Who doesn’t love free stuff?
Free samples, free food. There are whole websites devoted entirely to free.
And since you’ve likely been giving your wallet a workout with all the great recent events in the area, give it a breather this weekend as there are a number of free events.
On Saturday, the Fort Sumter National Monument will open the grounds of the Coast Guard Historic District for a free public event.
From 1-4 p.m., explore the grounds, historic quarters cupola and boathouse near the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse. Due to health and safety concerns, the lighthouse itself will not be open.
Learn about the history of the site as you enjoy light refreshments, and take home a 50th anniversary poster designed by Amelia Millar to commemorate the visit.
Find out more by calling 883-3123 or going to www.nps.gov.
Another educational yet sure to be entertaining event scheduled for this weekend is the symposium “Jenkins, Jazz and Jammin’ in Times of War and Peace.”
Put on by Patriots Point’s Institute of History, Science and Technology, the free program is a celebration of the contributions of African-Americans throughout our nation’s history and part of the museum’s educational series, “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.”
The program will focus on the Jenkins Orphanage Band, which got its start in Charleston in the late 1800s. Members of the band broke racial boundaries, traveling and performing at distinguished events around the world, including presidential inauguration ceremonies.
Guest speakers will include former educator, politician and professional musician Lonnie Hamilton III, himself a former Jenkins Orphanage Band member and director; Charleston’s “first lady of jazz,” Ann Caldwell; and Jenkins Institute for Children Executive Director Johanna Martin-Carrington.
The program will begin at 10 a.m. Friday and will be streamed live on the Patriots Point website, www.patriotspoint.org, and into Charleston County School District classrooms. Prior to the start of the program, the Northside Christian High School Band will perform musical selections in Hangar Bay 1.
This month’s Third Thursday in Summerville will have a special guest: Elvis! Well, Elvis impersonator Michael Viljac to be more accurate.
Either way, break out your blue suede shoes and head over to Hutchinson Square 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday for a performance of some favorite tunes from The King.
Another event that will run Thursday through Saturday will be Puzzle Palooza, a feature that offers participants the chance to win the $500 grand prize or be one of five $100 runners-up.
From 10 a.m. Thursday to closing Saturday, stop by all 35 Summerville businesses with a “Puzzle Palooza” logo in their windows. At those stops, collect a puzzle piece and put them in the correct order on your game board to reveal the picture or message. Game boards can be picked up at People, Places & Quilts on West Richardson Avenue or Four Green Fields on Short Central Avenue.
After you’ve solved it, drop off your completed puzzle in the collection box in the lobby of First Citizens Bank, 218 S. Main St., by 5 p.m. Monday. All the correct entries will be put into a drawing for gift certificates redeemable at dozens of Summerville businesses.
Third Thursday runs 5-8 p.m. in downtown Summerville. Find out more by calling Summerville Downtown Restoration, Enhancement and Management at 821-7260 or going to summervilledream.org.