From the humble roots of harvest celebrations, county fairs and farmers markets, food festivals evolved into events designed to educate, entertain and even raise funds for local causes. These days, you can take your pick from small-town gatherings to multiday, ticketed extravaganzas. If you've got an appetite for food festivals, every season is a time to celebrate the bounty of South Carolina.
April and May mark strawberry season in South Carolina and it's a time of excitement, as evidenced by the many festivals centered around the luscious berry. Sample strawberry goods of all kinds, purchase berries or perhaps pick your own at these and other events across the state:
Lowcountry Strawberry Festival (April)
McLeod Farms Strawberry Festival (May)
South Carolina is the No. 2 producer of peaches in the US, so observances during the harvest season are in full swing during June and July. Here are a few where you can delight in some of the sweetest, juiciest peaches you'll ever savor:
McLeod Farms Peach Festival (June)
Ridge Peach Festival (June)
Peach Blossom Festival (May)
Any time of year, you'll spot roadside markets offering bushels of sweet potatoes - a favorite in these parts for making pies, fries or just enjoying on their own. Sample and celebrate this earthy, orangey tater in all its glory at these fests:
Sweet Potato Festival (October)
South Carolinians call this the "smile fruit" for good reason: It's hard not to be happy when you're eating a cold, sweet wedge on a hot Southern day. Get your smile on at these two festivals:
Apple orchards can be found throughout the Upstate of South Carolina.