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      SEWE kicks off this week

      Pictured above is the official 2012 SEWE poster. (Provided)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The largest wildlife exposition in the nation will kick off this week. The opening reception will be held at The Mills House Hotel Wednesday at 6 p.m.

      The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) attracts more than 500 artists and exhibitors from around the globe who present their offerings to over 40,000 attendees. The celebration, established in 1982, will also feature shows by wildlife expert Jack Hanna, films, tutorials and competitions of all kinds.

      After the opening reception on Wednesday, there will be a private viewing of SEWE art Thursday at 1 p.m. and a preview gala and auction at 7 p.m. Both of those events will be held at Charleston Place Hotel.

      The bulk of the action with begin at 10 a.m. on Friday when all exhibits open.

      Last year's SEWE attendance jumped 26 percent, and nearly $70 million was pumped into the local economy.

      If you'd like to purchase a ticket you can pick one up at any of the local visitors centers. Admission Friday and Saturday is $20 for adults - Sunday it's $10.

      Below is a glance at the 3-day schedule.

      Friday, February 17

      9:00 AM : Private Viewing Hours Charleston Place

      9:00 AM : DockDogs registration opens Brittlebank Park

      10:00 AM : ALL EXHIBITS OPEN Multiple Locations

      10:00 AM : DockDogs Competition Waves Brittlebank Park

      10:30 AM : Chef Demo - Jeremiah Bacon | Oak Steakhouse Gaillard Auditorium

      11:00 AM : Fly Fishing Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      11:00 AM : Jack Hanna Presentation Gaillard Auditorium

      11:00 AM : Birds of Prey Flight Demo Marion Square Park

      11:00 AM : ***Charleston Cooks! Cooking Classes Charleston Cooks!

      11:00 AM : Casting Demos by Bob Redfern Brittlebank Park

      12:00 PM : Chef Demo - Nathan Whiting | Tristan Gaillard Auditorium

      12:00 PM : Retriever Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      1:00 PM : Chef Demo - Michelle Weaver | Charleston Grill Gaillard Auditorium

      1:00 PM : Film: "Landlocked: The Story of Freshwater Striped Bass" Gaillard Auditorium

      2:00 PM : Chef Demo - Steven Lusby | 82 Queen Gaillard Auditorium

      3:00 PM : Chef Demo - Marc Collins | Circa 1886 Gaillard Auditorium

      3:00 PM : Birds of Prey Flight Demo Marion Square Park

      3:00 PM : Busch Wildlife Sanctuary Show Gaillard Auditorium

      3:00 PM : Quick Draw / Speed Sculpt Charleston Place

      3:00 PM : Casting Demos by Bob Redfern Brittlebank Park

      3:30 PM : Cast Net Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      4:00 PM : Retriever Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      5:00 PM : Auction following Quick Draw/Speed Sculpt Charleston Place

      5:00 PM : SEWE King Street Stroll Multiple Locations

      6:00 PM : Vanishing Habitats & Wildlife Reinert LePrince Fine Art

      6:00 PM : ***Ducks Unlimited / SEWE Oyster Roast Charleston Visitor Center

      6:00 PM : ***2012 Sportsman's Ball Omar Shrine Center

      Saturday, February 18

      9:00 AM : **Southern Breakfast Francis Marion Hotel

      9:00 AM : Private Viewing Hours Charleston Place

      9:00 AM : DockDogs registration opens Brittlebank Park

      10:00 AM : ALL EXHIBITS OPEN Multiple Locations

      10:00 AM : DockDogs Competition Waves Brittlebank Park

      10:30 AM : Chef Demo - Simon Andrews | Swampfox Gaillard Auditorium

      10:30 AM : Film: "Landlocked: The Story of Freshwater Striped Bass" Gaillard Auditorium

      10:30 AM : Announce Charleston Angler Photo Contest Winners Brittlebank Park

      11:00 AM : Saltwater Inshore 101 Brittlebank Park

      11:00 AM : ***Charleston Cooks! Cooking Classes Charleston Cooks!

      11:00 AM : Lecture: Wetland Birds Through The Eyes of Audubon The Mills House Hotel

      11:00 AM : Casting Demos by Bob Redfern Brittlebank Park

      11:30 AM : Registration for Casting Rodeo Brittlebank Park

      11:30 AM : Birds of Prey Flight Demo Marion Square Park

      11:30 AM : Puppet Show Gaillard Auditorium

      12:00 PM : Chef Demo - Miles Huff | Culinary Inst. of Charleston Gaillard Auditorium

      12:00 PM : Retriever Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      1:00 PM : Chef Demo - John Ondo | Lana Restaurant Gaillard Auditorium

      1:00 PM : Jack Hanna Presentation Gaillard Auditorium

      1:30 PM : Kids Cast Net Demo/Rodeo Brittlebank Park

      2:00 PM : Chef Demo - Fred Neuville | Fat Hen Gaillard Auditorium

      2:00 PM : Lecture: Birds in American Art The Mills House Hotel

      3:00 PM : Fly Fishing Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      3:00 PM : Birds of Prey Flight Demo Marion Square Park

      3:00 PM : Busch Wildlife Sanctuary Show Gaillard Auditorium

      3:00 PM : Casting Demos by Bob Redfern Brittlebank Park

      4:00 PM : Retriever Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      6:00 PM : ***17th Annual Duck Shuck Oyster Roast Omar Shrine Center

      7:00 PM : SEWE Soiree Charleston Visitor Center

      Sunday, February 19

      9:00 AM : DockDogs registration opens Brittlebank Park

      10:00 AM : ALL EXHIBITS OPEN Multiple Locations

      10:00 AM : DockDogs Competition Waves Brittlebank Park

      11:00 AM : Retriever Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      12:00 PM : Chef Demo - TBD Gaillard Auditorium

      12:00 PM : Busch Wildlife Sanctuary Show Gaillard Auditorium

      1:00 PM : Chef Demo - Jill Mathias | Carolina's Gaillard Auditorium

      1:00 PM : Birds of Prey Flight Demo Marion Square Park

      1:00 PM : Casting Demos by Bob Redfern Brittlebank Park

      2:00 PM : Chef Demo - David Pell | Coast Bar & Grill Gaillard Auditorium

      2:00 PM : Fly Fishing Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      3:00 PM : Chef Demo - Jason Reed | Boone Hall Farms Gaillard Auditorium

      3:00 PM : Retriever Demonstration Brittlebank Park

      3:00 PM : Busch Wildlife Sanctuary Show Gaillard Auditorium

      4:00 PM : DockDogs Finals Brittlebank Park

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