Where to Be in 2020: A Guide to Downtown’s Event Calendar

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Where to Be in 2020: A Guide to Downtown’s Event Calendar

2020. It sounds like it should be a year in the distant future, filled with space travel and unimaginable technology. But it’s very much real, and it’s shaping up to be a big one for Downtown Spartanburg.

A new year means new opportunities to get out, get involved, and get to know Spartanburg a little bit better.

Downtown is bustling most every day, with restaurants, bars, breweries, boutiques and everything in-between increasing traffic downtown and fueling its continual growth. Event days, though, are a big deal for Downtown Spartanburg, and 2020 is chock full of them. From face-stuffing celebrations to the chance for some musical appreciation to holiday jubilation, you can find it all throughout the year in Downtown Spartanburg.

For the Meat Lover:  Hub City Hog Fest

If you’re anything like us, you can practically smell the barbecue already. This year’s Hog Fest will take over a few blocks of Downtown Spartanburg on April 3 and 4, with dozens of pit masters and food trucks offering pulled pork, wings, and more. Sample until you can’t sample anymore, then hang around for some live music and a drink to wash it all down.

For the Kids with Kites:  Spartanburg Soaring!

Up in the sky! It’s not a bird or a plane, but kites floating overhead during the Spartanburg Soaring! kite festival. Set for April 18, the festival brings people from around the area to encourage creativity, healthy activity and supports local artisans and musicians. Bring your own kite or make one at the Chapman Cultural Center then take it for a test flight overhead.

For those Who Think Inside the Bun:  Cribbs Burger Cook-off

Make a full day out of being downtown on April 18 and stop by the Cribbs Burger Cook-off to sample some of the best and most unique creations crafted by local burger squads. The most popular burger will earn a spot on the Cribbs Kitchen menu!

For the Dancers and Toe-Tappers:  Music on Main, Jazz on the Square and the Synergy Music Series.

Get your fill of local live music Thursday evenings from April, starting April 2, until June at Music on Main. The weekly concert at Morgan Square is a perfect way to get some dancing in, or just kick back and enjoy the tunes.

If Thursdays don’t work for your schedule, Jazz on the Square brings live music on Fridays, staring April 10, all April and May long to downtown.

New on the Spartanburg music scene is the Synergy Music Series, a cultural array of events created to strengthen Spartanburg through music and art kicking off March 14. Presented by Elephnt Group, LLC in partnership with the Melting Pot Music Society, the series is made up of eight musical events at Barnet Park highlighting international, national and local artists.

The monthly series features events with a specific focus, like June’s Afro Fest, celebrating African heritage and culture, and September’s Hispanic Music Festival.

For the Whole Family:  Spring Fling

Maybe the biggest event Downtown Spartanburg hosts. Spring Fling set this year for April 24-26. The beloved Spartanburg tradition features the annual Criterium bicycle race, dozens of food and drink vendors, rides for all ages and tons more family-friendly activities.

For the Culturally Curious:  Mezcal Cinco de Mayo

Popular downtown Mexican restaurant Mezcal will hold their now-annual Cinco de Mayo festival on May 2, bringing food and music of cultures from across the globe to Downtown Spartanburg.

For the Person Aching for a Summertime Cookout:  Sparkle City Rhythm & Ribs Festival

Bring the whole family to Barnet Park on June 6 for a barbecue fix complete with live music and a local makers market during the all-day Sparkle City Rhythm & Ribs Festival.

For the Land of the Free:  Red, White & Boom

Come hungry and enjoy American classics before the mega fireworks show to close out the Fourth of July festivities. Whether you’re in a lawn chair at Barnet Park, outside at Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery or somewhere else downtown, make sure you look up for the annual Independence Day fireworks spectacular.

For the World Traveler:  Spartanburg International Festival

Spartanburg is an international hub, from cuisine to business to its residents. Get a taste for other cultures during the International Festival, which also features dance, folk art, hands-on activities and more to showcase the global presence of Spartanburg. Catch the Parade of Nations before venturing around to learn a little something new.

For the Proud Beer Snob:  Hub City Brew Fest

Although the exact date isn’t finalized quite yet, mark your calendars for this hop-head’s dream. Each October, the Hub City Brew Fest brings breweries from across the Carolinas (including local favorites from Spartanburg County) to downtown for a day of sampling and finding that next must-buy six-pack. Proceeds from the event go to a good cause too, so raise your glass!

For the Person Who Can’t Wait to Watch “Elf” Again:  Dickens of a Christmas

Kick off December on Dec. 1 with a trip back to the Victorian era and holiday cheer a-plenty! The annual Dickens of a Christmas will take over Downtown Spartanburg with local artisans, Christmas markets, live performances, food and maybe most importantly, drinks (hot chocolate, anyone?). The night is capped off by the annual Denny’s Tree lighting, kicking off the holiday season in the Hub City.

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