“When the Azaleas are blooming in Pickens, South Carolina the little town celebrates!”
April 20 & 21 – 2018
Friday: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
For 34 years Pickens has celebrated spring by throwing an arts and entertainment based and family friendly celebration. Each April, the Azaleas bloom, artisans and crafters come out, and the community joins together to celebrate spring in the city of Pickens. Celebrate is exactly what they do! Presented by the Pickens Azalea Festival Committee and hosted by area nonprofit and civic organizations, the Pickens Azalea Festival boasts the largest gathering of crafters, artisans, and entertainers in the county, and quite possibly the Golden Corner!
The Azalea Festival is also somewhat of large family reunion, giving people who have been away too long, the chance to return and to visit with old friends and family. The streets are filled with local artists and crafters, exciting and varied food vendors, and quaint little shops and eateries. Strolling downtown Pickens during the festival is certainly an exciting and fun filled activity. The festival gives those who have never visited and opportunity to experience this great area during one of the best times to explore and experience all Pickens County has to offer!
National, regional, and local musical artists entertain while local artisans and crafters inspire. Foodies will enjoy regional favorites and the kids will laugh as they partake in the children’s ride area and free children’s creation area. Come browse on of the largest cruise-in in the area and enjoy all that Pickens has to offer! For those who are interested in more physical activity, the annual Pickens Women’s Association 5k is held annually in conjunction with the Pickens Azalea Festival. History buffs will enjoy self-guided tours through historic Pickens or hop a shuttle or enjoy a short drive to the many historic places in and around Pickens County.
There is something for everyone to enjoy each spring at the Pickens Azalea Festival!
Volunteering for the Pickens Azalea Festival is a great way to give back to our community! Anyone interested in getting involved should sign up soon as space is limited!
Street Performer Signup
We want to share your art! We are looking artists from around the South East to come join us for the Pickens Azalea Festival!
By signing up to participate in the Pickens Azalea Festival, artists/musicians will have the ability to perform for tips. All we ask is that you signup before to secure your spot.
We look forward to seeing your creations come to life!
Interested in sharing your Arts & Crafts, Business, or Civic Nonprofit with thousands of people? Click the button below to find your application. Download, print, fill out, and mail your application along with your payment to:
Pickens Azalea Festival Inc.
P.O. Box 194
Pickens, S.C. 29671
Pickens Azalea Festival Location
Azalea’s will be for sale all weekend at the festival. Look for them beside the court house in Court Street.178 E Main Street
Pickens, S.C. 29671
One of the finest regional examples of nineteenth century technology can be found just three miles north of Pickens, SC. Located just off Highway 178, at 138 Hagood Mill Road, this 1845 gristmill served many generations of rural farm families until its’ closing in the mid-1960s. Hagood Mill operated during the War Between the States; The Spanish / American War; World War I; World War II; The Korean War and part of the Vietnam War. In the 1960s, the Federal Government passed regulations requiring the farmers’ corn to be tested before grinding, and also, requiring preservatives. This effectively shut down most of the gristmills nationwide and Pickens County was no exception. In 1972 Hagood Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1973 the mill and surrounding property were donated to the Pickens County Museum Commission by the James Hagood Bruce family (descendants of James Hagood who built the mill in 1845 at the age of nineteen). In the early 1970s also, South Carolina was one of the states that made an exemption for water-powered gristmills to operate. Thus began a long off-again, on-again process of restoration by the County of Pickens, culminating with the mill being “back in business” on a monthly basis around Thanksgiving 1996 with the help of Alan Warner, who served as miller until 2009. Warner, a mill historian, has documented over sixty gristmill sites in Pickens County…almost all of which are now gone. The mill be in operation during the Azalea Festival 10am – 4pm.
The Pickens County Cultural Commission monitors operation of the Pickens County Museum of Art & History as a public, nonprofit educational institution whose purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the artifacts, antiquities and archival, cultural and natural history of the County and surrounding geographic region. The Cultural Commission also provides cultural enrichment, intellectual stimulation, learning opportunities and appreciation of the visual and performing arts for the enjoyment of the County’s citizenry and visitors.
The Museum Shop
Offering the work of more than 100 local and regional fine, traditional and folk artisans that represents the artistic spectrum of our unique area – including handcrafted jewelry, pottery, ceramics, baskets, scarves and handbags, woodcarvings, colorful prints and originals, Native American art, note cards, folk art, soaps, beeswax candles, locally harvested honey, handmade children’s toys and other specialty items. The Museum Shop features a wide array of CDs from local Upcountry musicians, and fascinating storytellers, early American, and World music. We also offer a variety of educational and historical toys, as well as an assortment of books on local history and local interest for all ages. The museum is located at 307 Johnson Street, across from Pickens City Hall. It will be open Saturday of the Azalea Festival from 9am – 4:30pm
The Hagood-Mauldin House, owned and maintained by the Pickens County Historical Society, it was moved from Pickens Court House to the new town of Pickens in 1868. It underwent two separate renovations, one by James Earle Hagood, and the second by Judge and Miss Queen Hagood Mauldin when the front porch was changed into Classical Style and the Judge’s office was added. The fine antique furnishings and art were added by Irma Morris. The historic house will be open for public tours during the Azalea Festival: $5.00 for adult, $2.00 for students 10am -4pm Saturday.
A 7.5 mile rails-to-trails partnership between the City of Easley and the City of Pickens opened Memorial Day Weekend 2015. The multi-use trail is open from dawn to dusk for biking, walking, running and rollerblading. Unauthorized mopeds or motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
The Doodle line carries a rich history of industry and economy important to both the City of Pickens and the City of Easley. In 1890, the State of South Carolina issued a charter for the construction of a railroad between Easley and Oolenoy Gap, by way of Pickens. After eight years of construction, the 8.5-mile portion of the railway between Easley and Pickens became operational in 1898. Until 2013, the Doodle line hauled a variety of commodities to and from Pickens and Easley, including food products, textiles, and automobile parts. Local residents nicknamed the railroad the “Pickens Doodle” line, because the freight engine could not be turned around and had to run backwards from Easley to Pickens, looking like a doodlebug.
The Doodle Trail represents the opportunity to carry on the memory of this historic railroad and preserve the vital connection that was forged between Easley and Pickens over 120 years ago. Both cities are currently working on plans for their respective trailheads at each end of the Doodle Trail.
* Please check back later for 2018 entertainment *
All entertainers will perform at the Downtown Pickens Amphitheater!
Special thanks to City of Pickens for partnering with us on entertainment for this year!
The Jake Bartley Band
Perform Friday at 9 p.m.
One of the most highly sought after and hardworking bands in the Carolinas! The Jake Bartley Band is local to the Upstate of S.C. and will deliver a unique and progressive blend of rock, country, soul, jazz, and blues for festival goers!
Country, Christian, & Southern Rock
Performance Saturday at 8 p.m.
Even if you don’t know Mac Powell, you probably know Mac Powell! Mac is the lead singer of the popular international Christian band Third Day. He has been nominated for over 10 Grammys and won 4. The Christian legend will be our headliner for Saturday, April 21 and you do not want to miss his performance. He is sure to have something for every music lover playing a host of music including contemporary Christian, southern gospel, southern rock, and country!
Performance Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
Benton Blount is a local, nationally recognized artist from Greenville, S.C. Growing up in the North Carolina mountains, Benton Blount never picked up a guitar or a microphone, much less played a tune. At age 18, his music pastor snuck a microphone up to his mouth and to his and everyone’s amazement, a beautiful voice was pouring out. Thus, sparking Benton’s passion for singing and writing songs. Benton is sure to have you on your feet with a compilation of southern rock and country!
Performance Saturday 5:30 p.m.
John Tibbs is a nationally known Christian artist. John was recently featured on the God’s Not Dead 2 movie. In 3 years, John has toured over 500 dates all over the U.S. amidst many releases as well as co-writing songs with writers and artists like Dave Barnes, Matt Maher, Michael Farren, and Paul Mabury. Be on the lookout, as he does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon!
John currently resides in Nashville with his wife, Emily and their dog, Lady.
Performance Saturday at 1 p.m.
Zack Stiltner is a forward thinking artist from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He does his best to push the envelope, blending styles of rock, pop, country, and r & b. While playing 150+ shows a year for the past four years, he’s opened for many artists such as Martina McBride and Josh Thompson. Zack is doing his best to get the music from his head and to your ears. Be on the lookout for multiple singles dropping in 2018.
Performance Saturday at 2 p.m.
Brady Smith grew up in upstate New York singing Christian Bluegrass music with his family up and down the east coast. While there were not many country music stations in New York, his aunt played a Randy Travis cassette for him at a young age. His instant love and fascination with country led him to begin singing and writing country music at the age of 13.
Brady currently resides in Charleston, S.C. where he is achieving a lifelong dream of living near the ocean. Brady’s love of the low country is reflected in several of his original songs. He is a unique dichotomy of authentic country music and music that appeals to lovers of all genres.
* Open the full schedule below to see all entertainers *
* All entertainers will perform at the Downtown Pickens Amphitheater! *
Please feel free to bring lounge chairs & blankets to stretch out on the grass at the amphitheater.
No coolers or pets allowed at amphitheater (except during the pet pageant Saturday).
Cart transportation to and from Main St to the amphitheater will be available.
2018 Art Winner
Hayley Brown, Sophmore at Pickens High School (PHS) is the fifteen year old daughter of David and Erica Brown. With her passion of art she hopes to finish her high school career in the Visual Arts program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. After high school she plans to attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
Azalea Festival t-shirts with Brown’s artwork will be on sale Friday evening and Saturday at booth # 222 during the festival.
Join us Friday, April 20
No fee or application required
Main Street in Pickens S.C.
7 p.m. – until
Enter from South Lewis Street or Pendleton Street.
All Cruise-in traffic is one way, East to West
How do you become a food vendor?
We want you to share your taste of the south! To find out more about becoming a food vendor please follow our “Applications” page.
How do you become a sponsor?
We are currently looking for sponsors for the 2018 Pickens Azalea Festival! If your interested in becoming a sponsor and making your business a part of every aspect of the festival find out more by visiting our “Partners” page.
Can your band perform at the festival?
We would love for you to share your unique sound with thousands of people! We are seeking entertainment for the upcoming 2018 Pickens Azalea Festival. To be considered please submit your information along with a sample to [email protected].
How Long is the Event?
Our two day event begins with the cruise in Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. and continues into Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. The festival offers amusements rides, free entertainment, and free parking! We can’t wait to see you there!
- Any and all persons or organizations participating in the Pickens Azalea Festival on the day of the event must abide by all decisions made by the Pickens Azalea Festival Board.
- The Pickens Azalea Festival Board reserves the right to refuse any vendor application.
- The Pickens Azalea Festival is a rain or shine event. No refunds shall be given due to inclement weather.
- No alcoholic beverages allowed or sold on Main St or city property.
- This is a tobacco free event, as per local town ordinance.
- The Pickens Azalea Festival is a pet friendly event.
- All pets must be secured on a leash.
- Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pet.
- All vendors are responsible for collecting SC state sales tax.
- The committee does not supply canopies, tables, chairs, or any items required for vendor set up.
- Any vendor wishing to sell outside of the festival area must obtain a city permit prior to the event. This will be enforced by the Pickens Police Department.
- Due to space needed for the classic car cruise in, only spaces for commercial food vendors, festival sponsors, and those with prior approval, will be accepted for Friday night’s event.
- Power is available on the West End only!
- Power hookup is available, for a fee, on a first come, first served basis.
- Generators are allowed. They must run quietly, and be supplied by the vendor.
- The festival does not supply power cords.
- All vendors selling food must meet SCDHEC requirements.
- All foods sold must be listed on the vendor applications.
- No waste disposal is available.
- No liquid runoff of any kind from a booth is allowed into the storm sewer system.
- No resale or flea market items are to be sold.
- All items must be listed on the application.
- The Pickens Azalea Festival Board reserves the right to have final approval and acceptance on all items sold at the festival.
- It is the responsibility of the Pickens Rotary Club to oversee the Pickens Azalea Festival Art Contest, along with awards to the winner. It will be the responsibility of the Rotary Club to contact the parent / guardian of the contest winner, requesting permission to use the artwork in festival related promotions.
- The Pickens Azalea Festival will be allowed to use the winning artwork in all promotions of the Pickens Azalea Festival.
- Any merchandise sold with the artwork must have prior approval from the Pickens Azalea Festival Board.
- The Pickens Azalea Festival is a nonpolitical event.
- No booth set up is allowed promoting any political party or candidate.
- Candidates and political parties are allowed to walk the event and hand out brochures.
- Candidates and political parties are allowed to contribute as sponsors to the Pickens Azalea Festival, up to, but not exceeding, one thousand dollars.