LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - The popular event in the Pee Dee is set to return Friday after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19.
ArtFields is a week-long art competition in downtown Lake City that serves as one of the city’s biggest economic events.
The cancellation of last year’s event was a major disappointment to many local businesses who rely on the visitors.
Clark Ward, of Ward’s Comfort and Style, said his business makes four times more than a normal week during ArtFields.
“All year long it’s been a struggle, so we really needed ArtFields last year but we just weren’t able to do it, but this year we’re glad to have it back,” he said.
Over the next week, thousands of people are expected to once again walk through the streets of downtown Lake City and enjoy paintings, sculptures, and other unique artwork.
“The way it’s set up the art is inside the businesses, not just in the galleries, so that brings people throughout the whole town to see what the businesses have to offer,” Ward said.
Stores, restaurants and even barbershops take part in ArtFields.
Anna Burrows, owner of Seven Boutique and Shade Tree Outfitters, said ArtFields has a huge impact on her business throughout the entire year.
“It brings a lot of people in that normally wouldn’t come and shop, so they’ll come around and shop and keep coming back throughout the year, because they had so much fun at ArtFields,” she said.
Over the years, ArtFields has even seen its reach go beyond just the Pee Dee and South Carolina.
For the last four years, Maria Luna has traveled from Michigan to visit her family and serve as a volunteer.
“My daughter-in-law got involved in ArtFields, so when I retired she asked me to come and volunteer,” Luna said.
After being unable to participate last year, Luna’s ready to welcome people to Lake City with a smile on her face.
“At least they’re holding it, it’s a positive, good thing,” she said.
ArtFields 2021 begins at 11 a.m. Friday and runs through May. 1.