Happiest Cities in America – Where does Charleston, SC Rank?

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Happiness is based on many factors including physical and mental health, financial security, family and friends, social connections and job satisfaction. WalletHub has analyzed the top 180 U.S. Cities based on 31 key indicators to determine the happiest cities.

Coming in at #20 on the list is Charleston, South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina ranked out at #108.


In order to determine the happiest cities in America, WalletHub compared 182 of the largest cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across three key dimensions: 1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, 2) Income & Employment and 3) Community & Environment.

We evaluated these categories using 31 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available only at the state level.

We then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Complete List

Mayors’ Commission on Homelessness and Affordable Housing Announces Details for Second Annual Benefit Concert (Charleston, S.C.)

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Media Contact:

  • Sandy Morckel – Executive Producer, Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert
  • 614.306.8856
  • smorckel@gmail.com

Charleston, S.C. —The Mayors’ Commission on Homelessness and Affordable Housing today announced the performance lineup for the upcoming second annual Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert, which will include recent South Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductee Blue Dogs, soulful vocalist Zandrina Dunning and BlackNoyze Band, percussive Americana Rock band Rene Russell and the Bottom End, and singers from the College of Charleston Choir, Charleston Symphony Chorus and Taylor Festival Choir under the direction of Dr. Rob Taylor, with special musical appearances by Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie.

The Commission also announced that Humanities Foundation founder Tracy Doran will be honored at the concert as the 2019 Honoree of the “Homeless to Hope Award for Enduring Contributions to Alleviating Homelessness.

”The Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 25, 2019 in the Gaillard Center Performance Hall. Proceeds will benefit the Homeless to Hope Fund, which helps citizens transitioning out of homelessness by providing support through a network of community organizations and service providers.

Tickets are available for purchase at www.homelesstohopefund.org/benefit-concert.

Raffle tickets can also be purchased onlinefor a chance to win either two VIP tickets and backstage passes to the Hootie & the Blowfish Group Therapy Tour Concert, or a guitar singed by Darius Rucker, members of Hootie & the Blowfish and Edwin McCain.

Mayor Tecklenburg said, “On behalf of my fellow mayors, I’d like to say how happy we all are to be a part of this important event and to thank all of the entertainers who will be giving up their time to share their music with us. This uplifting evening brings together our region’s service providers to honor them and raise funds so they can continue providing much needed services to our citizens experiencing homelessness.”

For more information on the Homeless to Hope Fund, visit www.homelesstohopefund.org

Interesting Facts about the Cooper River Bridge Run

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This Saturday, April 6, Charleston will open its doors to the Cooper River Bridge Run for the 43th year.  This event, which is heralded as one of our most prestigious events in the area, is saturated with history and traditional.  An event where fitness, Southern hospitality, family, silliness, music and spectacular achievement come together for one memorable weekend.

As you prepare for this weekend, we want to share stories of hope, inspiration, accomplishment and just unique little facts about this most rewarding event.

Facts, Achievements, Accomplishments and Milestones

  • The first Cooper River Run occurred on April 2, 1978
  • In 2011, Cedric Jaggers published  Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run: A Complete History in Words and Photos
  • 766 Runners finished the first race in 1978
  • The first entry fee was $3.00 and that included a tee-shirt designed by the race director
  • In the first seven years, the winners of the men’s and women’s division were all Americans
  • The last American to win was Laura LaMena in 1995 on the women’s side and Jeff Cannada in 1991 on the men’s side
  • Race records:  James Kimutai Kosgei (Kenya) – 27.40 (2000) / Elana Meyer (South Africa) – 31.19 (1997)
  • A Cooper River Bridge Run app was launched in 2016
  • Hanahan’s Leroy Miller did the Cooper River Bridge event in 2015 at the age of 93
  • Adam Gorlitsky will become the first paralyzed man to walk the Cooper River Bridge event ever in 2016 – Follow his I Got Legs Story
  • The Cooper River Bridge is the 3rd Largest 10K in the United States
  • The first person to break the 30 minute barrier occurred in 1983
  • Average starting temperature of the race is 58.6 Degrees
  • 1986 was the first year over 1000 women registered and completed the race
  • First year where prize money was awarded was 1984.  That year, $800 was awarded to top male and top female.  In 2016, the winners will receive $10,000.
  • Oprah Winfrey ran the race in 1994 and finished with a time of 55.48
  • First year of using computer timing chips was 1997 and Bill Murray served as starter that year firing the cannon at the start of the race
  • The first year of the wheelchair races was 2012.  The winner broke 29 minutes
  • The first race related death occurred in 2004
  • The first time it rained during the race was 2005 and 6183 registered runners did not participate
  • The first year that more women registered than men was 2006
  • Zettie Little, the Ridiculously Photogenic Male got national attention after 2012 run
  • The first year a cap on registrants was placed was 2013
  • Four runner (4) has broken the 28 minute barrier
  • 36,755 runners registered in 2012 – Largest single year registration for this event
  • 1980 was the only year there was a tie for the win.  Florida Teammates Kim Burke and Steve Littleton finished at 31.26.
  • Benji Durden who won the first race in 1978 with a time of 30.22 was on the 1980 US Olympic Team for the marathon but did not participate because President Carter boycotted the Olympics that year held in Moscow, USSR.

Personal Blogs / Accounts

Cooper River Bridge Run – The Tiny Terror – Personal Blog

Cooper River Bridge Run 2014 (That’s One Big Bridge)

10K to the Bar: Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run

Cooper River Bridge Run Tips (from a local)

Cover Photo Credit:  Eas Coast Aeriel

Where's the finish
Where’s the finish

Look from up above
Look from up above

Zettie Little
Zettie Little

Mount Pleasant Releases 2018 Annual Report

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (March 29, 2019) – Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and Mount Pleasant Town Council today released the Town’s annual report highlighting milestones, challenges, successes and accolades earned over the past year. The 2018 Mount Pleasant Annual Report is available online here.

“I am proud of the work we accomplished in 2018 even with real challenges such as Winter Storm Grayson, the Wando Bridge shutdown, Hurricane Florence and more,” said Mayor Haynie. “As a community, we have come together to overcome these obstacles and to become a stronger, more resilient town.”

“Even with increasing call volumes and demand for work, our dedicated Town Council and staff worked hard to provide the best possible level of services,” added Mayor Haynie. “I invite you to read the many successes we have had as a community this year and I look forward to our continued success in 2019.”

Mount Pleasant is a 2010 and 2018 All-America City and the fourth largest municipality in South Carolina. Located across the harbor from Charleston, Mount Pleasant is home to approximately 88,000 residents and 6,000 businesses.

For more information and to view the 2018 Mount Pleasant Annual Report, visit us online here.

Easter Sunrise Service – Folly Beach – April 21, 2019

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When: Sunday, April 21st? 7:00 am

What: Community Easter Sunrise Service

Where: Folly Beach Pier

We have started collecting for Operation Christmas Child!

We will collect throughout the year for this wonderful ministry of sharing the Gospel message throughout the world!

A list of all the items we will be collecting can be found in the Sanctuary foyer.?


North Charleston Arts Fest – May 1-5, 2019

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The North Charleston Arts Fest is proudly produced by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department. The annual multi-day celebration of arts and culture highlights national, regional, and local artists and performers in the areas of Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Media Arts, and Literature. For more than 35 years, the festival has made quality arts programming affordable and accessible to the widest spectrum of the public, attracting more than 30,000 residents and visitors from throughout the Southeast and beyond to experience an array of free and modestly priced performances, workshops, exhibitions, and activities in a variety of venues, including libraries, community centers, schools, businesses, and parks. The event has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the state of South Carolina with a schedule that offers something for everyone, including concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, lectures and readings, workshops and demonstrations, exhibitions, public art installations, and much more. In 2018, the Arts Fest was selected as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.

FREE Flagship Events include:

Arty Block Party (May 3, 2019, 5-9pm) – A lively outdoor event combining an art market and street dance!  Taking place along 3 blocks in the Olde Village area of North Charleston, the Arty Block Party features live music, vendor booths, roving entertainment, and a kid’s zone. It’s an art-filled evening of fun for the whole family!

World Arts Expo @ Riverfront Park (May 4, 2019, 11am-5pm) – A celebration of visual and performing arts from cultures around the world! The outdoor, family-friendly event includes music and dance performances, live art demonstrations, multi-cultural food offerings, art & craft vendors, hands-on activities, roving entertainment, and a kid’s zone.

Exhibition Encore (May 5, 2019, Noon-6pm) – A closing reception/celebration highlighting the Arts Fest’s Judged Fine Art and Photography Exhibitions, the SC Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibition, and the Tri-County Youth Art and High School Sculpture Exhibitions on view in Exhibit Hall A of the Charleston Area Convention Center. In addition to the vast array of artwork on display, the Exhibition Encore offers musical entertainment, live art demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more.

Daily Events

Competitions and Exhibitions

How to Get Involved

Official Event Website

History and Goals:

The North Charleston Arts Fest began in 1982 as a one-day community celebration in Park Circle with the goal of enhancing the quality of life of residents through showcasing the arts.   As the annual event matured, the festival’s reach expanded to include visitors, prompting the addition of tourism development as a goal.  In 1995, the Arts Fest moved from Park Circle to the North Charleston Coliseum and expanded to two days.  By 2000, the opening of the Charleston Area Convention Center, the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, and additional new venues, provided the springboard for the festival to expand to nine full days of performances and activities for residents and visitors throughout the City. In 2008, the Arts Fest was recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event. It was awarded this honor again in 2018. Now entering its 37th year, the festival continues to evolve with a 5-day schedule that shifts the focus from quantity of events to quality of programming and patron experience.  The Cultural Arts Department strives to maintain the spirit of a public celebration of the arts with the mission of presenting a comprehensive, multi-discipline event schedule that exposes, engages, and inspires people of all ages and backgrounds.

Future Festival Dates:

May 1-5, 2019
April 29-May 3, 2020

Mount Pleasant Recreation Depatment (MPRD) Summer Camp Registration Now Open

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (Feb. 18, 2019) – Registration for summer camps at the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department will open Monday, Feb. 25, at 8 a.m. Registration is first come, first served and will stay open until camps fill up. 

With over 100 camp offerings, and multiple dates and locations, there is something for everyone at the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department. 

“We have been working all year to provide our residents with a wide variety of summer camps for all interests,” says Tina Carter, MPRD program coordinator. “We have camps for aspiring athletes, scientists, pilots, dancers, artists, engineers and more. We even have a video game design camp where ages 8-12 will get to design and create their very own video game.”  

For a full list of summer camp offerings, residents are encouraged to view the Summer 2019 InMotion Magazine here.  

To ensure your registration process goes as smoothly as possible, MPRD has issued six quick tips to follow before, during, and after registration: 

  1. Check your online login information now. If you can’t remember your username or password, call the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department at (843) 884-2528. Phone lines will be busy on registration day, so make sure to check this ahead of time. Note: For those new to Mount Pleasant, you will need to stop by an MPRD facility to register your household and/or any new family members. 
  2. Pick your camps now. Camps will fill up quickly, so make sure to have your activity codes and backup camps picked out now and ready to go on registration day.  
  3. There are two ways to register for camps: online at https://webtrac.tompsc.com or in person at the R.L. Jones Center Monday through Saturday, or the G.M. Darby Building or Park West Programming Building Monday through Friday. 
  4. If you are registering in person, make sure to have your camps and backup camps with activity codes ready to go.  
  5. After registration, make sure to mark you camps and relevant information in your calendar. MPRD will not send out reminders prior to camps starting. 
  6. The week before camps start, make sure to check the location, time, and any required equipment, clothing, and/or materials. 

For more tips, updates, and camp highlights, follow the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department on Facebook and Instagram.

Mount Pleasant, SC Seeks Public Input for Shem Creek Area Management Plan

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (March 28, 2019) – The Town of Mount Pleasant Shem Creek Study Advisory Committee is seeking public input as it works to develop a special area management plan for Shem Creek.

Public input is collected through the use of comment cards available on the Town’s website. The comment cards feature three questions with space for additional comments and must be submitted to Community and Government Affairs Chief Lauren Sims no later than Wednesday, April 17.

The next Shem Creek Study Advisory Committee meeting will take place on April 17, followed by a final public input meeting on May 21. The committee expects to have a draft report of the Shem Creek Area Management Plan sent to Town Council by late summer for their consideration.

The Shem Creek Area Management Plan was borne out of the desire by the Shem Creek Study Advisory Committee to determine appropriate actions to preserve the future of Shem Creek, an iconic working creek that is a valuable cultural and economic resource to the Town and its citizens.

The group’s mission is to preserve, promote, and protect the unique history, nature, and economy of the Shem Creek Study Area and maintain the character of it as a working creek. 

More information about the Shem Creek Study Advisory Committee and the Shem Creek Area Inventory and Baseline Data Report may be found on the Town’s website here.

Urban Land Institute to Advise City of North Charleston on Economic Development and Maintaining Housing Affordability

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A group of nationally renowned land use and urban planning experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be making recommendations next week to the City of North Charleston, South Carolina; Charleston County, and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League on improvements to Rivers Avenue and the former U.S. Naval Hospital site. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 43,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving, sustainable communities.

Public reception with experts
Urban Land Institute Public Findings Presentation

The ULI representatives, convened through ULI’s renowned Advisory Services Program, will be visiting the city from March 31 to April 5. Sponsored by South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Charleston County, and the City of North Charleston, the Advisory Services panelists will consider:

  • The appropriate density/scale of development;
  • Tools and strategies to encourage investment while mitigating or minimizing the disruption to existing neighborhoods;
  • The role of private/public partnerships; and
  • Potential public investments to the area’s built environment.

As part of this visit, the panel will look at how to support the goals of the greater community while focusing on preserving the neighborhood’s quality of life and affordability.

Leading ULI member Andrew Irvine, a senior principal at Stantec in Denver, Colorado, will chair the panel. “It is both humbling and invigorating to be able to engage with North Charleston to explore meaningful solutions to the challenges and opportunities our panel is asked to consider,” said Irvine. “Our team comes to the city as a resource, with no preconceived ideas or biases. We believe that the residents are the experts within their own community, and our job is to listen, to understand their aspirations, and to apply our best professional expertise to create meaningful and realistic recommendations.”

Irvine will be joined by: Catherine Buell, vice president, policy and programs, Greater Washington Partnership, Washington, D.C.; Veronica O. Davis, cofounder, Nspiregreen, LLC, Washington, D.C.; Aletha Dunston, executive director, Fort Harrison Reuse Authority, Indianapolis, Indiana; Thomas Jansen, director, HR&A, Los Angeles, California; Emil Malizia, research professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Paul Peters, principal, Hood Design, Oakland, California; Lance Robins, chief executive officer,  Urban Smart Growth, Los Angeles, California; and Gayle Starr, managing director, Capital Markets, Prologis, San Francisco, California.

During the week, the panel will tour the former U.S. Naval Hospital and surrounding neighborhoods, and interview a variety of community stakeholders before developing a set of recommendations that will be shared at a public presentation at the conclusion of the panel’s visit on Friday.

Now in its 72nd year, the ULI advisory services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use planning to participate on panels worldwide, offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs and policies. Panels have developed more than 700 studies for a broad range of land uses, ranging from waterfront properties to inner-city retail.

According to Thomas Eitler, senior vice president of ULI’s advisory services program, the strength of the program lies in ULI’s unique ability to draw on the substantial knowledge of its 43,000-plus members, including land developers, engineers, public officials, academics, lenders, architects, planners and urban designers. “The independent views of the panelists bring a fresh perspective to the land use challenge,” Eitler said. “The advisory services program is all about offering creative, innovative approaches to community building.”

Past sponsors of ULI advisory service panels include federal, state and local government agencies; regional councils of government; chambers of commerce; redevelopment authorities; private developers and property owners; community development corporations; lenders; historic preservation groups; non-profit community groups; environmental organizations and economic development agencies.

Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center Now Open in West Ashley

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Charleston, S.C.–The official ribbon cutting and grand opening for the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center took place today featuring Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg, members of Charleston City Council, President and CEO of Roper St. Francis Healthcare Lorraine Lutton, Louis Waring, Jr. and the Waring family

In December, 2015, Charleston City Council named the senior center in honor of Louis Waring, Jr., a United States Navy World War II veteran who also served as the Charleston City Council member for District Seven from 1994 to 2012.

Designed by Liollio Architecture and built by Howell and Howell Contractors, Inc., the approximately 16,000 square foot facility on the campus of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital features a fitness center, café, resource center with access to computers, exercise studio and outdoor pickleball courts. The center provides adults who are 50 years of age or older the opportunity to exercise, socialize and engage through a variety of activities and events focused on active lifestyles, well-being and growth.

Mayor Tecklenburg said, “The Louis Waring, Jr.Senior Center, named for one of our city’s finest public servants, will be a truly extraordinary resource for our city and its citizens. I’d like to thank everyone involved in making this day possible, including and especially our fine partners at Roper St. Francis Healthcare,who will be providing the high quality events, classes and services our residents need and deserve.”

“With the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is replicating the success we’ve had at the Lowcountry Senior Center in keeping older adults engaged and active,” said Lutton. “It is our honor to join forces with the City of Charleston to ensure our residents can access this beautiful space to stay active, stay young, and stay connected.”

The Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Current class offerings for March include Enhance Fitness, a group exercise class for a range of fitness levels, line dancing, art, Tai Chi, yoga, knitting, book club, calligraphy, water colors, and more.

Membership is available to anyone 50 years of age or older and provides access to a wide range of programs including annual special events, travel opportunities, health and wellness educational programs and self-management classes.Basic Membership is $70 per year for Charleston County residents ($80 for out-of-county residents). This membership does not include access to the fitness center and pickleball courts.

Gold Membership, which includes access to the fitness center and pickleball courts, is $125 per year for Charleston County residents ($135 for out-of-county residents).

More information about registration and memberships can be found online at www.waringseniorcenter.comor in person by visiting the center.


2001 Henry Tecklenburg Drive
Charleston, SC 29414
Located on the campus of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

Official Website


  • Jack O’Toole, City of Charleston Director of Communications
  • 843-518-3228
  • otoolej@charleston-sc.gov
  • Andy Lyons, Roper St. Francis Healthcare Director of Corporate Communications
  • 843-513-3791
  • andy.lyons@rsfh.com