Three of South Carolina’s biggest industries – agriculture, tourism and art – met in an experience designed to get visitors and residents off the main roads and to experience all the senses, especially a slower pace and a sweet taste.
The annual Ag+Art Tour is set for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Started in York County in 2012, the weekend tour has been expanded to include Fairfield, Chester and Lancaster counties with artists and farmers at 48 sites. While the four counties are working together through the Olde English Tourism Commission, each county plans its own tour.
The free self-guided tour is the only one of its kind in the state. Tour passports with information on sites open in all four counties are available at each tour stop.
In Chester County, the eight stops include tree, horse, dairy and pig farms, Cotton Hills Farm and Market, Oak Grove Plantation and the Chester Farmer’s and Artisan Market in downtown Chester. Artists will be on site at most locations.
Seven stops in Fairfield include Blair General Store and Farmers Market, a cotton farm, The Doty Farm with horses, donkey and pigs, Magnolia Farm Lodge, a horse farm, farmers market and the Old Station, each with artists on site.
Lancaster offers nine stops including the Benford Brewery, Ivy Place, a working stable, produce farms and farmers markets. Elginwood Farm will feature a feed store and country fair. Most sites feature artists.
Nineteen sites from Fort Mill to Hickory Grove will be offered in York County. They include Old Town Framers Market, Black’s Peaches, Bush-N-Vine, Inman Farms and the Market at Inman Farms, a timber farm, horse farm and MyersArt and Farm.
Also featured are The Peach Tree, Pennell Barn, Rock Ridge Farm, Sanders Peaches, Springs Farms, Stowe Dairy Farm, Tega Hill Farms, Tirzah Farm and Flowers and Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery. Brattonsville will offer free admission to the historic site.
Farm tour rules include no pets, don’t enter private homes and don’t leave children unattended.
The first Ag+Art Tour attracted 3,000 visitors. It was expanded to include Lancaster County in 2013, attracting 6,000 visitors.
For maps and tour information, visit www.catawbaagandarttour.com.