If you love flowers, you’ll be especially pleased to know that “Your Summer Fun Starts Here” is on the 56th…th The South Carolina Festival of Flowers takes place on the first weekend in June in Greenwood, South Carolina.
This unique and wonderful event features thousands of colorful blooms in hundreds of fully landscaped flower beds and gardens across the city. Amidst the vibrant snapdragons, daffodils, daisies, hydrangeas, flowers and other summer flowers and plants, visitors will discover the real stars of the festival: dozens of beautiful living topiaries.
Greenwood is located in the northwest region of Piedmont, less than 1.5 hours from the cities of Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina. just over 2 hours from Charlotte, North Carolina; and less than 3 hours from Atlanta.
The humble beginnings of the SC Festival of Flowers
Tired of the cold Pennsylvania winters, the George W. Park Seed Company moved south to Greenwood. The first South Carolina Festival of Flowers was held in 1968 to celebrate the seed company’s 100th anniversaryth Anniversary.
This first celebration has grown into an annual event that thousands of visitors look forward to every summer. In 2008, living topiaries were presented at the festival for the first time. Inspired by Disney’s famous topiaries, Greenwood’s master gardeners set to work creating dozens of beautiful animals, school mascots and other fun topiaries for display at the annual Flower Festival.
The festival today
13 topiaries made their debut at the 2008 festival. This year’s festival features more than 44 live topiary figures! Visitors can find the living sculptures scattered throughout Uptown Greenwood and other locations.
City of Greenwood Horticulture Superintendent Diana Fetters explained how much time and effort goes into each topiary.
“It’s a lot of work,” Fetters said of the years of effort by city staff and dozens of volunteers, “but it’s an affair of the heart. Our horticultural team loves what they do. The volunteers are happy to help. The whole community comes together and supports the project and the festival.”
“Every year we try to be better than last year,” explained Fetters. “We change the look of many topiaries every year and try to add different effects like water splashes, lights, baskets and many other things. It’s so much fun watching the changes the topiaries go through after we put them back in the greenhouse.”
Greenwood’s South Carolina Festival of Flowers has received many awards over the years. It was named Event of the Year by the South Carolina Festival & Event Association in 2013 and 2018. In 2020 Greenwood won the national America in Bloom award as well as the Coolest Downtown award.
“We’re proud of these awards,” said Kelly McWhorter, executive director of Discover Greenwood, “but we’re even more proud of our community. The flower festival not only shows our city, but who we are.”
The annual South Carolina Festival of Flowers takes place throughout June, with the main weekend taking place at the beginning of the month. This year the main weekend will take place from June 8th to 10th. The 3 day festival showcases the best of Greenwood and is fun for all the family.
The signature topiaries are the star of the show. They attract thousands of people from all over the South. Exciting news for this year: Greenwood is the host city for the America in Bloom Symposium in late September. For the first time they keep the topiary outside until the first week of October.
Other festival events begin Friday morning, beginning with the popular Juried Arts and Crafts Show, held at Uptown Market. Discover unique garden art, jewellery, pottery and more, as well as food and concessions at this exceptional craft exhibition. It is open to the public with free admission.
This year, the Greenwood Railroad Historical Center is offering all-day tours on Fridays and Saturdays. For a small fee, visitors can experience some of the Southeast’s most exquisite restorations of antique railroad cars, from the 1906 Baldwin steam engine to the bright red caboose and everything in between.
On Friday nights and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the Greenwood Community Theater on Main Street performs the classic production of boys and dolls. boys and dolls runs until 18.6.
Also on Saturday morning is the Flower Power 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. Compete for cash prizes or just for fun and exercise as the course this year is on the 5K Certified Course: Capsugel/LONZA Running Track & Greenwood Rails to Trails. Register early to receive a free t-shirt.
Saturday morning’s schedule of events includes fun family favorite Kidfest ’23 at Uptown Market and Splash Pad. This portion of the festival features arts, crafts, performances, robotics, fire engines, Carolina Choo-Choo train rides, food trucks and concessions. Performances are also featured, although they have yet to be added at the time of this release.
New to the festival this year are full-day garden tours on Saturdays, showcasing the area’s unique gardens. Enjoy the horticultural gardens and greenhouse at Piedmont College, the John and Elizabeth Holman Community Garden at Wesley Commons, the Greenwood Extension Rain Garden and the Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Gardens at Gleamns Site.
Another festival favorite is Saturday night’s Topiaries, Tastings, and Tunes event in partnership with Greenwood Performing Arts. Adults can enjoy a casual evening of wine tasting and music while strolling among topiary displays and uptown shops. A souvenir wine glass is included.
Other festive events
The festival is primarily a weekend event in early June, but there are many other events taking place throughout the month. These include a digital photo contest, an air show, a Bee Buzzin’ Bike Tour and a men’s golf tournament. Oh, and did I mention the topiaries are open to the public until October this year?
If you’re visiting Uptown Greenwood for the Festival of Flowers, be sure to stop by The Arts Center to see the BLOOM Art Exhibit and the Museum and Railroad Historical Center.
There is so much going on in Greenwood during the South Carolina Festival of Flowers. Be sure to visit the festival’s website for details and a list of all events, locations, dates and times.
Where to stay and eat
If you’re looking to stay a while, the Inn on the Square is a charming, full-service boutique hotel in a convenient Uptown location. The inn is housed in an early 20th-century building and offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The dramatic three-story lobby is impeccably furnished – a place you really want to sit and spend time in. The Inn on the Square is the official inn of the South Carolina Festival of Flowers.
There are several major chain hotels in Greenwood as well as many fabulous restaurants.