Fort Mill SC Strawberry Festival Date, Parking, Event Information


The South Carolina Strawberry Festival usually draws thousands to Fort Mill.

Fort Mill’s biggest gathering is back. Late April and early May mean South Carolina Strawberry Festival time, something that has looked very different for the past two years due to COVID-19. The main event at Elisha Park returns this year for the first time since 2019.

“Because this is our first live Strawberry Festival since the start of the pandemic, we have worked hard to communicate all aspects of the festival to the public, from parking and shuttles available to event locations and times. “said Jacona Hester, the city’s events coordinator. .

Bands, carnival-style rides, vendors, contests and more are planned. Here are five things to know ahead of this year’s festival:

Festival key dates

The most visible part of the festival each year is the gathering on the first weekend of May in Elisha Park. Still, the festival turned into more than a week of spring activities, most before the Elisha Park part.

Events begin Friday with the unveiling of the festival poster and the Little Miss pageant. The Teen, Miss and Ms. South Carolina Strawberry Festival pageants will follow on Saturday, as will the Strawberry Sprint and Stroll downtown. A scavenger hunt and dog fashion show also takes place on Saturday.

Other activities include a festival brunch on Sunday, a baby photo contest on Monday and a golf tournament on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Downtown Strawberry Jam will feature music, food, vendors and kids’ activities on Main Street. The Strawberry Idol singing competition will follow on Thursday.

The main activities in Elisha Park will take place on May 6 and 7.

Elisha Park Events

Activities in the park run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on May 6 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 7.

There are 10 bands including the Ryan Perry Band, Carolina Rhythm Band and Billy Joel tribute to The Stranger on Friday night and Pushh, Kyle Dills Band, Ace Party Band, Groove Machine, Kids in America and Boy Band Review on Saturday. Friday night will also have the Strawberry Idol Showcase.

The park will also feature carnival-style rides, stage shows, eating contests, a car show, pig racing and wrestling. A complete summary of events and times is online at

Parking and shuttles

There will be far more people than parking spaces at Elisha Park for the main festival activities. Several nearby locations will offer parking for $5. Some will transport guests to the festival.

First Baptist and St. Johns United Methodist Churches, as well as Fort Mill Church of God will have lots downtown with shuttle stops. First Baptist and St. Johns will have the only handicap accessible shuttle parking. Fort Mill and Nation Ford High Schools will also have a parking lot with shuttles.

Shuttles will run on 15 or 20 minute schedules. Shuttles will start at 5 p.m. on May 6 and at 9:30 a.m. on May 7. They will circulate until the closing of the festival on both days.

Fort Mill Church of the Nazarene and Anne Springs Close Greenway horse park on North White Street will also have parking, but no shuttle service.

Rules regarding food, beer, wine and pets

Guests are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket for Elisha Park activities, but several items are not permitted. Outside food or drink, including alcohol, is not permitted. Neither do coolers. Various food and beverage vendors will be present. There will be wristbands on site for the purchase of beer, wine and cider.

Other items that will not be permitted in the park are golf carts, bicycles, weapons, and pets. Smoking is also prohibited.

Free and paid events

The festival is a mix of free and paid events. The historical re-enactments, 5k run, festival brunch and golf tournament before the main weekend are activities that require a ticket or registration. The Poster Unveiling, Scavenger Hunt, Dog Fashion Show, Baby Photo Contest and Downtown Jam are not.

Most, but not all, of the main festival events at Elisha Park are free. They include a classic car show (entering a car has a cost, but not seeing the cars), wrestling matches, musical performances, pig races and fireworks on Saturday nights.

Festival rides will take one to five tickets each, with tickets on sale for $1 each. A $20 wristband, for Friday night only, will provide unlimited rides. Tickets are cash only, with an ATM on site.

Those wishing to participate in the Strawberry Ice Cream or Strawberry Cupcake Contests must be present prior to Saturday start times at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Full details are available on the festival website or at Fort Mill Town Hall.

“For those looking to get into the festivities, they can stop by City Hall (200 Tom Hall Street) to pick up maps and brochures detailing all the fun of the festival,” Hester said.

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John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. He covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education primarily in York and Lancaster counties. The Fort Mill native has won dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and several President McClatchy Awards for news coverage in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
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