Learn about Sumter's history at Backcountry Springtime, explore a farm on Ag+Art Tour and find plenty of antiques this weekend


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Sumter Farmers Market is up and running from noon to 5 p.m. Fridays through Nov. 22 at USC Sumter, 200 Miller Road. Grab some lunch at one of the many food trucks and purchase quality, farm-fresh products and unique hand-crafted items all at the market. SFMNP-Senior and WIC vouchers are accepted.

Love history? See costumed interpreters demonstrate skills like blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, as well as children's crafts and games circa 1800, at the Sumter County Museum's Carolina Backcountry Springtime from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, 122 N. Washington St. For additional information, visit SumterCountyMuseum.org.

Sumter County Ag + Art Tour - The free, self-guided tour of farms and markets features local artisans at every stop and will take place Saturday-Sunday, May 11-12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Six stops will be on the tour, taking attendees to a farmers market, a farm store, a boutique and, of course, farms. For a list of locations, visit agandarttour.com/sumter.

Want to support a good cause and help local law enforcement solve crimes in the area? The 2024 National Police Week Golf Tournament benefiting Sumter Crime Stoppers will be Thursday, May 16, as a four-man captain's choice event at The Links at Lakewood. In case of rain, it will be Friday, May 17. The registration fee is $250 per team. The event is limited to 20 teams, and trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place. Mulligan packages are available, and the fee includes a meal after the tournament. Drinks will be available to buy. On the day of the event, registration will be at 8 a.m. with shotgun start at 9 a.m. All proceeds will go to Sumter Crime Stoppers in honor of law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, and it is sponsored by Sumter Police Department. For more on the event or to preregister, email bhite@sumtersc.gov.

The famous three-day Iris Festival surrounding the blooming of the irises at Swan Lake Iris Gardens will include concerts, arts and crafts, plants and flowers, antique and classic car shows, various contests and many children's activities. The festival will be held Thursday-Sunday, May 23-26, at Swan Lake Iris Gardens, 822 W. Liberty St. The festival kicks off with the Taste at the Gardens on Thursday, May 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. with entertainment and food vendors on the Garden Street Gate of the gardens. The theme is "Hawaiian Night," and Hawaiian attire is encouraged. There will be a performance by Charleston Polynesian Dancers along with music by DJ Howie D, food booths and trucks and boat rides. Admission is free. On Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, May 26, it will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The legacy of African American cowboys and frontiersmen will be celebrated at the annual Black Cowboy Festival and Rodeo. Education, recreation and cultural appreciation can be expected throughout the three-day affair. The festival will be held Thursday-Sunday, May 23-26, at Greenfield Farms, 4585 Spencer Road in Rembert.

Fourth Fridays starts back up for the summer on Friday, May 24, with Honey & the New Era Band in front of Sumter County Courthouse, 141 N. Main St. Every fourth Friday through September, a different band will take the stage at 6:30 p.m., and the event will last until 9 p.m. with food trucks/vendors, beer and free entertainment. Palmetto Optimist Club will give out free books to kids and have popcorn for sale, and Sertoma Club will sell the beer. Downtown restaurants will also be open during the event. Bands on the schedule are Honey & the New Era Band in May, The Live in the Flesh Experience on June 28, Chief Complaint on July 26, Second Nature on Aug. 23 and Too Much Sylvia on Sept. 27. Bring your own chairs. Coolers aren't allowed.


The Shake, Rattle and Read Toddler Storytime for ages up to 4 will be held at 10:30 a.m. each Wednesday at Harvin Clarendon County Library. The program will include a story, singing, dancing and an activity for the library's little patrons to enjoy. The library's Homeschool Connection Club for ages preschool to high school will be held at 11 a.m. every Friday. This program was created to connect homeschool families with resources available with the local community and the public library.

Enjoy a free Silver Screen Matinee at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Harvin Clarendon County Library, 215 N. Brooks St., Manning. Everyone is invited to attend. For more information, log onto clarendoncountylibrary.com or call (803) 435-8633.

Get those taste buds ready. The annual Taste of Clarendon, hosted by Clarendon County Junior Chamber in partnership with Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, returns from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at John C. Land III Landing at 4404 Greenall Road, Summerton. Tickets are $35 per person and $60 per couple and can be purchased at Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce or from any Junior Chamber member. Residents can enjoy finger sandwiches and heavy hors d'oeuvres such as dips, meatballs, marinated vegetables, spreads, seafood and a variety of desserts.

Palmetto Pickle Music Festival will kick off on Saturday, May 18, at 7301 Salem Road in New Zion. Featured artists will include Charlie Floyd performing at 6 p.m. and Sawyer Brown performing at 8 p.m. Concert gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 online and can be purchased at ticketleap.com/picklefest.

On Saturday, June 1, Clarendon will make its debut on the annual state Ag+Art Tour, featuring two stops: Cannon Ag Products, at 2996 Hicks Road in Turbeville, from noon to 4 p.m., allowing visitors to browse the wide array of fresh produce and other on-site crafters, and Richburg Farms, at 4553 Paxville Highway from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., where visitors can check out the roadside market, smell sweet flowers and enjoy the open fresh air at the play area and open-air shed.


If you're a bluegrass fan, put the weekend-long Pickin' in the Park on your calendar. The fourth-annual music-themed event starts Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m. and runs through Monday, May 27, at noon at Lee State Park in Bishopville. The weekend will be full of food, fun, fellowship, crafts and bluegrass music, and there will be a church service presented by BlueFaith, a bluegrass and gospel band, to close the event. Camp at the park to have easy access to all the events, or just stop by the park for the day. The park is at 487 Loop Road, Bishopville.


Shop more than 125 vendors in Camden at Spring Fling Antique Open House on Saturday-Sunday, May 11-12. The following are the hours and locations: AAA Pickers, 2206 Broad St., Saturday, 10 a.m..-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Broad Street Treasures, 1017 Broad St., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Camden Antiques Market, 830 Broad St., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Heritage Antique Mall, 113 E. Dekalb St., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Menagerie Antiques, 1028 Broad St., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Rutledge Exchange, 411 Rutledge St., Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sterling Fox Antiques, 1031 Broad St., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Vintage Collections, 938 Broad St., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

Join the Blankets and Bands free concert with Flat Out Strangers on Thursday, May 16, at Camden Town Green, 1015 Market St., Camden. This vocal gypsy swing and jazz band will have you on your feet in no time. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and a picnic dinner or grab some takeout from your favorite local restaurant. Opening act begins at 6 p.m., with Flat Out Strangers at 6:30 p.m. The Blankets & Bands free concert series is a partnership between the Cultural District and the Arts Center of Kershaw County.


If you enjoy being scared, this one is for you. The 11th-annual Crimson Screen Horror Film Fest will be held Friday-Sunday, May 10-12, at Spotlight Cinemas Capital 8, 201 Columbia Mall, Boulevard Suite 211, Columbia. For three days, horror feature films, short films and screenplays including slashers, thrillers, zombies, vampires, music videos, documentaries, experimental, student films, etc., will be featured. According to the website, the Fest aims to showcase the best independent horror films from all over the world by providing an outlet for the horror filmmakers and fans alike to see and exhibit movies that they otherwise may not have a chance to see on the big screen. To purchase tickets and see the complete listing of films being shown, visit www.crimsonscreenfilmfest.org.

Love jazz music? Don't miss the Main Street Jazz Fest by ColaJazz from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 11, on the 1700 Block of Main Street in Columbia. Bring your foldable chair and pull up a seat to hear the sounds of Don Braden's Earth, Wind and Wonder, Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, Patrick Bartley, Lolivone de la Rosa featuring Jamile and the Capital City Big Band. Admission is free to this family friendly event. Arrive as early as 1 p.m. Bands begin at 2 p.m. Food vendors will be on site, as well as arts and crafts vendors.

Black Expo Columbia is meant to promote economic development for minority-owned businesses by showcasing their products and services. The event will be held on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the S.C. State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6-12 and can be purchased at eventpasshero.com/event/blackexpocola.

The 2nd-Annual Black Eats Week 803 will be held June 17-23, as part of the Juneteenth celebration week. The event, featuring special menus and promotions at participating businesses, community events and activities, recognizes the rich culinary heritage of Black-owned restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, creameries and more in the Midlands area. Registration is now open for businesses to participate. Details of the week will be offered on the free Soda City Certified app and the Black Eats Week 803 website. Follow on Facebook/Instagram @BlackEatsWeek803 for the latest updates. Interested businesses and sponsors are encouraged to visit www.blackeatsweek803.com or call (803) 922-5310 for more information and to sign up.


Join Florence County Museum for Family Days on the second Saturday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. On Saturday, May 11, visit the museum to create a monoprint using different art mediums to take home for a family member or yourself. Design your monoprint with paint and create bubble print hydrangeas. The Saturday Family Days events are free, and no registration is required. The museum is at 111 W. Cheves St. Learn more about the museum at www.flocomuseum.org.

The 13th-annual Grateful Dog Festival returns to raise money for Darlington, Florence and Marlboro counties' humane societies. There will be a kids' zone, silent auction, food and beverage trucks, music and more. The family friendly event also welcomes dogs. The event will be held Friday-Sunday, May 17-19, at Sugar Magnolia Ranch, 889 Tara Dive, Timmonsville, beginning at 3 p.m.

Bring your appetite to the Florence Greek Food Fest held over three days, from Thursday, May 16, through Saturday, May 18. Watch a live band and dancers and browse among different vendors on site each day of the event from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, 2990 S. Cashua Drive. Eat under the tent or take advantage of the drive-through. There will also be Greek jewelry and collectibles and Greek beer and wine.