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Get ready to go back to school at the First Day Festival

Get involved by donating or volunteering for this annual back-to-school festival.

A young child shakes hands with Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg with a table full of bags of school supplies for the First Day Festival behind them.

Pre-packed bags of school supplies will be available to students at the festival.

Photo provided by the City of Charleston

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Are you ready to go back to school? How about attending the First Day Festival, hosted by the City of Charleston since 2003?

The annual First Day Festival returns for its 20th year on Sunday, Aug. 13 — which means a day of celebration to begin the new school year.

The details

The festival will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Gaillard Center + South Carolina Aquarium. Look forward to kid-friendly activities, exhibits on student support + community resources. Plus, free giveaways including:

  • School supplies
  • Fresh food (courtesy of the Lowcountry Food Bank)
  • Admission to the aquarium
  • Boat rides

Pro tip: Get there early for the free boat rides — supply is limited.

Adult volunteers hold supply bags for the First Day Festival.

Volunteers make the First Day Festival possible.

Photo courtesy of the City of Charleston

Get involved

In the words of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, “The First Day Festival makes the remarkable impact it does because of the unwavering support of our Charleston community.” Be a part of that support through volunteering or donating.

Volunteer applications are open until Tuesday, Aug. 1. Help with tasks like setting up exhibits and passing out tickets + school supplies. Sign up now.

No time to volunteer? Help stock up on school supplies. Donations will also be accepted through 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10. Items like crayons, markers, colored pencils, paper products, glue sticks, folders, and pencil pouches are especially appreciated.

If you order your donations online, you can send your donation directly to the Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families at 75 Calhoun St., Ste. 3700. Or drop off donations at one of these in-person sites.