Cast off your winter woes because spring has finally arrived in South Carolina. April offers many ways to get outdoors and celebrate the return of the Palmetto State's warmer weather. Choose from a number of popular, longtime festivals and events that will take place throughout the state and enjoy the frenzy of food and fun coming up this month.
Hub City Hog Fest, Spartanburg
If you have yet to see the newly renovated downtown Spartanburg, head over for the annual barbecue competition, Hub City Hog Fest. More than 30 teams will compete in various categories, local vendors will provide even more food and drink and live entertainment will be provided. Friday night will kick off with a wing competition, and Saturday will include a Boston butt, ribs and side brisket competition. Both days will also feature a number of band performances, including Acoustic Syndicate and Big Daddy Love, and there will be plenty of barbecue available for consumption. Proceeds from the event will benefit Mobile Meals. Stop by Spartanburg for food, drink and fun at this spring's barbecue fest.
World Grits Festival, St. George
Grits are a Southern food staple, and St. George can't get enough of them. The town takes pride in its love of grits and the quantity its residents have consumed historically - more grits per capita than any other place in the world! The festival offers food and fun for those who attend and allows the St. George community to prosper through improvements made possible from the proceeds. There will be three days of grit meals, food vendors, arts and crafts, live music, contests, and a carnival. Saturday also offers a 5k race and a kid's fun run, line dancers, and a parade. Contests featured on Saturday include "Rolling in the Grits" and a grits-eating contest, while contests on Sunday include another "Rolling in the Grits" contest, as well as a wheelbarrow race, a basketball toss, and a corn toss contest. This is sure to be a memorable, grit-filled weekend. More information can be found online.
Hootie and the Blowfish Monday After the Masters, Myrtle Beach
The Masters golf tournament ends on Sunday, but avid sport fans can continue their golf fix by attending Monday after the Masters at Myrtle Beach. The annual event has raised millions of dollars for child educational programs and the state's junior golf program. Plus, it includes a performance by Hootie and the Blowfish, as well as other professional and celebrity appearances. VIPs receive access to exclusive parties and events and enjoy a close-up view of some of their favorite celebrities teamed up with long-time golf favorites on the course. The event is attended by more than 6,500 people and is considered to be one of the top Celebrity Pro-Ams in the country.
Monday is packed with a number of fun, fan-friendly events, including a celebrity long drive contest, an awards party and reception, Hootie and the Blowfish's live performance and for the first time ever, a Hootie Ball Drop. Those who buy balls for the helicopter drop have a chance to win great prizes, such as the grand prize package, which includes two VIP tickets for next year's event. This is a true South Carolina experience for participants and spectators alike. More event information can be found online, and celebrity and professional appearances are listed on the event's Facebook page.
Myrtle Beach International Film Festival
Myrtle Beach is hosting its 12th annual International Film Festival, which will be three days packed with film watching and related discussions. The festival serves as an opportunity for new and experienced filmmakers alike, many of whom will be in attendance for the showings and available for question and answer sessions after the films. This year's award categories are shorts, animation, feature project, documentary, music video and "anything goes." With food events between screenings, filmmaker and actor panels and films from around the globe, the festival is sure to appeal to all audiences and broaden your horizons. Details can be found on the festival website.
Come See Me Festival, Rock Hill
Rock Hill's annual Come See Me Festival gathers together more than 100,000 participants every spring and offers almost 80 different events and activities over the 10-day span. This spring celebration has been a town tradition since 1962 and has gone through tremendous growth since its beginning, receiving numerous awards, including "Event of the Year" from the SC Festival & Event Association. The action kicks off with a parade on Thursday, April 20, and ends with a tailgate party, live entertainment and fireworks on Saturday, April 29, with a large lineup of events in between. Highlights include the annual Beach Bash featuring a 12-piece party band on April 21, a race at Winthrop and a cornhole tournament with cash prizes on April 22, a performance showcase called Broadway Night on April 27 and a barbecue cook-off on April 28. These events, as well as various brunch opportunities, home tours and more make this week the perfect opportunity to explore all that Rock Hill has to offer.
Artfields, Lake City
Artfields began in 2013, with a goal to honor and recognize the artists of the Southeast with a week's worth of celebration and competition in the heart of a quintessential small South Carolina town: Lake City. The competition and exhibition offers $145,000 in cash prizes and the winners of two People's Choice awards are determined by the votes of people visiting Artfields. A panel of professional artists selects all of the other awards, including the $50,000 Grand Prize and the $25,000 Second Place award. This year's event will be held April 19-29, so come out and experience the Lake City Artfields Collective and one of the top celebrations of art in the Southeast.
Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival, Mount Pleasant
Spend the last day of the month visiting Mount Pleasant for the Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival. The community has used this festival since it first began in 1988 to celebrate the local shrimping and fishing industry, which has helped Mount Pleasant thrive over the years. The festival offers plenty of family-friendly, free activities, and proceeds from the event will be given to local nonprofit organizations. The event will begin with an opening band performance in the late morning. Those attending can witness the blessing procession, watch the boat parade and see the ceremonial blessing of the fleet. The rest of the afternoon will be full of music, local food and, for those who participate in the shag or shrimp-eating contests, a little friendly competition. View the art exhibition, buy unique crafts, taste savory seafood samples, participate in numerous activities and enjoy all of the action at Memorial Waterfront Park. Go online for more details about the day.