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Festivals and family events in South Carolina

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Have a ball in South Carolina!

There’s no shortage of festivals and family events in South Carolina. This great state keeps things hopping all year long with events you’ll love. Here are our top picks -- be sure to check them out!


Freedom Weekend Aloft

Location: Heritage Park, 861 SE Main St., Simpsonville, SC 29681
Phone: 864-228-0025
Rates: $8-$12 per day
Website: http://www.freedomweekend.org

This four-day weekend in May is packed with activities, with the most popular events involving the hot air balloons. They also have concerts by big-name musicians, sky divers, a dog frisbee contest, amusement rides, games and kids' activities. Arrive in the lot between noon and 1:40 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to get in free.

Bike Week

Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Phone: 336-643-1367
Rates: Vary
Website: http://www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com

Every year in May, 300,000 bikers from across the country gather together in Myrtle Beach for Bike Week. There are motorcycles races, parties, concerts and more. If you have a bike, take it. If you don't, you should still go, because it's quite a sight to see.

Beaufort Water Festival

Location: 1014 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Phone: 843-524-0600
Rates: Vary
Website: http://bftwaterfestival.com

This event is a week full of water, air and land sporting events. There's a family fishing tournament, kayak races, ski shows, boat tours and much more. There are also several evening concerts throughout the event. Strollers aren't allowed at the concerts, so leave the little ones at home or bring a carrier that you can handle all evening.

South Carolina State Fair

Location: 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: 803-799-3387
Rates: $1-$10, rides extra
Website: http://scstatefair.org/fair/index.php

The South Carolina State Fair is 10 days long and takes place in October, near the very end of fair season. This time of year is excellent fair weather, since it's not too hot, and usually not too cold either. Like most fairs, the food is great and the exhibits are fun to browse through. The real gem at this fair is the grandstand entertainment, so catch as much of it as you can.

Chitlin' Strut

Location: 161 Railroad Ave. N., Salley, SC 29137
Phone: 803-258-3485
Rates: Free admission, charge for food and some activities

The Friday after Thanksgiving you shop 'til you drop, so Saturday is your day to rest, right? Not if you're anywhere near Salley, South Carolina. That's the day this tiny town holds their annual Chitlin' Strut. Chitlins are chicken intestines, and, though unusual, they're traditional Southern food. There's a parade, hog calling, a strutting contest, arts and crafts, carnival rides, a beauty pageant and more. And don't worry, if you're not brave enough to try the chitlins, there's lots more food to choose from.

Columbia's Greek Festival

Location: Corner of Sumter and Calhoun Streets, Columbia, South Carolina
Phone: 803-461-0248
Rates: Free admission, charge for food and some activities
Website: http://www.columbiasgreekfestival.com

Be Greek for a week at Columbia's annual Greek festival. Listen to Greek music and watch Greek dancing as you learn a little (or a lot!) about the Greek culture. The food is all authentic and delicious. Instead of choosing from several food vendors like at many festivals, you choose from one enormous menu of Greek fare. There's also an art show, and the live entertainment never stops.

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