Festivals & Events
We love seeing Sumter families come together and have the pleasure of supporting some of the state's favorite and unique events.
Sumter has more than 100 festivals and events throughout the year! Here are a few highlights, but for a full list of events and to confirm dates, visit our online calendar.
- Festival on the Avenue (typically 2nd Weekend in April) - a West African Bimbé festival of harvest, held every spring in the spirit of sharing, includes traditional soul food, music, art, dance, parades, and living history that showcases the creativity and vitality of South Sumter Community.
- Bethune Legacy Festival (3rd Weekend in May) - a festival to celebrate an American History Icon, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune. Mrs. Bethune was an advisor to four U.S. Presidents, a national champion of human rights, as well as the founder of Bethune-Cookman College and was born and raised in Sumter, SC.
- Iris Festival (Memorial Day Weekend) - This three-day festival is one of the old continuous running festivals in the state of South Carolina. It includes concerts, arts & crafts, pageants, plants & flowers, antique & classic car shows, a number of contests, concerts, and lots of children's activities. Continuously named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast.
- Black Cowboy Festival - I Was born in El Paso, Wichita Falls, and Cheyenne. Helped build the west, though you don't know it, was a slave was a free man, don't look for me in your textbooks. Am I a Man or a Myth? Come and see the Black Cowboy Festival.
- Oktoberfest on Main - downtown Sumter transforms into little Germany for a grand evening full of German food, music, and heritage.
- Porches of Sumter (1st Thursday in October) - ever wonder what sipping tea on the veranda was like? This is the event for you. Stroll the historic streets of the Hampton Park area and visit as homeowners open their homes and share their stories with visitors.
- Fantasy of Lights (December 1-31) - For the entire month of December, the Swan Lake Iris Gardens come alive with a display of twinkling holiday imagery created by more than one million lights.
During the summer months, head to downtown Sumter for Fourth Fridays and enjoy an evening with friends, food, and FREE live music!
- and many more.
Check out our onlinefor all listings.
To have your event listing considered for our community calendar, please contact the Swan Lake Visitors Center at 803-436-2640 or send your event flyer to [email protected].