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      Spoleto Festival USA officially opened

      (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The 36th year of Spoleto Festival USA opened in grand style Friday as it has every year since 1977.

      The opening ceremony was full of culture and excitement as the mayor of Spoleto, Italy and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley officially kicked off the 17-day celebration of performing arts.

      More than 140 performances in various areas of the City of Charleston are scheduled to Spoleto.

      "This festival indeed reminds us of the transformative power of the arts," Riley said. "...This is the most amazing festival, and there's something for everyone. ...There's nothing like it in the world. So, we all oughtta take advantage of it."

      Check back with ABC News 4 as we continue to bring you information on the opening ceremony of Spoleto Festival 2012.

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