“Participants on the tour will have the opportunity to see first-hand where their food comes from, watch artisans in action, purchase their works, dance to the melodies of bluegrass and folksongs, and learn about the life of farming...
Rock Hill, South Carolina (PRWEB) June 12, 2014
On June 21 – 22, 2014 four counties in the Catawba Region of South Carolina will host the newly formed Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour. The four counties include Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster and York. On Saturday, tours will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour is a free self-guided tour of farms featuring local artisans at each stop. With four county tours combined, the 2014 Ag + Art Tour is the largest free-farm tour in the nation with 48 sites available to visit. It is also the only farm tour in the state that features artisans.
“Participants on the tour will have the opportunity to see first-hand where their food comes from, watch artisans in action, purchase their works, dance to the melodies of bluegrass and folksongs, and learn about the life of farming, as well as the history of some of the local homesteads,” says Ben Boyles, event coordinator.
To begin the tours, participants are asked to choose several sites to visit in the counties by using the online site map of the Catawba Region at http://www.agandarttour.com. Once at the first farm site, they will get a travel passport to log each stop along the tour. At the end of the tour, participants must turn in the passport in order to be entered into a drawing to win prizes from the farmers and artisans along the tour. With 48 sites in total participants are not able to see all sites in one day.
From June 17 – 20, each county will host a kickoff event to share details about what to expect along the tour. This year, Chester County will feature eight farms along the tour; Fairfield County will feature seven farms; Lancaster County will feature 12 farms; and York County will feature 19 farms along the tour.
During visits to farms, guests will meet some unique farmers and artisans in the Catawba Region. Some unique agritourism experiences will include meeting a renowned author and peach farmer who operates one of the oldest African American farms in the region. Guests are delighted by listening to stories told from her storytelling rock. Tasting cider from the first and only licensed and bonded cidery in the Carolina Piedmont, and visiting the only agriculturally-operated brewery in SC with livestock to consume more than 2,000 pounds spent grain produced on brew day are also experiences along the tour. Guests also love observing the milk parlor and cheese making demonstrations, the dairy farm that’s home to over 1,000 cows and experiencing a 1930s mercantile store on the railroad and Broad River. The store’s interior remains the same with period shelving, wooden floors and a pot-bellied stove. Art work from artisans along the tour includes wood art from an artist who carves bowls from local fallen trees, original airbrush art, whimsical pottery, soaps, quilts and a performance from a musician who performs with a cloth handle banjo - to name a few.
While the tour consists of four counties working together to host the event, each county still maintains its local and county integrity, and will host individual kick-off events this month.
County kick-off events are:
- Chester County will host the 2014 Chester County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 19; 11 a.m. at the Market Building in downtown Chester
- Fairfield County will host the 2014 Fairfield County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 17;
- 5 – 8 p.m. on the lawn at the Century House in Ridgeway
- Lancaster County will host the 2014 Lancaster County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 20;
- 5 – 7 p.m. in downtown Lancaster
- York County will host the Arts Talk Luncheon & Workshop on June 18; 12 - 1 p.m.at the Gettys Art Center, Rock Hill. Barn Quilt Workshop from 1 – 4 p.m.
For more information about the 2014 Ag + Art Tour, please contact Ben Boyles, Ag + Art Tour chair at 803-981-3021 or visit http://www.agandarttour.com. You may also contact the Rock Hill/York County Convention & Visitors Bureau for general information about the tour at 888-702-1320.
About the Ag + Art Tour
The first 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 York and Lancaster Counties in 2013 with 6,000 total visitors.
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, tourism, farm and artisan organizations, education and extension, arts councils and community volunteers.
About the Rock Hill/York County CVB
The Rock Hill/York County CVB is the destination marketing organization (DMO) responsible for developing an authentic, unified identity for York County, SC. As a DMO, the CVB’s goals are to promote the long-term development and marketing of their destination, focusing on convention, sports and leisure sales, tourism marketing and services. The organization works in collaboration with the CVB Board as well as the York County Council and appropriate funding sources. In 2008, the Rock Hill/York County CVB became the first accredited destination marketing organization in South Carolina.