As we approach our 48th Annual Summerville Family YMCA Flowertown Festival, we are reminiscent of the festival’s humble beginnings. Entire scrapbooks are filled with yellowed newspaper articles documenting the Festival’s rich history. An article from 1973 paraphrased Gene Gantt (pictured left), one of the Festival’s founders, saying “…the purpose of the Flowertown Festival is to introduce other South Carolinians and out of state tourists to our community in addition to raising money.” That still holds true 45 years later.
On this three-day weekend, visitors transcend into our town full of Southern hospitality to see nature’s bounty awash in color, and to attend one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast. As visitors stroll down Main Street looking for treasures and local eats from so many local and out of town vendors, they are welcomed by the pine trees and beautiful sights only our sweet town has.
The Festival — consistently ranked as one of the Top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society — normally draws over 236,000 people and positively impacts the local economy by an estimated $49 million. However, the event itself nets an average $250,000 in charitable dollars to support programming at the local Y that benefits its 8,000 members.
As a longtime community partner, The Summerville Family YMCA is here to help. We have been a part of this community for generations. We have helped raise confident swimmers, given people with disabilities mobility, and eased financials burdens for those who are most deserving of membership (i.e. teachers, first responders, military families, cancer survivors and so many more). We are a place where everyone belongs and has the chance to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Charitable dollars and your support of The Flowertown Festival ensures that the Summerville Family YMCA continues to be a community cornerstone that puts Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, body and mind for all.
Kimberly Caughell, VP of Community Relations