The Golden Strip is getting into the swing of spring with markets, live music, food festivals and other outdoor activities, and the action is planned to last through the summer.
Mauldin festivals and events
► Makers Market
Catch local artists and craft vendors at Mauldin’s Makers Market from 5 to 8 pm the second Tuesday of the month, from April through November, at the Mauldin Cultural Center. The market opens for the first time this year April 12.
Entry is free.
► PB&J: Pizza, Blues and Jazz Festival
Celebrate all things cheesy and greasy on April 29, from 6 to 9 pm, and on April 30, from 11 am to 3 pm, with the Pizza, Blues and Jazz Festival at the Cultural Center.
The two-day festival features not only pizza from local restaurants but arts vendors and live music. Entry and parking are free. No outside food is allowed.
► Beachin’ Fridays
The unofficial start to Mauldin’s weekends comes back May 27 with Beachin’ Fridays at the Cultural Center from 7 to 10 pm every Friday, weather permitting, through July 29.
Enjoy beer and wine, food trucks, shag lessons and more at this free event. Food trucks vary each week.
► Chautauqua History Comes Alive Festival
History comes alive with the Chautauqua History Comes Alive Festival on June 13, June 15 and June 16 from 7:30 to 9 pm nightly, with shows performed in costume by nationally acclaimed historical interpreters.
Step back in time and meet game-changers in American history. Characters featured at the Mauldin Cultural Center amphitheater are Georgia O’Keefe on June 13, Dwight Eisenhower on June 15, and Robert F. Kennedy on June 16.
The shows in Mauldin are free, and similar sessions take place throughout the Upstate from June 9 through June 19. See the full schedule at historycomesalive.org.
Simpsonville festivals and events
► Simpsonville Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo
All concerts in the Simpsonville Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo, which is presented by the city and the Simpsonville Arts Foundation Inc., are free and family friendly with plenty of parking and space to hang out with friends.
They take place from 6 pm to 9 pm every Thursday in May and June at Heritage Park.
Food trucks will be on site selling food and beverages.
The 2022 lineup:
- May 5: Hillcrest High Jazz Band
- May 12: The Night Affair
- May 19: The Vinyl Junkies
- May 26: Randomonium
- June 2: Free Bird: The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynryd Experience
- June 9: Chicago Reviewed
- June 16: Gene Styles Tribute to Elvis
- June 23: Retro Vertigo
- June 30: James Radford Band
The amphitheater also hosts paid concerts with major acts. This spring’s lineup includes Willie Nelson and Family, Brad Paisley and more.
► Simpsonville Farmers Market
The Saturday farmers market in Simpsonville has a new location this season due to construction and renovation at City Park. The farmers market will be behind City Hall, 118 NE Main Street, on Saturdays from 8 am to noon starting May 7.
► Sippin’ in Simpsonville’s Summer Beer Tasting
May 13 brings a summer beer-tasting version of Sippin’ in Simpsonville at downtown shops and local businesses. Ticket holders will enjoy craft beer samples, local food and live music as they walk along the tasting route of more than 25 businesses hosting a variety of local brewers.
Tickets are available at simpsonvillechamber.com. Early bird pricing for $30 regular tickets and $50 VIP tickets ends May 8.
► Fair at Heritage Park
The annual fair at Heritage Park is set for May 20 through May 29 with a variety of free shows taking place. Rides require purchased tickets. Fair food like funnel cakes, cotton candy and other classics will be sold on site. Magic shows, an exotic petting zoo and a sea lion splash are scheduled daily.
Admission is $7 for those age 11 and older.
The fair opens at 4 pm Monday through Friday. It opens at 11 am Saturday and 12:30 pm Sunday. See specials, schedules and more details at fairatheritagepark.com.
Fountain Inn festivals and events
► Mac Arnold Cornbread and Collard Greens Blues Festival
The Mac Arnold Cornbread and Collard Greens Blues Festival is back for its 16th year on April 23 from noon to 6 pm at Commerce Park, 110 Depot Street. This year’s event includes a Jeep Jam on Main Street and coincides with the city’s spring farmers market.
The live-music lineup includes Drink Small from 1 to 2:30 pm and Motor City Josh from 3 to 4:30 pm while Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues take the stage at 4:45 pm
► Fountain Inn Farmers Market
The farmers market on Depot Street in Fountain Inn previews the year with a spring market on April 23, coinciding with the blues festival.
Then vendors will be back in action every Saturday from 8 am to noon June through August.
► Italian Heritage Festival
Fountain Inn is hosting the inaugural Italian-American Heritage Festival on April 30 from noon to 8 pm on Main Street. The festival features live music, dancing, food, beer, wine, crafts and shopping — all with an Italian flair.
Admission is free and dining vendors will be on site.
► Taste INN
Get a taste of the town at Fountain Inn’s Taste INN on May 17 from 5 to 8 pm as local restaurants, food trucks and other vendors set up on Main Street. Guests are tasked with sampling all the foods and voting on their favorites.
Early bird tickets for Taste Inn are $30 and available at fountaininnchamber.org. Early bird pricing ends May 2.
► Sounds of Summer
The free Sounds of Summer music series in downtown runs Friday nights June 3 through Aug. 26, from 7 pm to 9:30 pm at Commerce Park.
Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.
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– Caitlin Herrington, local reporter and lover of alliteration, covers government and growth in the Golden Strip. Get in touch with her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @GVLnewsCat.