Cupid’s Chase 5K, Charleston

Cupid's Chase 5k | PHOTOS – The Morning Call

The Cupid’s Chase 5K is a Valentine’s Day-themed race that takes place in February, and benefits Community Options, a national nonprofit organization that provides housing and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The race is open to runners, walkers, and wheelchairs, and encourages participants to wear red, pink, or white to show their relationship status. The race starts and ends at James Island County Park, and features a scenic course through the park’s trails and fields. After the race, there is a tailgate party with grilled food, drinks, music, and prizes.


Concerts at Credit One Stadium

Credit One Stadium - 2024 show schedule & venue information - Live Nation

Concerts at Credit One Stadium is a state-of-the-art venue that hosts concerts by local and international artists, as well as professional tennis and other events. The stadium has a spacious parking lot that is ideal for tailgating before or after the shows. Some of the upcoming concerts in 2024 are Beartooth, Joseph, Gipsy Kings, and Keb’ Mo.

See also  15 Special Grilled Food to Serve at Tailgate Parties in South Carolina


Charleston Farmers Market

A guide to Charleston farmers markets 2022 - Charleston City Paper

This is a weekly event that takes place on Saturdays from April to December, at Marion Square in downtown Charleston. The market features over 100 local vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, and more. The market also has live entertainment, kids’ activities, and a variety of food trucks and stalls. Many visitors enjoy tailgating at the market, either by bringing their own picnic baskets and blankets, or by sampling the delicious offerings from the vendors.


Blessing of the Fleet

Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival | Charleston Events & Charleston Event Calendar

Blessing of the Fleet is a time-honored tradition since 1947 that celebrates the city’s maritime heritage. Fishing boats, yachts, and other vessels gather in the harbor for a blessing, followed by a parade and festivities. While not directly involving tailgating, the event draws large crowds who enjoy picnics and outdoor activities along the waterfront, creating a festive atmosphere.


Charleston Food Truck Festival

Charleston Food Truck Festival Returns For 2022 - Secret Charleston

The Charleston Food Truck Festival is a popular event held throughout the year at various locations. It brings together dozens of food trucks offering diverse cuisines. With live music, a family-friendly atmosphere, and a focus on delicious food, the festival naturally attracts tailgaters who come to enjoy the open-air setting and culinary delights.


These are some of the most famous events for tailgate parties in Charleston, SC. The Holy City holds a special place in the hearts of many. It’s one of the most fun places to be in the United States.


Holy City Grills is a grill rental company in Charleston, South Carolina. We offer services in Charleston, Summerville, Myrtle Beach, and other neighboring cities. Holy City Grill does on-site grill delivery. Our medium-sized and large grills are perfect for your South Carolina outdoor party. Book Now.