The Palmetto State, as it is fondly called, has so much in store for the avid traveler. Whether you are a solo adventurer, looking for some relaxing time off, on a romantic getaway, or a family holiday, South Carolina has what it takes to keep you engaged. From a romantic ride on the streets of Charleston, recreational packages at Myrtle Beach, and myriads of zoos, parks, and historical sites to explore, a memorable time is inevitable. But that is not all; all year round, this state rolls with myriads of festivities. Whether it is rainy or shiny, this region has some celebrations almost every weekend. Its cities, including Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Pendleton are always bubbling with events featuring cultural heritage, art, food, and music. Experience unique history, culture, and heritage and have a fun-filled time by attending the best festivals in South Carolina, USA. When visiting this lovely state, be sure to retreat in one of the best hotels and vacation rentals in town, too!
1. South Carolina Festival of Flowers
For over 40 years, the South Carolina Festival of Flowers has been attracting avid gardeners from all over the country. Although it is not the only flower festival in the USA, it has become increasingly famous for its Juried Art Show, featuring works of many local artists, photography exhibit, as well as live vegetation and flower show. It’s a family-friendly event which includes amusements, a pet show, classic car display, tasty cuisines, Cessna flights for the kids, and even jazz concerts. It’s a must-visit summer celebration.
South Carolina Festival of Flowers
Address: 110 Phoenix St Greenwood, South Carolina 29646
Website: South Carolina Festival of Flowers
Takes place: June
2. Gullah Festival
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) uniting de famlee wid de libation circle at The...Posted by Goodwine Marquetta on Saturday, 23 May 2015
How well will you love to share in the heritage of other cultures? The Gullah Festival is a celebration of the achievements, language, customs, and history of the Gullah people. They are African-Americans who dwell on the southeastern coast of the country. Have a chance to taste their local foods, see and dance with them, check out their crafts, arts, Gullah presentations, and even explore the Black Inventions Museum. This South Carolina festival and event welcome over 70,000 people yearly for two decades and it has won so many awards. You shouldn’t miss the excitement.
Address: Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park 1010 Bay St Beaufort, SC
Website: Gullah Festival
Takes place: May 22 - 24, 2020
Price: Free for some events; from 10 USD for others
3. South Carolina State Fair
Famous for being one of the top fests in the country, the South Carolina State Fair began in 1869, and it’s held in October every year. The fair features several shows to keep you in high spirits throughout its 12-day run. Spend some time, admiring thrilling educational, historical, and commercial exhibits of fine art, quilting, needlework, canned goods, baked foods, flowers, and more. The grand festival also features local entertainment – including dancing, bands, and comedy shows to complement the excitement.
South Carolina State Fair
Address: South Carolina State Fair, 1200 Rosewood Drive Columbia, SC 29201 United States
Website: South Carolina State Fair
Takes place: October 15 - 25, 2020
Price: 7 - 10 USD
If you are an art enthusiast, this event offers a lot of things to boost your passion for creativity. It started in 2005 and has since welcomed thousands of art patrons and tourists from all over the country. During its three-day run, it features a program called Artist Demonstration Row with over 100 talented visual artists from across the USA, who display their creativity in pottery, glassblowing, printmaking, and metalworking for all to see and appreciate. The fest also includes Kidsphere, a creative spot for the children. For wine lovers, there is a section for wine-tasting collections from around the globe. And of course, there is musical entertainment – including American folk music, ballet, opera works, and jazz.
Address: 101B Augusta ST ST, Greenville, SC 29601
Opening hours: May 8 - 10, 2020
5. Fall for Greenville
This state has a variety of recipes and flavors to give you consistent food craving throughout your visit. Whether you are interested in trying out new cuisines, or you want to delve into the culinary scene of South Carolina, this festival should be at the top of your itinerary. The Fall for Greenville is one of the largest outdoor fairs in the southeast, showcasing over 45 eateries, offering over 200 menu items of the state’s best dishes. Enjoy fun-filled moments in one of the event’s famous attractions, a beer garden featuring restaurant and breweries competition. There is also entertainment from regional and local music artists, kids’ activities, and more. Join over 150,000 yearly participants and enjoy a weekend full of mouthwatering aromas, fantastic sights, and sounds.
Fall for Greenville
Address: Main Street Down Town Greenville, South Carolina 29601
Website: Fall for Greenville
Takes place: October 9 - 11, 2020
6. Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee
Pendleton is a small village in South Carolina’s Upcountry region with a population of less than 3,000 and featuring an 18th-century downtown community. The Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee is held every year in April in this small town, to welcome the dawn of spring and also features lots of exciting activities for you. The fest showcases over 200 vendors, offering their vintage and unique crafts, art, and food from all over the country. Also, experience the area’s local folk culture, dance performances, live music, and more. The event is one of the state’s premier festivals that has earned multiple awards. Don’t miss the historical scene and glamour.
Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee
Address: 137 Exchange Street Pendleton, SC 29670
Takes place: April 4 -5, 2020
7. Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival
The Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival is a famous fest that showcases the skills and beauty of sweetgrass basket-making in the state. You will love the cultural and traditional scene with beautiful displays of handmade crafts and arts, unusual designs of baskets, and even lectures on the history and demonstrations of the making processes. This event in South Carolina also features the Gullah Heritage – including foods and Gullah Geechee skits. You will be nostalgic about African dancers and drummers, documentary films, the art of storytelling, and gospel music scene and entertainment. There are also myriads of kids’ and family-friendly activities to do.
Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival
Address: Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Blvd Mount Pleasant SC 29464
Takes place: July
8. Southern 500
Bojangles' Southern 500 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 12, 2012 in Darlington, South Carolina. 2012 Getty ImagesPosted by Aaron's Inc. on Monday, 14 May 2012
Catch the biggest annual non-stop action of the best of Darlington winners – including Allison, Yarborough, Pearson, Petty, and Earnhardt on Southern 500, NASCAR’s favorite yearly challenge. This festival, which takes place on Labor Day Weekend, features the most fabulous racing events – including the 500-mile (805 kilometers) Too Tough To Tame, NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200, The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles, and Throwback Weekend of NASCAR. Enjoy the excitement of watching 40 world-best drivers, competing for 1 prize, roaring sounds of fans from around the country, and several other events to give you the best Labor Day of your life.
Address: 1301 Harry Byrd Hwy, Darlington, SC 29532, United States
Website: Southern 500
Takes place: September 6, 2020
9. Beaufort Water Festival
The Beaufort Water Festival is one of the country’s favorite events, welcoming over 100,000 people yearly. The festival was first held in 1956 to mark the bond the Lowcountry share with the sea. It features water-based programs as well as other exciting ones – including a craft and air show, evening concerts, Lowcountry supper, and kid’s day. There are myriads of other engaging activities to savor, including a beauty pageant, sailboat races, fishing contests, golf and tennis challenges, ski shows, and more. There are more than enough packages in store for you and your family in this grand water fest.
Beaufort Water Festival
Address: Bay St, Beaufort, SC 29902, United States
Website: Beaufort Water Festival
Takes place: July 17 - 26, 2020
Price: 10 USD (admission)
10. Myrtle Beach Bike Week
For Harley Davidson and other bike enthusiasts, this fair is a must experience. The event, which attracts about 300,000 annual visitors, contends with other top motorcycles rallies like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as the grandest in the country. The fest, which is a 10-day event features several exciting activities – including street festivals, parties, concerts, bike racing, and more. Experience a week of fun in the sun, thrilling rides, extraordinary sights, and making friends from all over the country.
Myrtle Beach Bike Week
Address: Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Website: Myrtle Beach Bike Week
Takes place: May 8 - 17, 2020
11. Freedom Weekend Aloft
This event has experienced changes over the years, but with one sole aim – hot air balloon celebration. First, it was known as the Freedom Weekend Aloft, then the Great American Balloon Fest for some years, still yet, the Balloons Over Anderson, and after associating with the Cancer Association of Anderson, it is now called the Hot Air Affair. Over the years, it showcases 100 hot-air balloons competing against each other and other exciting shows. The event also features fireworks, a dog contest, regional music programs, skydivers, and activities for the kids, including amusement rides. However, with the recent changes, the festival now happens in a new venue, Rocky River Plantation, in Anderson, with a secondary aim to raise funds for people living with cancer.
Freedom Weekend Aloft
Address: 1990 Augusta Street, Suite 202 Greenville, South Carolina 29605
Website: Freedom Weekend Aloft
Takes place: May
Price: 20 USD
12. Spoleto Festival
The Spoleto Festival is the country’s version of the Festival of Two Worlds, which happens in Spoleto, in Italy yearly. It started in 1977 and over the years, has become a cultural highlight, showcasing art events of the highest caliber in America. The fest featured visual arts, jazz, choral music, opera, post-modern and modern dance, classical ballet, and many more. Attend this beautiful show and expand your appreciation of artistic creativity through supporting young artists and innovative and new-world arts. Also, don’t miss the grand finale which happens at Middleton Place on the last day with exciting activities – including fireworks and live music.
Address: 14 George St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States
Website: Spoleto Festival
Takes place: May - June
13. Greek Festival
From @caledonapartments at Greenville, South Carolina Greek Festival - This weekend in downtown Greenville, SC you don’t...Posted by Hellenic Festival on Friday, 17 May 2019
Are you fascinated by the Greek’s rich and evergreen culture? Then you shouldn’t miss this big fest that takes place in downtown Columbia and features some fantastic Greek-themed shows. This famous four-day festival has been adding colors to the community for over 26 years. Experience the undiluted heritage, history, and culture of the Greeks through tasting their local cuisines, seeing their dances, and appreciating their arts at this outstanding event. It is a family-friendly event that also includes a trip to the magnificent Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Address: 1931 Sumter Street Columbia SC 29201
Website: Greek Festival
Takes place: September
14. Coward Harvest Festival
On every last Saturday of September, Coward, a small town in Florence County, organizes a family-friendly event to celebrate the harvest. It usually starts in the early hours of the day with a parade before moving into the celebration proper, showcasing crafts, arts, inflatable play area for the kids, food vendors serving delicious foods and non-alcoholic drinks, and more. The parade begins at the intersection between the Gause Canal and St. Paul Rd. and ends at Bible Temple Church, where you will experience the rest of the excitements. It presents an ideal opportunity to spend a fun-filled day with your family.
Coward Harvest Festival
Address: 195 Gause Canal Rd, Coward, South Carolina 29530
Website: Coward Harvest Festival
Takes place: September
15. Into The Woods Festival
Editor’s note: establishment is permanently closed
If you ever find yourself camping around Charleston around October, then you shouldn’t miss this beautiful festival, which takes place in Charleston Woodlands, an incredible Lowcountry grounds. The celebration is held to mark the inaugural camping festival of the Charleston Pour House. The Charleston Pour House is a live music venue and this event offers you premium lakeside camping in the establishment’s fashion. It’s a unique three-day event that features live entertainment from famous regional artists – including Andy Frasco, Doom Flamingo, John Medeski’s Mad Skillet, Leftover Salmon, and more. It’s a memorable experience that no camper will want to miss.
Into The Woods Festival
Address: 4279 Ashley River Road Charleston, SC
Website: Into The Woods Festival
Takes place: October
16. Tasty Tomato Festival
You may wonder about the significance of celebrating tomatoes but this exciting festival has more to that. The Tasty Tomato Festival is organized by Slow Food Columbia and Sustainable Midlands to celebrate the heirloom tomatoes, which is a dominant garden plant in the Lowcountry as well as in local foods. It is a family-friendly event which is also aimed at increasing awareness of food biodiversity and encourage eco-conscious backyard gardeners, farmers, and chefs. A grand time awaits you in the famous fair, featuring drinks, tasty local dishes, music, and lots of fun. It’s worth looking forward to.
Tasty Tomato Festival
Address: City Roots Urban Farm 1005 Airport Blvd, Columbia SC 29205
Website: Tasty Tomato Festival
Takes place: July 11, 2020
Price: 12 - 15 USD
17. Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival
Concours d’Elegance has been held in California for more than 60 years and was only introduced to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in 2002. Before then, the town is famous for its beautiful year-round weather, white sandy beaches, golf courses, and more, but this festival is increasingly making the region a haven for thousands of more individuals from around the country. When it was introduced to the state, it evolved from Concours d’Elegance to Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, featuring more exciting shows. Some of the added features for you to enjoy include automotive-themed exhibits, test drives, new car displays in addition to the over 150 world’s most rare vintage cars, which will compete for the Best of Show.
Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival
Address: 114 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, USA
Takes place: October 23 - November 1, 2020
Price: 60 - 115 USD
18. Chitlin Strut
The aim of this festival might seem weird at first – to celebrated fried pig intestines or chitlin, but there is more to why over 30,000 individuals from around the country converge for this event. The fest has been a Southern tradition for over a century, and it’s held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Aside from frying tons of these intestines and enjoying them with everyone during the fair, there are several other fascinating activities you will want to experience. There is an antique tractor show, carnival rides, beauty pageant, craft vendors, strut contest, a parade, and more.
Address: 218 Pine St NW, Salley, SC 29137, USA
Website: Chitlin Strut
Takes place: November
19. Orangeburg Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Although this family-based festival started in 2018, it is increasingly becoming popular due to what it celebrates – food and beer. It was organized as a means of saving thousands of Orangeburg’s citizens from traveling down to Charleston or Columbia to attend food truck events and it is held in the downtown area. It is a one-day event that welcomes several food vendors from across the region, serving chicken, ribs, pork, burgers, and more. Some of the craft beers featured at this event include Devils Backbone Vienna Lager and Commonhouse. There are also side activities for you to enjoy – including cornhole and beer pong tournament, as well as music and organized fun programs for the kids.
Orangeburg Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Address: 1039 Broughton Street Orangeburg, SC 29115 United States
Takes place: September
Price: 5 - 8 USD
20. Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals
How would you like to travel back in time and experience old London? Well, the time machine is not here yet but this fair features a similar experience with a replica of a 19th-century London market. The festival was inspired by the book, “A Chrismas Carol,” written by the 19th-century author, Charles Dickens. Experience the ancient Victorian Holiday Marketplace with Christmas décor on the grounds as well as toys, gifts, and crafts hawked by over 300-period clad vendors. Attend this award-winning fair with your kids and let them enjoy fun-filled moments with Santa in his castle.
Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals
Address: 2003 N Oak St, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, USA
Website: Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals
Takes place: November
Price: 5 - 15 USD
21. South Carolina Peach Festival
Peach is the official fruit of South Carolina and the industry has only waxed stronger over the years. This family-friendly event was organized to celebrate the significance of peach with so many fascinating programs. Participate in the barbecue cook-off, enjoy the live entertainment, and experience the peach parade, antique car show, carnival rides, peach-based contests, and more activities featured in this grand fest. You will also have the chance to taste the mouthwatering dishes prepared at the Dessert Contest and buy tasty cuisines and fresh peaches sold by many local vendors.
South Carolina Peach Festival
Address: 110 Railroad Ave, Gaffney, SC 29340, United States
Website: South Carolina Peach Festival
Takes place: July 16 - 19, 2020
Price: 15 USD
22. Sweet Grass Festival
The Gullah people have a rich heritage and one aspect that has served the state and neighboring regions is the sweetgrass basket art. Aside from celebrating this art, this event is aimed to bring the attention of people and to promote the traditions, culture, and history of this tribe. The festival offers an avenue for local basket makers to display, endorse, and market their creativity to attendees which include locals and visitors from many parts of the USA. During this festival, interactive sessions are provided to expose visitors to the amazing cultures and traditions of the Gullah people.
Sweet Grass Festival
Address: 301 Wingo Way, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464, USA
Takes place: June
23. South Carolina Pecan Festival
The South Carolina Pecan Festival presents an opportunity for you to commune with locals and fellow visitors in a family-friendly setting, featuring myriads of engaging and entertaining activities. The fest was initiated by the Florence Downtown Development Corporation in 2004 and takes place on the first Saturday of November, annually. On average, it attracts about 50,000 individuals yearly from every part of the USA. Enjoy bike rides competition, marathon races, chalk art competition, cook-off competition, antique car show, and more. The children are not left behind in this fair, with a free kids’ zone on the grounds. There are over 200 craft and food vendors, as well as live entertainment to complement the experience.
South Carolina Pecan Festival
Address: 324 W Evans St Florence, South Carolina
Website: South Carolina Pecan Festivall
Takes place: November
24. South Carolina Pecan Festival Festival of Discovery
Celebrate the people, music, crafts, arts, food, history, and culture of the people of Greenwood County and South Carolina in this premier festival of the year. The festival, which started in 2000, is sponsored by the Uptown Greenwood Development Corporation. The award-winning SC Festival of Discovery allows you to appreciate rural America with hosts – including the Hash Cook-Off and the Kansas City Barbecue, showcasing the unique tradition of the state’s barbecue and several musical artists. It is a highly anticipated fest in the country and you and your family will thoroughly enjoy every of its moment.
South Carolina Pecan Festival Festival of Discovery
Address: 106 Main St N, Greenwood, SC 29646, USA
Takes place: July 9 - 11, 2020
25. Bourbon & Bacon Fest Greenville
Enjoy these bites from last year’s swig and swine festivities! #2019 #bourbonandbaconfesfGVLPosted by Bourbon & Bacon Fest Greenville on Thursday, 29 August 2019
How do you like your bacon and bourbon? Enjoy an evening of palate-spoiling bourbon and bacon sampling with numerous flavors you have never imagined in this unique fair organized by Carolina Heating Service. Aside from the joy of the amazing offerings, there is also theexcitement of knowing that the money raised from the festival will be used to benefit the people of Anderson County suffering from cancer through the Cancer Association of Anderson, an organization that receives no foreign support. The event hosts distilleries and their fantastic offerings from all over the region, as well as local food vendors.
Bourbon & Bacon Fest Greenville
Address: 304 E Stone Ave, Greenville, South Carolina 29609
Website: Bourbon & Bacon Fest Greenville
Takes place: September
Price: 40 USD
26. MOJA Arts Festival
Are you looking to get in on the ground floor and work with the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs? We...Posted by MOJA Arts Festival on Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Discover the beauty and the contributions of the Caribbeans and African-Americans to the western world by attending the MOJA Arts Festival. The word, Moja, means “one” in Swahili, a widely spoken language in Africa and parts of the Caribbean. And this festival is all about enhancing oneness in the community through myriads of activities and sessions, many of which are free to participate in. Some of the exciting events that await you include storytelling, multiple genres of live music, dance, visual arts, traditional foods and crafts, and several activities for the kids.
MOJA Arts Festival
Address: 75 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Website: MOJA Arts Festival
Takes place: September
27. Craftsmen's Classics Art & Craft Festival
For more than 35 years, Craftsmen’s Classics Art & Craft Festival has been involved in converging several talented artists with their unique show of skills from around the country. Yearly, it welcomes over 300 craftspeople and artists, who exhibit their original works and even showcase their skills on the grounds in their booths. It’s a weekend full of fun and flair as you check out and purchase beautiful works, from the most traditional to the most modern. If you love arts, this is a perfect opportunity to handpick something unusual and celebrate American arts.
Craftsmen's Classics Art & Craft Festival
Address: 949 Rosewood Dr, Columbia, SC 29201, USA
Takes place: March 6 - 8, 2020
Price: 1 - 8 USD
28. Sea Island Arts Fest
Have fun as you support educational enrichment programming. It is a celebration of everything about Island Arts with musical guests, a wide collection of local cuisines, locals artisans, and the island’s vibrant music and dance. The festival started in 2018 with the collaboration of three organizations for a useful purpose and also to bring the community together to have a great time. It’s an ideal opportunity to spend time with the family, meet new people, and even contribute to a good cause.
Sea Island Arts Fest
Address: James Island Town Hall, Charleston, South Carolina
Takes place: September
Price: 5 USD
Share in the excitement
Aside from all the exciting activities, historical landmarks, and beaches this state has to offer, the festivals are also appealing. The people of this region are happy to share in their arts, culture, traditions, history, foods, and more through annual fairs. Discover the unimaginable, eat the exceptional, and see the unusual by attending these top festivals in South Carolina, the USA.
Get Trip101 in your inbox