Laurens County is gearing up to showcase itself on the prestigious South Carolina Ag + Art Tour in 2024.
The statewide tour, organized by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, offers a unique experience—a free, self-guided exploration of farms and markets intertwined with the creativity of local artisans at every stop. Visitors get an up-close look at food production, witness artists in action, and can purchase their creations.
Taking the lead in organizing this event locally are Christian Taylor and Courtney Stonell, representing the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. For them, this presents a golden opportunity for the county's agribusinesses to shine.
Taylor shared, 'The Ag + Art tour is our community's chance to introduce visitors—both locals and tourists—to our vibrant agriculture scene and connect them with our hardworking farmers.'
With the tour spanning 12 counties statewide, it beckons people to explore Laurens County. Each county has its designated dates for hosting this immersive experience.
Stonell highlighted, 'This tour will draw visitors from various counties, channeling their spending into our local economy.'
Taylor added, 'The tour's scheduling allows for travelers to plan weekend getaways, hopping from Newberry to Laurens County or visiting other counties participating in the tour.'
Remarkably, the Ag + Art Tour stands as the nation's largest free farm and art tour, engaging over 85,000 visitors since its inception in 2012, as stated on their website.
Stonell emphasized, 'This is a game-changer for us. It places Laurens County on par with larger counties and aligns us with South Carolina's booming tourism industry. We're committed to growing along with it.'
Previously, in 2023, the tour stopped in Lexington, Aiken, Lancaster, York, Chester, Fairfield, Newberry, Kershaw, Colleton, Richland, and Aiken.
Taylor expressed enthusiasm, saying, 'We're thrilled to share our passion for agriculture and our county's rich history.'
Taylor also noted, 'The Ag + Art tour caters to a diverse audience, attracting people from various counties and demographics, offering a unique market reach.'
Participation in the Ag + Art Tour is expected to bolster the local economy and educate attendees about the essence of Laurens County.
Stonell remarked, 'The tour coincides with the rising interest in healthier living. It serves as a gateway for those seeking local products and a deeper connection with their roots.