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South Carolina's Annual Fine Arts Festival is the Belle of the Ball. by Reid Hardaway It's never a bad time to go to Charleston, South Carolina. Amongst the cobblestone and brick laid streets, a genuinely affectionate community fuels a commercial industry that has earned its reputation for Southern hospitality. Arching light poles illuminate the restless nightlife, and anyone who spends an evening downtown can attest for its good times. And there's also Charleston's ubiquitous view. Whether one is looking off the pier or admiring centuries-old architecture, the city breathes sea air into every crevice. Merely being in Charleston is a soothing, invigorating experience. For one big reason, the best time to visit Charleston is during the summer. There are constant opportunities for entertainment, whether one prefers countless venues for the arts, historical exhibits, commerce, the market, aquarium or simply taking in the excitement of the streets. But during Charleston's summer months, the 17 days and nights of Spoleto should not be missed by any Southerner who has a penchant for the fine arts. Since 1977, the Spoleto Festival has been a premier cultural event of the South. It was founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who wanted to create an American counterpart to Italy's own Spoleto

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