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In Greenwood, the Arts are a Central Part of Life

Perry Baker Perry Baker
Perry is a former photojournalist who now serves as the Interactive Manager for DiscoverSouthCarolina.com.
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Greenwood is known for its love of history and celebrating the natural beauty surrounding it. A great time to visit this Midlands town is during the annual SC Festival of Flowers, recognized as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast. Every June, beautiful and creative live topiaries pop up all around town to herald the festival.

The festivities include more than 20 events for the family as well as the avid gardener. The Signature Safari Topiary, displayed throughout Uptown Greenwood, includes some 40-plus live topiaries trimmed in the shape of safari animals and college mascots or representing local businesses such as Fujifilm Manufacturing. The festival also includes a photography competition for professionals and amateurs. Crafters and artists also are on hand to display and sell their work.

If you can’t make the Festival of Flowers, come to town for the SC Festival of Discovery, featuring some of the best barbecue teams in the country competing for top honors.

Held during the second week in July, the festival's main event is the barbecue competition, a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event featuring a hash cook-off and cooking contest focusing on the rich tradition of Carolina Barbecue.

But this festival offers much more, including the Blues Cruise that takes music lovers to numerous Uptown venues to experience live music performed by blues artists from all over the Southeast. And the music is free for all to enjoy!

Other must-see arts and historic attractions in Greenwood include:

The Emerald Triangle Arts District
This area includes The Museum and Railroad Center and The Arts Center of Greenwood.

The Museum
Located on Main Street, it offers a variety of exhibits representing a turn-of-the-century main street with artifacts of Greenwood’s cultural and natural history, technology and the arts. On the lower level, you'll find machinery key to the development of the town, including buggies used before the automobile was introduced in the area. Stop by the Greenwood Railroad Historical Center to view a fascinating collection of static engines and cars.

The Arts Center of Greenwood
Greenwood’s 100-year-old Federal Building now serves as a community arts center. The Countybank Gallery within the center hosts local and regional art exhibits.

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historic Preservation Site
Open to the public, this site shares the story of the legendary president of Morehouse College, advisor to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Carter. Mays also was a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and has been referred to as the founder of the Civil Rights Movement. The site showcases Dr. Mays’ birth home and original one-room African-American 1800’s schoolhouse. There is also a museum featuring an extraordinary collection of photographs of Dr. Mays’ life from the 1920s to the 1980s as well as a collection of books and articles.

Perry Baker
Perry is a former photojournalist who now serves as the Interactive Manager for DiscoverSouthCarolina.com.