Last Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM
The 2012 SOUTH CAROLINA PECAN FESTIVAL is Saturday, November 3, 2012 and we’ll be there, because we love it! This award-winning event is in its ninth year and is one of the largest festivals in the region. PeeDeeFoodie.com is proud to be a Media Sponsor again this year.
Admission is FREE so join us and about 50,000 of your closest friends for great street food, talented entertainers, and (yes!) a Pecan cook-off. Other activities associated with the festival include art demonstrations, a free Kids Zone, amusement rides, and antique tractor show, car show and competition, 10K, 5K, and Half Marathon Races, as well as a Half Metric Century Bike Ride. Here’s a printer-friendly Schedule of Events.
As of today, it appears as though the weather will be perfect: Sunny and about 68 degrees. Remember last year? It was downright cold. Thankfully, it should be shirtsleeve weather this time around. I’ll be wearing my PeeDeeFoodie.com shirt, so look for me and say “Hi.” Also, I’ll be tweeting info both before and during the event with the hashtag #SCPecanFest.
General festival links are available here. Before you forget, go to the Facebook Page now and hit “Like.” That way you’ll get updates and information directly from the organizers at the Florence Downtown Development Corporation.
PLAN YOUR VISIT DOWNTOWN
Start by planning your visit to the Pecan Festival with the map below. You’ll note that public parking is clearly labelled, as are the entertainment venues, vendor areas, amusement ride section, farmers market, and three locations of the Victor’s Bistro Wine & Beer Garden. Those Gardens might be great places to meet-up with friends.
To get some sense of orientation, remember that the Pecan Festival is in Historic Downtown Florence and they the festival encompasses the 100 blocks of Evans, Irby, Dargan, and Cheves Streets.
Don’t want to worry about parking Downtown? Use the PDRTA Park & Ride service. Park & Ride and related Perimeter Shuttles will run from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm. For more information contact PDRTA directly at 843-665-2277 or visit PDRTA.org.
ENJOY GREAT STREET FOOD
Did I mention the great food? Over 250 food and crafts vendors will be on-hand to offer their best to you — each one representing our regional food culture in its unique way. From sandwiches to turkey legs, and from ice cream to peanuts, they’ll have it all. I call it all street food, of course, because it’s meant to be eaten on the street while strolling amongst the excitement of the festival crowd.
My favorite street foods have to be the authentic gyros. Of course, it could be the deep fried Oreos that we shared with friends last year. Nah, it’s the gyros … or it could be the sausage and peppers grilled right in front of you. Well, I guess I’ll have to try a few of those again this year to refresh my memory.
SHOP THE FARMERS MARKET
Last year the festival hosted its first farmers market during the event. This year, the farmers market will be bigger and better thanks to the support Ofour vendors and McLeod Health as its sponsor. The expanded farmers market will be located on Dargan Street, between Cheves and Evans.
ENTER THE PECAN COOK-OFF
This year will again feature a Pecan Cook-off, which pleases me immensely. I can remember that the first year we attended Pecans were few and far between. I’m glad to see them now featured so prominently. While I regret that I am not serving as a judge, the three judges will no doubt have a great time. They are Terence Daniels of Innovation Chef/Physician Chef, McLeod Health, Eric Robinson, Principal of Wilson High School, and
Elnita Monetila Lipford Williams, an Instructor at Florence-Darlington Tech and author. The cook-off will take place in the parking lot of Central United Methodist Church on Irby Street. Judging is at 11:00 AM, so check it out. Entry forms can be printed here. The Pecan Cook-off sponsor is Chick-Fil-A near the Magnolia Mall.
HELP HARVEST HOPE
Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Pee Dee Branch will be collecting donations onsite and could use your contributions for those in need this year. Bring non-perishable food items with you (or write a check) and deliver them to our friends at HHFB. Their booth will be located in the Mike Reichenbach Ford Kids Fun Zone near Coit and Evans. Nicole Echols is the development director and she would be pleased to tell you more about ways your contributions can stretch across our region to tackle hunger in the Pee Dee.
STAY FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT
If you like live entertainment, and who doesn’t, you should next Check the Schedule of acts and locations for the stages strategically placed around the festival area.
The specific venues are as follows:
• Pepsi Main Stage – Located on North Irby Street near the City/County Complex. Most headliners will play here.
• Crown Beverages Stage – Located on South Irby Street near Palmetto. It’s the first stage you will see when coming up South Irby.
• SAFE Federal Credit Union Stage – Located at the intersection of Cheves & Coit Streets.
• Dixie Federal Credit Union Stage – FMU Outdoor Stage or amphitheater facing Palmetto on the south side of the new Performing Arts Center.
• Florence Toyota “Blues Bash” Stage – Located at the intersection of Cheves & Dargan Streets and part of the Fourth Annual Pee Dee Blues Bash.
• PPSI Acoustic Alley “Blues Bash” Stage which is also part of the Pee Dee Blues Bash and located in the Breezeway on Evans, next to the new downtown hotel under construction.
And don’t forget that Central United Methodist Church will host the Masterworks Choir at 1:00 PM. That should be truly inspirational.
VIEW PHOTOS FROM LAST YEAR
Just for you, here’s our Photo Gallery from last year. Enjoy!
SHARE THE LOVE
… for the festival that is. What would you recommend visitors try or do at this year’s South Carolina Pecan Festival? Add your comments below or at Facebook.com/PeeDeeFoodie
About the AuthorKevin Barron is a husband, father, self-described geek, and enthusiastic founder of PeeDeeFoodie.com. He also hosts its companion podcast, the Pee Dee Food Show, which can be found on iTunes and the blog. Learn more about Kevin under the Contributors tab above.
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