13 Must-Attend Events in South Carolina for 2022

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13 Must-Attend Events in South Carolina for 2022

Are you feeling inspired to explore more of what South Carolina has to offer? At 275 years old, we're only getting better with age. Today there is no shortage of sights to see and activities to enjoy. 

With over 300 festivals in South Carolina each year, not to mention sporting events, concerts, and performing art shows, we have some unforgettable experiences. Mark your calendars for these 13 must-attend events in South Carolina for 2022.

#1- South Carolina State Fair

For twelve days, October 12 - 23, 2022, over 400,000 visitors will enjoy the classic fair experience. Whether you enjoy wandering through the exhibit halls admiring blue-ribbon roses and prize-winning pigs, or you look forward to the many amusement rides on the midway, you'll find it at the South Carolina State Fair outside Columbia, SC

Feast on corn dogs, funnel cakes, and other fair favorites. Visit one of the stages for live music and other entertainment. The Circus section features incredible acts of acrobatics and daring. Stop by the barns with the kids for the petting zoo, the pig races, and horse shows. The Skyglider takes riders for a bird's eye view of the fair's rides. 

Generally, operating hours are from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., but the hours at the fair vary, so you'll need to check the schedule for the day you plan to visit. Rides operate until 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the day.

General admission ticket prices for 2021 were $15 online and at Circle K, but $20 at the door. Seniors (55 and older) paid $15. There's no charge for children 0-5 years old.

#2- South Carolina Festival of Flowers

If you're planning a visit to the Piedmont area in South Carolina, plan to visit the South Carolina Festival of Flowers. Avid gardeners from around the country attend this festival, now running for 54 years. While it's not the only flower festival in the country, it's grown in popularity due to its Juried Art Show, featuring local artists and photographers, and the live vegetation and flower show.

Bring the family! Kids can experience Cessna flights at the Aviation Expo or have an animal experience. The whole family will enjoy magical tours of living topiaries, a classic car show, and musical performances. The food and shopping are top-notch as well. This must-visit summer celebration takes place during the entire month of June, with the Main Weekend scheduled for June 9-11, 2022. 

The address information for the festival is 110 Phoenix St., Greenwood, South Carolina, 29646. Admission is free. 

#3- Gullah Festival

Set aside May 27-29 for the Gullah Festival 2022 at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort. Join over 70,000 visitors to experience the Gullah culture's achievements, language, customs, and history. The Gullah are African Americans descended from enslaved plantation workers whose isolation on the sea islands enabled them to preserve unique traditions and culture. Today Gullah peoples live on the Southeastern Coast of the U.S. 

Visitors to this special celebration have a chance to taste Gullah local foods, experience dances, check out arts and crafts, learn about the culture in Gullah presentations, and even explore the Black Inventions Museum. 

Admission is free, and all ages are welcome. There is a charge for some of the events. Keep an eye out for more information on the event schedule and ticket prices. The address for the park is 1010 Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina.

#4- Artisphere

Art enthusiasts looking for ways to boost their passion for creativity will appreciate Artisphere. Founded in 2003 as a fine arts festival, it has evolved into one of the signature South Carolina events. Art patrons and tourists come from all over the country to Greenville, SC, for the experience at Artists Demonstration Row, where over 100 talented visual artists display their creativity. You'll be amazed by the stunning pottery, glassblowing, printmaking, and metalworking. 

Don't forget the music! Artisphere brings in performers from all genres, including American folk music, opera, jazz, and ballet. Children can express their creativity at Kidsphere, where they can get hands-on to design a unique craft of their own. 

The three-day event takes place May 6-8, 2022, at 101B Augusta Street, Greenville, SC, 29601. Admission is free.

#5- Lake Murray 4th Of July Fireworks Show

Celebrate America's birthday with a boat parade, fireworks, and live music at the Lake Murray 4th of July Fireworks Show in Columbia, South Carolina. Why not make a day of it and bring your beach chairs and a picnic at Dreher Island State Park? 

The boat parade starts around noon and is viewable from park sites at the Lake Murray Dam. The fireworks show begins around 9 p.m. from Spence Island and Dreher Island. The 2021 show was choreographed to music broadcast on 97.5FM WCOS. Viewing the fireworks is technically free, but you may need to pay park site fees, depending on where you go. 

#6- Beaufort Water Festival

Experience one of the Lowcountry's favorite events — the Beaufort Water Festival — where over 100,000 visitors come every year in July. 

The festival debuted in 1956 to honor the bond between the Lowcountry and the sea. You'll experience various water-based events like raft races, shrimp boat tours, and ski shows. The festival includes craft shows, a Lowcountry supper, and an air show. Enjoy evening live music concerts, the beauty pageant, golf and tennis matches, sailboat races, and fishing contests. 

The main venue for the Beaufort Water Festival is Bay Street in Beaufort. Admission for 2021 was $10. Some events, like the Lowcountry supper, charge additional fees. Generally, the festival takes place around July 17-26.

#7- South Carolina Apple Festival

From the day after Labor Day through the following weekend, the South Carolina Apple Festival celebrates the start of the apple harvest season in Oconee County. It's the largest apple-producing area in the state. Every year thousands of visitors come to Westminster, South Carolina, to bask in the late summer weather and enjoy everything apple.

Fair rides are available to entertain the kids, and the adults can wander through vendor booths featuring crafts, clothing, and jewelry. The food is a star at this event, with trucks serving everything from BBQ to hot dogs to funnel cakes. And the apples! Visitors love the homemade fried apple pies, fresh cider, donuts, and fresh apples. The Apple Festival takes place on Historic Main Street in Westminster, South Carolina.

#8- Southern 500 At Darlington Raceway

Race fans gather on Labor Day Weekend to cheer on 40 of the best drivers in the world as they go head-to-head in a 500-mile race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington County, SC. Since 1950, drivers have kept fans on the edge of their seats in a race considered one of the most challenging races on the NASCAR circuit. The Southern 500, officially known as the CookOut Southern 500, is an exciting way to end the summer.

Ticket prices range from $50 - $109. Darlington Raceway offers paid tent and RV camping in both infield and outside of the track spaces.

#9- 54th Annual World Championship Chili Cook-Off

Keep an eye out for the Annual World Championship Chili Cook-Off to come back to Myrtle Beach in 2022. Last year's organizers enjoyed the sunny weather and the proximity to the ocean from the 2021 event, not to mention the great chili.

The 2021 cook-off featured a Family Fun Zone with activities for the kids, a beer garden with craft brews, and live music. Visitors watched as competitors participated in a hot pepper eating contest and enjoyed live music performances on the main stage. The People's Choice Chili Competition's main event draws teams from all over the US, Canada, England, Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

In 2021, the event took place September 17-19. Dates for 2022 are TBD. General admission is free. For $15, guests tasted from over 500 different chili recipes and voted for their favorite.

#10- Golfweek Amateur Tour National Championship

Weekend golfers who enjoy a round at the finest golf courses will have many memorable experiences at the Golfweek Amateur Tour National Championship. Competitive stroke play allows you to improve your game, while tournament conditions keep it as realistic as possible. All tournaments use USGA rules. No luck needed—just skill!

The full 2022 Columbia Tour schedule is currently in the works. The Southern Icebreaker, January 8-9, 2022, is on the schedule at Hilton Head, South Carolina. In Myrtle Beach, the Four-Ball Championship takes place February 26-27. 

The Golfweek Amateur Tour annual membership card costs between $80.00 and $120 per year, depending on your location. Tournament costs range from $65 to $250. 2022 Early Bird Membership fees are available for purchase starting November 26, 2021.

#11- Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show

The third weekend in October, South Carolina's oldest city and second-largest port hosts the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show. Visitors gather to enjoy wooden boat exhibits, model boat building, maritime arts and crafts, and of course, food and music.

A show favorite is the Corrugated Boat Regatta. Design a human-powered boat made entirely from cardboard and launched it on the Sampit River. The show also features several educational exhibits and activities. The 2021 exhibitors included the U.S. Coast Guard, Dan the Knot Man & The Spirit Knot Tyers, and the Lowcountry Maritime School.

Admission is free. Registration for the Corrugated Boat Regatta was $20 per boat.

#12- South Carolina Pecan Festival

The first weekend in November, Downtown Florence is the place to be for the South Carolina Pecan Music & Food Festival. This one-day festival has been highlighted in Travel + Leisure Magazine. Don't miss the Pecan Cook-off, where chefs whip up an array of pecan-filled delicacies. The Pecan Cook-off was canceled for the 2021 event but hopefully will be back for 2022. The festival also has a Run like a Nut 5k, 10k, and Half-marathon road race.

For the kiddos, there's a free Kid's Fun Zone. Adults can unwind in the Pecan Pub with local and specialty-made craft brews. All ages will enjoy the classic car show and eight stages where various musicians, dancers, and entertainment acts perform throughout the day.

As the event organizers say, "You're not nuts! Admission is free!"

#13- Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals

If you're looking for a unique holiday event in SC, don't miss the Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The focal point of the event is the 100,800 sq ft Victorian Holiday Market! Experience several Victorian-period events, such as The Festival of Trees and The Festival of Wreaths. Visitors have a chance to purchase the decor pieces by silent auction during the show.

Children will never forget meeting Santa in his Victorian castle. Another unique option is to attend a Christmas Tea with Mr. Dickens. Purchase tickets at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center ticket booth near the entrance to the show floor. Ticket prices start at $11 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets for the Victorian Tea start at $32 for adults and $23 for children.

A Sampling of 2022 South Carolina Events

With so many things to do in South Carolina during 2022, the hardest may be picking your favorites. Check-in throughout the year with event sponsors for updates on ticket prices and dates. 

We hope you've enjoyed discovering some of the unique events our state has to offer. Visit the EZ Home Search blog for more information on these exciting events and more things to do in South Carolina.

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