Celebrating the Peach

Georgia may call itself the peach state, but the fact is that South Carolina is second only to California in peach production. With about 18,000 acres of peach orchards in the state, in an average year, over 200 million pounds of peaches are harvested. This year, when the peach crop was threatened by a late spring freeze, there is extra reason to celebrate our juicy state fruit at the South Carolina Peach Festival.

Peaches are in season from May through August, so the traditional July festival date was chosen to fall right in the middle of the peak season.

Although the delicious fruit is the guest of honor at the party, there are plenty of non-peach-related activities at the Peach Festival—including a BBQ competition, a pageant, a 5K/10K/kids’ run road race, a monster truck competition, and much more. No matter what the event, though, peach growers are incorporated into it, so festival-goers will never be without a chance to have a peach.

This festival is so big, it can’t be contained in a 2 1/2 day weekend like most of them—it starts on Friday, July 7 with a kick-off at 5:30 p.m. at Gaffney City Hall, followed immediately by a peach-themed dessert contest. Starting at 5:30, there will be music from Off the Wall and Tom Crabtree.

Saturday’s events start with a 5K, 10K, and fun run, and at 11:00, the popular dog show, started in 2012, will let you show off your pooch’s fashion sense, watch trick dog demonstrations, and even get your pet spayed or neutered.

The annual pageant takes place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, and for a different kind of entertainment entirely, a truck and tractor pull at Lake Whelchel starts at 7:00 p.m.

And on Sunday evening, the Peach Festival Praise and Worship service starts at 6:00 p.m. in the Gaffney High School auditorium, led by local church musicians. 

The events of the following weekend start on Thursday, the 13th, with a new talent night at 7:00 p.m. in Fullerton Auditorium, and on Friday evening, festival goers can enjoy crafts, a carnival, and more live music. Even more festivities are in store for Saturday, starting with the parade at 10:00 a.m., a car show, BBQ cookoff, arts and crafts, wrestling, and even more live music.

There is truly something for everyone at the Peach Festival—for a full schedule of events, click here.

If you didn’t get enough peaches at the festival, don’t worry—you can still enjoy them all summer long. There’s no shortage of roadside stands, and you can go pick your own at Fisher’s Orchard or Chattooga Belle Farm. If you’re buying them in the store, don’t forget to look for certified South Carolina grown peaches!

Photo Credit: Peach Festival & Fisher’s Orchard

Sharon Purvis is a freelance writer and editor who makes her home with her husband in Duncan, South Carolina. You can find more of her work at SharonPurvisWrites.com.