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In TR, the Arts Are a Community Affair

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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With its picturesque setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Travelers Rest offers the perfect venue to enjoy the arts outdoors—from movies in the park to a summer concert series to downtown art festivals.

Many of the town’s most popular events are held at Trailblazer Park, a beautiful urban green space that serves as the home of the seasonal Travelers Rest Farmers Market.

On Saturday evenings in May, June and September, Trailblazer Park hosts the free Music in the Park Concert Series featuring local and touring bands performing classic rock, rockabilly, country, rhythm & blues and retro 80s music. In August its Movies in the Park. This family-friendly event begins at dusk and features food trucks and ice cream vendors.

Thursdays in October, Travelers Rest celebrates small-town living with its Fall Bluegrass & Harvest Market at Trailblazer Park. The community event includes Farmers Market vendors, food trucks, family-style dining and live bluegrass bands performing in the amphitheater.

A number of annual festivals also are held in the city’s vibrant downtown, including Artoberfest, a celebration of local artists and the products they create. The all-day Art on the Trail, also held in October, is an immersive art experience set along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The event lineup includes visual and performing arts demonstrations, lectures, live music, an art market and hands-on art activities.

The Town and Art Crawl is another popular downtown festival taking place along Main Street one Friday night a month in the spring and fall. Each event showcases a different part of the area’s lifestyle, people, food or arts culture, and includes everything from surrealism, improv art and upcycled art to shag dancing, a glow parade and barbecue and ice cream competitions.

If you’re looking to buy artwork or crafts made by local artisans, you have several great options, including White Rabbit Fine Art Gallery, Wild Hare Gallery and TR Makers Co. All three offer a wide range of artwork, from handwoven baskets, glass mosaics and jewelry to watercolors, pottery and handprinted T-shirts, along with art and craft classes.

The Travelers Rest Artists Alliance also offers classes and workshops, along with art exhibits at the White Rabbit Fine Art Gallery and events like Art on the Trail.

And if you’re traveling with kids—or not—you’ll want to stop by TRee House Cafe & Studio. This funky hot spot serves paninis, wraps, soups and Leopard Forest Coffee with a side of the visual arts. Relax with a latte and coloring book while your kids get creative in the craft section. Painting on canvas or a birdhouse are also options at this community art hub.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.