Spring and Summer Festivals in the Upstate

Upstate South Carolina has a festival for nearly every interest! If it's food you're looking for, there's barbecue, chili, or catfish. Interested in cultural heritage? There are festivals celebrating Greek, Scottish, and French heritage, as well as a Renaissance festival. And then there are flowers, peaches, hot air balloons, fine art, and bluegrass-not to mention carnival rides and funnel cake!

April 6-7: Twice named the Best Festival in South Carolina in a community of less than 3,000, the Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee has become an Upstate rite of spring, now in its 36th year. Entertainment features a wide variety of music from Celtic to beach music to folk/Americana, and the quality of the art is not to be missed. Village Green in Historic Pendleton.

More hometown festivals:

April 13: Sponsored by Marvin's Produce, the 4th annual South Carolina Chili Cook-off showcases award-winning chili as well as a spring market and artisan fair, arts festival, kids' zone, and more. Proceeds benefit Belton Interfaith Ministry Association, Belton Area Museum Association, and Belton Center for the Arts. Town Square, Belton, SC

April 19-21: The Abbeville French Heritage Festival takes you on an informative journey into Abbeville County's past with tours of homes, churches, gardens, and cemeteries. Abbeville Town Square.

April 20: Celebrate Earth Day with great music, earth-friendly foods, sustainability-related student initiatives and community organizations at the Furman Earth Day Festival. Furman University, Greenville.

April 30-May 10: Is there anything more American than the county fair? The rides, the food, the exhibits, the animals, the concerts-there is truly something for everyone in the family at the Great Anderson County Fair. Free admission on opening day with a donation of nonperishable food item for Anderson Interfaith Ministries, and all concerts are free with paid admission! Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center, Anderson.

May 2-4: Abbeville Spring Festival, North Main Street, Abbeville

May 3-4: Village Hospital Greer Family Fest wants to be the Upstate's favorite family festival, and with lots of live music, a kids' zone, food court, and more than 150 vendors, there is plenty of fun to be had for everyone, even if you don't want to play favorites! Greer City Park.

May 10: Billed as "the largest cruise-in in the Upstate," Blue Ridge Fest has donated over $1.4 million to local charities since 1998. Classic cars, beach music, and plenty of family fun in downtown Pickens.

May 10-12: Ranked as the 7th best fine arts festival in the country, Artisphere showcases the work of some of the highest-caliber artists in the country representing a variety of media, including ceramics, photography, glass, jewelry, metalworks, printmaking, graphics, drawing, pastel, painting, mixed media, sculpture, woodwork, fiber, and furniture. And Kidsphere activities will bring out the artist in your children, too!

May 16-19: For four fun-filled days, Greenville becomes "Greekville" as the magic of Greece comes to town for the Greek Festival Enjoy traditional music and folk dancing, delicious Greek dishes, and unique imported items from Greece. St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Greenville.

May 23-25: The Catfish Feastival is more than just catfish (there's fried and barbecued chicken, too)! Town Square, Ware Shoals.

May 23-25: Celebrate all that makes Scotland Scottish at the Gallabrae Highland Games. It's a lot more than haggis and kilts! Furman University, Greenville.

May 23-25: The annual Plum Hollow Festival showcases more kind of bluegrass music than you knew existed! Camping is available. Plum Hollow Farm, Campobello.

May 24-27: Formerly known as Freedom Weekend Aloft, the Simpsonville Balloon Festival now features a zipline, helicopter rides, model airplane races, stand-up paddle boarding, craft beer, wine tastings, and upgraded entertainment in addition to the long-standing Memorial Day spectacle of hot air balloons that have become an Upstate tradition. Heritage Park, Simpsonville.

May 31-June1: Travel through time to the days of wandering minstrels, jousting, jugglers, jesters, and more! The Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Faire is the only renaissance fair in South Carolina. Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Greenville.

June 1-30: If you've been looking for a reason to visit Greenwood, the whimsical, meticulously detailed topiary display at the South Carolina Festival of Flowers is reason enough! And in addition to the signature display, there is a horse show, bike ride, farm-to-fork dinner, and more. Uptown Greenwood.

And there are more flowers at the Piedmont Plant and Flower Festival, May 2-5, at the Greenville State Farmers Market, Rutherfurd Road, Greenville.

June 28-29: You would be hard-pressed to find a more historic site in South Carolina to celebrate Independence Day than the Festival of Stars in Ninety Six, with a parade, vendors, and fireworks. 96 Town Park, Ninety Six.

July 11-13: Festival of Discovery: BBQ, blues, and fun! Main Street, Greenwood

July 11-13, 19-20: The South Carolina Peach Festival is more than a celebration of one of South Carolina's most delicious exports-it also features a BBQ competition, a pageant, a 5K/10K/kids' run road race, and a monster truck competition. Come for the peaches, and stay for the festival attractions! (The second weekend dates are for the pageant and monster truck rally, respectively.)

August 23-24: Williamston Spring Water Festival, Williamston

 For a complete list of Upstate Festivals, click here!

Photo credit: Sharon Purvis.

Photo credit: Brian Erkens, Reel Video and Stills.

Sharon Purvis is a freelance writer and editor who has had a career in publishing and communications. Passionate about literacy, community, and the environment, Sharon is excited to use her writing to tell the stories of Upstate South Carolina.