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Music Takes Center Stage in Greer

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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Like most thriving small towns, Greer offers an appealing mix of local arts offerings that includes juried art exhibitions, children’s theater, summertime movie nights, craft workshops and a history museum.

But when it comes to the arts, music is the marquee attraction. Each summer, the city hosts Tunes in the Park, a Friday night concert series presented in the amphitheater at Greer City Park. In addition to a headliner band, the evening event includes Greer Idol and Greer Idol Jr. competitions, showcasing singing talent from the community.

Greer also is home to The Spinning Jenny, a downtown music hall offering year-round events, including jam sessions, dance nights and a wide assortment of live entertainment from tribute bands to one-man theatrical performances.

If you’re into the classics, catch one of the half-dozen concerts presented each year by Foothills Philharmonic, a volunteer orchestra made up of accomplished non-professional musicians from the Upstate. The ensemble’s season includes masterworks, chamber music and pop concerts, plus a Christmas show.

By far the biggest music event in Greer is SkunkFest, a biannual concert series drawing fans from all over the Southeast. The weekend lineup of bands and performers includes Americana, alt-country, folk, roots and bluegrass.

The setting for the family-friendly festival is Skunk Farm, where attendees can camp in tents or RVs, allowing them to enjoy three days of performances without leaving the concert grounds. What began as a private gathering of bluegrass music enthusiasts has grown into two popular outdoor weekend events open to the public.

SpringSkunk Music Fest takes place the second weekend of April; Albino Skunk Music Festival is held the first weekend of October. Along with acoustic performances, the festivals feature local food vendors, craft beer, handmade crafts and children’s activities.

In 2019, the city opened the Center for the Arts in a historic building, providing studios for artists in residence, classrooms for arts instruction and a performing arts theater. It serves as home to the Greer Cultural Arts Council, which offers classes in a variety of artistic disciplines, visual art shows as well as performances by Greer Children’s Theatre.

You can also view the work of local artists in the gallery space on the second floor of Greer City Hall. As you travel around town, you’re sure to run into some of the city’s commissioned public art “Tube Dudes,” whimsical sculptures made of aluminum tubing. 

Greer also hosts “Moonlight Movies” every Thursday night in June and July in the Greer City Park amphitheater along with a number of festivals throughout the year.

For history buffs, there’s the Greer Heritage Museum, housed in the former Greer Post Office at 106 Main St. The building itself holds historic significance as it was constructed in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the New Deal era.

As part of the WPA Federal Art Project, artist Winfred Walkley was commissioned to paint a mural in the building’s lobby. The painting, titled “Cotton and Peach Growing,” was hidden by paneling in 1968 when the building was converted into city hall. It was uncovered in 2008 during the museum renovation.

Inside the museum, you’ll find interactive displays and cool exhibits, including the service window of the original post office, which was located beside the railroad tracks on Trade Street across from the Piedmont and Northern depot.

Even if you’re not a serious follower of the arts, you’ll enjoy the sampling of music, visual arts, theater and history this small town has to offer.

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.