Harvest Home Weekend event draws thousands for outdoor family activities
With fun, family-friendly activities spaced out over a large outdoor area, the Harvest Home Weekend festival at Brookgreen Gardens safely kicked off the fall season.
Officials say about 4,000 people attended the event, held on Oct. 3 and 4. For those looking for fun things to do on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, Harvest Home Weekend was the place to be. Attendees built their own scarecrows, picked out pumpkins to decorate and watched children navigate a hay maze, all while enjoying cool temperatures of the season. There were also food and crafts vendors.
“It was a terrific weekend for families to get out and enjoy the fall weather at beautiful Brookgreen Gardens,” said Page Kiniry, president/CEO of Brookgreen. “I think people liked having the opportunity to be in nature, and enjoying an event in wide-open spaces. I loved seeing families spending time together to decorate pumpkins and make scarecrows they could take home!”
Due to COVID-19, Brookgreen Gardens has enacted safety protocols to ensure the safety of all visitors. All guests are asked to observe social distancing guidelines and wear a mask or comparable face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In compliance with Georgetown County Emergency Ordinance 20-33, masks should always be used in any interior spaces, including public restrooms.
Kiniry said slight changes to the activities added to the safety people felt during the event.
“Even with great attendance, nothing ever felt crowded,” Kiniry said. “We made our arts and crafts, scarecrow building, and pumpkin decorating supplies into kits so they were single-touch. Everyone seemed to enjoy the kit option, especially the surprise scarecrow kits!”
She explained that people who wanted to build a scarecrow were given a bag of supplies, including clothing and accessories, a paper bag for a head, markers and zip ties. They could use these supplies to create their scarecrow using wooden frames already spaced out on the grounds.
People who attended the Harvest Home Weekend festival said they had a grand time at the event. Jane Luankaew, who drove down from her home in Myrtle Beach, was building a scarecrow with her 5-year-old daughter, Caroline, said she has been coming to the event for years.
“We love this event!” she said.
When asked what her favorite part of the day was, Caroline said she enjoyed decorating her pumpkin the most.
Steven and Stephanie Allen, also of Myrtle Beach, were building a scarecrow with their 4-year-old daughter, Amelia. They said this was their first time attending the Harvest Home event.
“It is just a beautiful day, and this is a fun, kid-friendly and family-friendly event,” Stephanie Allen said. “Being stuck in quarantine, it sure is great to get out and have some fun. And we sure are having fun building a scarecrow!”
Founded in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington just south of Murrells Inlet, Brookgreen Gardens is a unique melding of art, nature, and history. It is one of America’s premier gardens and it is one of a few select places in the United States to have earned accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, as well as being designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Brookgreen Gardens contains the largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in the country, displayed in a stunning garden setting, three galleries and a visible storage and research facility. It offers a selection of tours, programs, and exhibits for all ages. Each season, new exhibitions and special events make Brookgreen Gardens, as its motto implies, “Ever Changing. Simply Amazing.”
Kiniry said she hopes people who attended this event will also attend one of the most popular Christmas holiday events around at Brookgreen Gardens.
“We are so happy to be able to safely host events such as Harvest Home in our large outdoor venue. We are looking forward to hosting a safe and social-distanced “Nights of a Thousand Candles.”
For more information about Brookgreen Gardens, call 843-235-6000, or visit the website at: https://www.brookgreen.org
By Clayton Stairs/tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce