Events, Art, and Natural Beauty: Downtown Summerville Truly Has It All
Tucked away in the heart of this bustling town of more than 50,000 people, historic downtown Summerville is a hidden gem worth exploring. Whether you’re a social butterfly, an arts connoisseur, or simply appreciate the timeless beauty of azaleas and majestic pine trees, you’re bound to find something pleasing in this historically modern Southern downtown.
Downtown Summerville hosts fantastic events throughout the year, typically centered on the beautiful Hutchinson Square. Third Thursdays, held monthly, are a true social event for all ages. Each month, more than 2,000 people come out to shop, dine, and listen to live music at this celebratory street party.
The area is also home to the annual Sweet Tea Festival, a celebration of Summerville’s distinction as the “birthplace of sweet tea.” The festival is held over the third weekend of September and includes a competition to name the best sweet tea in town, along with contests for Mister and Miss Sweet Tea.
Downtown is the center of attention during the holidays as well. From Small Business Saturday on, it is decorated for the festivities to commence with the annual tree lighting and Christmas parade. The tree lighting is traditionally held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, while the parade, held on the second Sunday in December, is among the largest in the state, with more than 20,000 attendees and over 100 entries.
Art aficionados will find more than 30 public sculptures throughout downtown. From life-sized birds to children playing “follow the leader” to our beloved Toby, celebrations of life are captured in bronze.
We’re also excited to tell you about a great new addition to our downtown, the Public Works Art Center. Public Works, as it is known, has repurposed the old town public works building and is creating artist studios, a reception gallery, teaching spaces, a concert sound stage, and much more. Downtown Summerville values the arts in all forms, and celebrates the value of creativity.
Make plans, too, to spend time in Azalea Park. With its winding paths, foot bridges, and lush flora, the park is a haven for nature lovers everywhere.
Finally, you’ll want to visit the newly renovated town square. Fresh off a multi-million dollar facelift, the square is a user-friendly space with nods to Summerville’s history. These elements include a concert stage/pavilion designed to resemble the town’s old railroad depot and a sign that recreates the “Welcome to Summerville” sign that once spanned Main Street.
Visit Summerville and check out our historically modern Southern downtown! You can find out more about downtown Summerville, including great places to shop, dine, play, and stay, at www.summervilledream.org.
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