60,000 people expected for 14th annual Pecan Festival

60,000 people expected for 14th annual Pecan Festival

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - It's that time of year again - when tens of thousands of people gather for one purpose - to go nuts.

This year is the 14th annual South Carolina Pecan Festival.

It began with just a few hundred-people taking part in the event and now has grown to more than 60,000 people showing up for the one day event.

The festival takes place inside of nine different blocks in the heart of downtown Florence.

Irby, Dargan, Cheves and Evans are just a few streets that will be shut down this weekend.

Councilwoman Pat Gibson Hye-Moore is one of the founders. She said it has come a long way from what it used to be.

"We have a 7,500-dollar budget to do the entire festival, the first year we were praying for people to come out. We ended up with 4,500 we were praying for people to come out. Now it's way up to 60-thousand people. People come from around the nation. I have friends that come from DC every year," Hye-Moore said.

The festival gets started at 8 a.m. Saturday morning with "run like a nut" 5k and 10k race.

Because more than 60,000 people come to the event, parking will be scarce.

The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority will be giving free shuttles from a number of locations including Florence Regional Airport, the old Winn Dixie and the Florence mall.

There is also a chance for you to win $250 if you can cook well!

A cook-off that must contain pecans will take place Saturday morning at 10:15.

WMBF News Anchor Ken Baker will be the master of ceremonies for the event.

"Basically, it's getting together and having a good time. When I started it that was the reason, that was the goal, for everyone to get together a diverse group of people and have a good time in downtown Florence and it works and it continues to work," Hye Moore said.

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