FLORENCE, S.C. -- The annual South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is adding two more counties to its route making this year’s event the largest ever!
Now in its sixth year, this free self-guided farm and art tour is a great way to educate people about where their food and fiber comes from, as well as introduce them to local artisans, says Ben Boyles, Clemson Extension Agribusiness Agent and Tour Administrator.
“We are proud of how this tour has continued to grow,” Boyles said. “One of the goals of this tour has been to give people a better knowledge of what is produced in their own backyard. This event puts food and product with a face.”
This year the tour will include farms, farmers markets, and artisans in Chester, Chesterfield, Darlington, Fairfield, Florence, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Newberry, Union and York counties with different counties participating each weekend in June (Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The 2017 schedule is below:
- June 3–4: Chesterfield County, Darlington County, Florence County, Horry County
- June 10–11: Chester County, York County
- June 17–18: Kershaw County, Lancaster County
- June 24–25: Fairfield County, Newberry County, Union County
The tour began in York County in 2012 and has grown each year. Boyles said growth of and interest in the Ag + Art Tour has been phenomenal. “With the addition of two new counties this year, visitors will have the opportunity to visit over 80 agricultural sites and interact with more than 130 artisans,” Boyles said.
Tour stops include farms and farmers markets with art featured at each location. Artisans on the tour range from weavers, painters, musicians, storytellers, metalworkers and craftsmen, to poets and live musical performances. Some of the farms will offer value-added products, such as jarred and canned foods, honey, baked goods or even farm-fresh meals. There is no fee to attend and visitors can start and stop their tour at any location they choose.
In Florence County, participating farms include Pee Dee State Farmers Market, City Center Farmers Market, Green Acres Country Market, and The Columns. Artisans range from painters to quilters to soap makers.
In addition to the tour, some counties will host kickoff events to introduce the featured farm sites and artisans to their communities. Kickoff events include a range of activities, such as farm-to-table dinners, barbecue and blues events, and special activities at local farmers markets. More information about these events and the tour can be found online at www.agandarttour.com.
About the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour
The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free self-guided tour of farms and farmers markets featuring artisans at every stop occurring every weekend in June. The first Ag + Art Tour was held in 2012 in York County as a way to blend agriculture and art. The tour expanded to include Lancaster County (2013), Chester and Fairfield counties (2014), Union County (2015), Chesterfield, Darlington, Horry and Kershaw counties (2016), and Florence and Newberry counties (2017) making the tour the largest free farm and art tour in the nation.
The tour is coordinated by leadership and county-level planning teams that are led by Clemson University Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the Olde English District Tourism Commission and the Catawba Farm and Food Coalition. Partner organizations include economic development, chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, farm and artisan organizations, arts councils and community volunteers.