If you travel just about any back road around Florence, you’ll find yourself looking out over great expanses of fields growing tobacco, cotton, strawberries, and other crops that might just be planted for biofuel. The area has a strong history in agriculture, with one of our greatest assets being sunshine. It’s pretty easy to plan for at least three growing seasons in Florence – collards and turnips in the winter, corn and soybeans in the spring and early summer, and cotton in the fall, often in the same fields, used for multiple purposes.
We really celebrate our agricultural heritage – with events on farm sites and with festivals that tell the agricultural chronicles. The SC Pecan Festival in Florence comes from our once having the largest and most modern pecan shelling operation in the world. The facility moved, but the retail operation remains in Florence – Young Plantations has a great outlet store that offers samples of all their flavored pecans, along with many more South Carolina-made products.
In Lake City, the SC Tobacco Festivals celebrates the agricultural aspects of tobacco and the impact the crop had on the local economy. Lake City once had some of the largest tobacco auction warehouses in the state.
Also in Lake City is a festival that took roots in 2013. ArtFields celebrates two aspects that are the foundation of the Lake City community: art and agriculture. Each spring, downtown Lake City holds an artfest with the largest competition prize in the Southeast: winners share in $120,000 in prizes. Along with the activities in the downtown, Moore Farms Botanical Garden hosts educational workshops and tours that highlight artwork placed throughout the garden.