More than 13k to feel impacts from 45th annual Flowertown Festival

More than 13k to feel impacts from 45th annual Flowertown Festival
Azaleas will be missing from the Flowertown Festival after an early bloom and cold spell (Source: Live 5)
Azaleas will be missing from the Flowertown Festival after an early bloom and cold spell (Source: Live 5)

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - More than 13,000 people will feel the impacts of the Flowertown Festival in Summerville this weekend.

In its 45th year, the festival is the largest fundraising event for the Summerville YMCA benefiting health and wellness programs in the Tri-County.

"We get an average of 200,000 people over the course of three days," said Erika Stubbs with the Summerville YMCA. "That's our general expectation for this weekend… it has grown and grown and is an awesome production for us."

The streets surrounding Azalea Park in Summerville will be packed with locals and visitors from all over to see what the festival has to offer this year.

"We are not a rookie here," said Patricia Walters, co-owner of Metal Arts Signs & Designs. "This is our sixth year here and we love it!"

Stubbs estimates roughly 70% of the vendors are returners. For 2017 the festival has around 500 booths. While the number of returners may be a significant amount, there are dozens of newcomers who are excited to take part in the event.

"I wasn't really sure [what my expectations were], but now that I'm here it's a pretty big production," said Briahna Wenke, a new artist to the festival. "I'm pretty excited to see how many people come through."

"We do a show about every three weeks," Walters added. "The people here are just… it's a different kind of people. They're friendlier, nicer, and they come back every year to see us."

Not only do festival goers turn out for some of the great arts, crafts, and more, it's also about the flowers. This year thought, they're missing!

"That's the million-dollar question!" Stubbs said. "Where are the flowers? We had a bloom a few weeks ago and then we had a cold snap. There's still so much beauty, park to explore and green space."

All of the revenue earned from the festival goes back into the community through the Summerville YMCA.

"By giving them free swim lessons, or offering scholarships so they can go into a sports program or daycare program," Stubbs said. "So all of the proceeds actually go back into the community."

"That's one of the best things about art," Wenke said. "It's when you can combine it with a non-profit of some sort and give back."

Different for the 45th Flowertown Festival revolves around the Taste of Summerville.

Festival goers will not have to purchase tickets for those food booths.

"You'll be paying the vendors directly," Stubbs said. "It just makes it a lot easier. It took over 100 volunteers to man our ticket booth so now it's going to make it a lot easier on everybody."

The festival begins Friday at 9 a.m. running until 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. It opens at 9 a.m. Sunday and closes at 4 p.m.

Road closures in Summerville will be from South Main Street to West Carolina Avenue, and all secondary streets off South Main will be blocked. To direct Northbound and Southbound traffic, South Gum and South Magnolia will be diverted to one-way streets.

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