Though steeped in Southern-ness, South Carolina reflects a mosaic of cultures. This diversity is celebrated annually at festivals across the state. Not only are they educational and entertaining, but they are delicious, too. Here is a sampling of annual events where you can experience global flavors without leaving the country:
Shepherd's pie, corned beef, cabbage - everyone gets lucky at an Irish festival. Add a mug of Irish beer for a little extra good fortune.
Fun features: Four performance stages and after-fest jam sessions
Fun features: Leprechaun parade and highland games
Fun features: Leprechaun scavenger hunt and a bar hop
Fun features: Leprechaun competition and shepherd's pie eating contest
There's nothing like the aroma of sausages on the grill to put you in the mood for a fair or festival. When you're noshing at an Italian festival, however, it's just the tip of the cannoli. Pasta, pizza, eggplant Parmesan, zeppoli, gelato and more make these celebrations of Italian culture "musts" on your festival to-do list.
Fun features: Roll up your pants for the grape stomp and sample Italian wines
Fun features: Cannoli 5K run and Italian idol contest
Fun features: Pasta and pizza eating contests and an Italian-themed gift boutique
Fun features: Bocce court and preparation of the "World's Largest Meatball"
Bavarian white sausages, knackwurst, bratwurst, spaetzel and more - it's just a sampling of some of the German goodies you'll find at these lively Oktoberfests. Do a polka and roll out the beer barrel!
Fun features: Oompah bands and a chicken dance competition
Fun features: 10K Pretzel Run and a Christmas market
Fun features: Kiddie carnival and fireworks
Fun features: Wiener dog race and strolling accordionists
Greek communities across South Carolina take a lot of pride in their culture, as evidenced by the many Greek festivals happening each year. Here are just a few where you can indulge in dolmades, spanakopita, moussaka, gyros, baklava and so much more:
Fun features: Church tours and wine tastings
Fun features: Greek dancing and a drive-thru for carryout meals
Fun features: Live Greek battle re-enactments and Greek grocery store
Fun features: Greek marketplace and concert of traditional hymns
Check out these festivals where the cuisine and heritage go hand-in-hand:
Foods include corned beef, chopped liver, bagels, knishes, rolled cabbage and homemade sweets.
Fun features: Live music and tours of the Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, the second oldest synagogue in the U.S.
Foods include bul-go-gi, udon, kimchi, fish cakes, bibimbob, roasted rice and dumplings.
Fun features: Korean fan dances and martial arts demonstrations
Foods include arepas, cuajito, pork and chicken pinchos and tostones.
Fun features: Salsa, merengue, reggaeton and grupero - be ready to dance, dance, dance!
Foods: At ticketed events, dine on West African-inspired Gullah dishes such as okra soup, conch stew, seasoned shrimp, stewed oysters, shrimp and gravy, fresh fried fish, grits and biscuits.
Fun features: Gullah gospel choirs and art exhibit and sale