On June 27 – 28, the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour will host its second regional tour introducing a fifth county — Union County — to the tour lineup. Tours will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m. While 2015 marks the second consecutive year for the regional tour, it serves as the fourth Ag + Art tour in the Catawba Region since launching in 2012.
Patrician Gambino of Clay Impressions demonstrates pottery making at Calvert Training Stables during a previous Ag+Art Tour of Lancaster County.
Already the largest free farm tour in the nation, the 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour will be bigger than last year, stretching across five South Carolina counties: Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York. Adding Union County farms and artisans to this year’s event will offer more than 50 farm sites for visitors to enjoy.
The Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour is a self-guided tour and features local artisans and farms throughout the Catawba Region. The tour gives visitors the opportunity to see where their food comes from, interact with artists, purchase their work, enjoy live entertainment, and learn about rural life.
“The tour has received great feedback and most recently received the County Activities of Excellence (CAE) Award from the American Farm Bureau Federation,” says Ben Boyles, co-chair of the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour. “Gov. Nikki Haley also encourages all South Carolinians to learn more about our heritage and history through this event and other community events.” Last year, Gov. Haley proclaimed the week of the tour as the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour week.
A few sites to see along the tour include Benford Brewing Company (Lancaster County), Catawba Cultural Preservation Center (York County), Elder Farms Family Homestead (Fairfield County), Fishing Creek Creamery (Chester County), Native American Studies Center and Garden (Lancaster County), Three Horse Milling Company (Union County), Rock Ridge Farm (York County), Royal Greens (Fairfield County), Simple Times Farm (Union County), and The Powell Farm (Chester County).
Each county will host a kickoff event to introduce the featured farm sites and artisans in their communities. Kickoff events include a range of activities such as barbeque feasts, concerts, farmers markets and cooking demonstrations by local chefs using local fresh produce.
County kickoff events are scheduled as follows:
- 2015 Chester County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 23, 6 – 8 p.m. in downtown Chester at the Market Building (116 Columbia St., Chester)
- 2015 Fairfield County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 25, 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Mission Ridge Training and Golf Retreat in Winnsboro (601 S. Congress St., Winnsboro)
- 2015 Lancaster County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 26, 7 – 11:30 p.m. at the Historic Lancaster County Courthouse (104 N. Main St., Lancaster)
- 2015 Union County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 19, 6 – 9 p.m. in the 116th block of Main St. in Union near the Union County Arts Council
- 2015 York County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 11, 5 – 8 p.m. during the Old Town Farmers Market in Rock Hill (115 Caldwell St., Rock Hill)
About the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour
The first Ag + Art Tour started in 2012 in York County as a way to merge agriculture and art. York County hosted a total of 3,000 visitors in 2012. The tour expanded to include Lancaster County in 2013 with 6,000 total visitors, and added its third and fourth counties to include Chester and Fairfield in 2014 with a total of 8,000 attendees for the entire tour.
The tour is coordinated by a regional leadership team and county-level planning teams that are coordinated by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and the Olde English District Tourism Commission. Partner organizations include economic development, chamber of commerce, tourism bureau, farm and artisan organizations, education and extension office, arts councils and community volunteers.
For more information on the 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour, contact Ben Boyles at 803-981-3021 or visit www.AgandArtTour.com for details.
Image above: Dianne Mahaffee’s Fine Art & Clay Studio in Lancaster County will demonstrate pottery and painting and host a clay turtle workshop for children.
Via: Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour