Ridgeway Hosts Ag+Art Preview

RIDGEWAY – The Town of Ridgeway will host a preview on Tuesday, June 17 of what to expect on June 21 and 22 when Fairfield County participates for the first time in the annual Ag & Art Tour that began in York County in 2012 and now includes Chester, Lancaster and Fairfield. Not to be confused with the tour itself, Tuesday’s Kickoff will take place on the lawn of the Century House in Ridgeway from 5-8 p.m. and will feature a sampling of the seven Fairfield County farm sites that will provide venues along the tour route later in the month.

While the Kickoff is free, barbecue tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce office or at the Cotton Yard Market in Ridgeway. There will be two free music venues and several artists whose work will be displayed on the street.

The Ag & Art Tour is designed to get visitors and residents off the main roads and to experience the agricultural and artistic endeavors of folks throughout these counties.

“It will be a wonderful weekend of fun for the whole family,” said Denise Jones, Chairwoman of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, who is helping organize the tour. “The tours are self-guided so that visitors can follow their map and travel to visit the various farmers and artisan venues to view everything from quilt making and gardening to animal care, arts, crafts, food preparation and more. It’s the only tour of its kind in the state that combines agriculture, the arts and tourism.”

And the venues are not just show-and-tell. Most will have their products for sale.

The first Ag + Art Tour in York County attracted 3,000 visitors. When it expanded in 2013 to include Lancaster County it attracted 6,000 visitors.

“It’s been a huge success,” Jones said. “And we think the number of visitors could double again this year with the addition of Fairfield and Chester counties.”

While the four counties are working together through the Olde English Tourism Commission and Clemson Extension Service, each county plans its own tour.

“This combining of agriculture and art is very natural,” Jones said, “and I think folks on the tour will really enjoy this authentic experience.

“And to get a sneak peak at what the Tour is all about,” Jones added, “plan to attend the Kickoff next Tuesday in Ridgeway. I think everyone will really enjoy it.”

For additional information, go to AgandArtTour.com.