It's Spring: Time for Festivals!

*Note: This article is from 2014. Please check out our Upstate Events and Festivals page for up-to-date information about festivals happening this year!*


Buds are popping out on trees, the forsythia is blooming, frogs are peeping, and it seems winter is, at last, behind us—which means it’s time to think about the spring and summer festivals in the Upstate.

There are the big festivals that the Upstate is known for, like Artisphere in Greenville, Aloft (formerly Freedom Weekend Aloft) in Simpsonville, and the Peach Festival in Gaffney--all with lots of new things to offer festival-goers this year.

But it’s also a good excuse to visit small towns you may not be familiar with and explore what they have to offer—Abbeville, Woodruff, Fountain Inn, Blacksburg, Pendleton, and Central all have festivals.

Whether you’re looking for music, great barbecue, storytelling, or cultural heritage celebration, this season of festivals brings plenty of opportunity to celebrate what the Upstate has to offer.

March 9: Return to the Green: Irish Cultural Festival
Fluor Field, Greenville, 1:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Irish music, dance, and more. 

March 15: St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration
downtown Anderson, 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

March 15: 2nd Annual BellFest
Devils Fork State Park, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Celebrate nature, and in particular the flower of the rare and beautiful Oconee Bell.

March 22: Reidville Days Spring Festival
Reidville Fire Department, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
All proceeds benefit the Greenville Shriners Hospital.

March 28-29: Hub City Hog Fest
Downtown Spartanburg Grain District, 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Tuck in your napkin and get ready for some barbecue!

March 29: City of Greer International Festival: Greer Goes Global
Greer City Park, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
International food, sports demonstrations, cultural education, entertainment and more

March 29: Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival
Barnett Park, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Nothing says spring like kites!

March 30: International Festival at Clemson University
Bowman Field, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Food, dance, music, and more.

April 5-6: 37th Annual Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee
Village Green,  Pendleton, Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Multi-year winner of Top Twenty Events in the Southeast and twice named Best Festival in South Carolina.

April 6: Shalom Fest ’14
Temple of Israel Campus, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The only Jewish festival in the Upstate.

April 10-12: Albino Skunk Music Festival
Greer—get directions here.
Live music, camping, beer, food, and crafts.

April 13-19: 3rd Annual Greater Clemson Blues Festival
Seven days of blues—times and locations here.

April 18-19: Pickens Azalea Festival/Classic Car Cruise-in
Friday, 7:00 p.m., Classic Car Cruise-in
Main Street Pickens, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Celebrating 30 years.

April 19: Iron City Festival
West Cherokee Street, Blacksburg, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

April 25-26: Stone Soup Storytelling Festival
The official storytelling festival of South Carolina

April 26: Central Railroad Festival
downtown Central, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Features tours of the Central Railway Museum

April 26: International Festival
downtown Fountain Inn, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Created to celebrate and bring awareness to cultural diversity due to local industry.

April 29-May 4 Great Anderson County Fair
Anderson Sports & Entertainment Center
Tuesday - Thursday 4:00 - 11:00 p.m., Friday 4:00 - midnight, Saturday 10:00 - midnight, Sunday 12:30 - 10:00 p.m.

May 1-3 Abbeville’s Spring Festival
Thursday 5:30 - 10:30 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

May 2-4: Spartanburg Spring Fling
Friday, 5:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 - 7:00 p.m.

May 5-11: Artisphere
Downtown Greenville
Friday 10:00 a.m. - noon, Saturday 10:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Greenville's festival dedicated to the arts.

May 23-24: Gallabrae/Greenville Scottish Games
Furman University
Friday: Parade, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
You don't have to be a member of a Scottish clan to enjoy the games.

May 23-26: Aloft
downtown Simpsonville
Formerly Freedom Weekend Aloft, the hot air balloon festival is a visual spectacle, but it's not just balloons.

June:  Festival of Flowers
Uptown Greenwood
A variety of events throughout the month, with the topiary displays as the centerpiece. See full schedule for times and places.

July 17-19, 25-26: South Carolina Peach Festival
downtown Gaffney
Celebrating the peach and so much more

For a complete list of festivals around the Upstate, click here.

Sharon Purvis is a freelance writer and editor who makes her home with her husband in Duncan, South Carolina.