The Dig South Interactive Festival begins Thursday, which means this is probably your one chance this year to chat with dignitaries from companies like Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter and Buzzfeed without logging onto your computer or having to leave town.

This is the second year of the festival, which was founded by CEO Stanfield Gray as a way to introduce the tech world to Charleston and its growing "Silicon Harbor."

The long list of sessions that will include both national and local panelists and speakers begin at 8:45 a.m. at TD Arena Thursday with remarks from Gray. The sessions run all day today and Friday with live music, comedians and beer gardens mixed in.

The Dig South Expo, which offers a wide range of vendors and interactive exhibits, also runs Thursday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Friday (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) at TD Arena. It is free.

There are two new major events this year.

Wild Pitch, a "Shark Tank"-like event in which entrepreneurs present their ideas to potential investors, begins today at 3 p.m.

"HACKCharleston" (Friday and Saturday) is a 24-hour hackathon in which programmers will compete to see who can design the best app for Lowcountry Open Land Trust.

Get more details at digsouth.com.

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