Your humble blogger is taking the week off from doing a new Radio Free Charleston, but we do have something really cool to tell you about today.

Thursday, March 16, Charleston’s ArtWalk returns from its long Winter hibernation. The Downtown Charleston ArtWalk is the Capital City’s premiere art event bringing you fine art, fashion, crafts, antiques, food and much more by downtown businesses and organizations and the Downtown Charleston Association.

As in previous years, it’s a free self-guided walking tour of Charleston’s shops, galleries and businesses featuring regional art and performances. Typically held the third Thursday of each month, participating shops and organizations extend their hours for browsing, shopping and mingling.

This month it’s happening the day before St. Patrick’s Day, so there will likely be some Celtic influences on this fun, free event.

Participating shops are located along Quarrier, Capitol, Lee, Summers and Hale streets in Downtown Charleston and feature a variety of art – from paintings and sculptures to photography and music. Attendees can stroll along at their own pace, dip in and out of stores and stop off along the way for a bite to eat at a downtown restaurant.

This well-loved family-friendly event takes place from 5 to 8 PM, Thursday, and attracts art aficionados as well as folks who just want to get out and try something new.

A new ArtWalk website is live now, and if all goes according to plan, it’ll be complete with a list of participating venues, and a map so you can find you way around.

This is a great way to get out, experience Charleston’s surprisingly robust arts environment and support the local scene.

(Note: One of the participating merchants is Oddbird Gifts on Hale Street, from whom I swiped the graphic you see above. Stop in and thank Naomi for me).