Renaissance Weekend kicking off today expected to bring 1,100 to Charleston

The 30th anniversary of the Charleston-based Renaissance Weekend gets under way today with a guest list that includes some of the nation’s luminaries from the fields of art, law, medicine, politics and science.

The gathering, headquartered at Charleston Place Hotel, is expected to bring 1,100 participants to the city to take part in 500 lectures, seminars, discussions and performances. The event concludes with song at the stroke of the New Year.

Event founder Phil Lader, a city resident and former ambassador to the Court of St. James, said this “granddaddy of ideas festivals” draws a wide range of participants with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

“It has always been a celebration of the power of ideas and relationships,” Lader said Monday. “Civility is the dominant theme. The discussion traditionally brings more light than heat.”

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