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32nd Annual Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival at Conway Downtown Alive, May 5, 2018

Arts & Culture

32nd Annual Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival at Conway Downtown Alive, May 5, 2018

The Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival 2018 will be held on the historic streets of downtown Conway along the banks of the Waccamaw River.    This family-friendly event has occurred annually since 1987 in one of the oldest cities in South Carolina.  The Rivertown Music and Beer Fest, which begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m., will feature several bands, 50 craft beers or more, and 80 vendors with a wide variety of merchandise including arts, crafts, food, pottery, jewelry, etc.

There will be a Classic Car Show sponsored by Palmetto Chevrolet, a downtown Conway business along with great live music.  One of the members of the Special Blend Experience Band, Monique Burgess, says, “It’s family oriented, and that’s what our band is all about. We’re a good family band.  It’s just a good time. The atmosphere is always so lively and always so fun, and that’s just a really good thing.”

The Conway Beer Festival is held on Laurel Street and 3rd Avenue in Downtown Conway, and no coolers are permitted in the festival zone.  You will be able to purchase craft beer at the festival along with other beverages. To accommodate guests more quickly, the beer zone is cash only. Admission is free. Below is the schedule for the Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival that is subject to change along with some price information:

Schedule of Events

11:00 AM Festival Opens
11:00 AM Sally Woody Dancers
12:00 PM Car Show Registration Closes (Car Reg 9AM-12PM)
1:30 PM Chocolate Chip and Company Band
3:00 PM Steady Hand String Band
3:30 PM Car Show Awards
4:30 PM Special Blend
6:00 PM Fast Lane Slow
6:00 PM Tickets sales close for Beer Tasting Zone
6:30 PM Last Call Beer Tasting Zone
7:00 PM Festival Closes

Beer Tickets
Festival Beer Wristband & Cup $1
Single Beer Ticket $5
Five Beer Tickets $19
Beer zone is CASH ONLY!

According to KathyH—” We went and had a blast. There were a nice variety of brews plus vendors to keep everyone happy. Tasting ticket’s weren’t badly priced..… Hope to come back next year!”

History of Conway, The site of the Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival

As was stated earlier, Conway is one of the oldest cities in South Carolina, established as the Colonial riverside village of “Kings Town” 1732, originally named after Britain’s King George II, but the name soon changed to Kingston.  It was laid out on a prong of the Waccamaw River, on a bluff overlooking Kingston Lake.  Scots-Irish immigrants originally settled the town which was the seat of the surrounding Kingston Township which became known as Kingston County.

In 1801, following the American Revolution, patriotic citizens wanted to discard the name that honored Great Britain’s King George II, so Kingston County was renamed Horry County in honor of Peter Horry of Georgetown, a colonel under Brigadier General Francis Marion.  The town of Kingston was renamed Conwayborough (later shortened to Conway) for Robert Conway, a local legislator and former Revolutionary War officer.  Conway remains the county seat of Horry County today

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, Horry County was known for its naval stores, timber and later tobacco as it was largely an agricultural region.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Horry County was the world’s largest producers of flue-cured tobacco and Conway had numerous tobacco warehouses where the tobacco was marketed.

Constructed in 1825 as the Horry County Court House, the current Conway City Hall, located at the intersection of Main Street and Third Avenue was designed by the “famed South Carolina architect Robert Mills, who designed the Washington Monument, the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., and numerous courthouses and public buildings in South Carolina. Its Doric columns and graceful arches are signature elements of Robert Mills’ work. In 1908, to escape the noise of a railway that ran down Conway’s Main Street to riverside warehouses and steamboat docks, a new courthouse was constructed three blocks down Third Avenue and this building became the Conway City Hall.”

Visitors may examine the building’s second-floor courtroom when court is not in session. It still retains classic elements of its days as a rural southern county seat courtroom. “Outside, a 19th century horse trough obtained by Conway officials from the City of Charleston in 1916 is the centerpiece of a small city park. On the corner is the Conway town clock, built in 1939 of local blackjack cypress by W.H. Winborne, an acclaimed Conway cabinet maker. The Conway City Hall is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.” (South Carolina History Trail)

“A half-block up Main Street from the Conway City Hall, at the corner of Main Street and Norman Avenue, is a small, brick building that was the early 20th century headquarters of the Burroughs & Collins Company, a timber and mercantile firm established by Franklin G. Burroughs and Benjamin G. Collins, and which was the founder of Myrtle Beach.  One block toward the Waccamaw River is the picturesque Conway Riverwalk which enables visitors to stroll alongside one of South Carolina’s most scenic black-water rivers. The nearby Conway Visitors Center, at 903 Third Avenue, offers guides for walking tours of the historic river town, information on a seasonal tour of homes and directions for a tour of the city’s many ancient live oak trees.” (South Carolina History Trail)

Conway is a great historical city with numerous buildings and structures on the National Register of Historic Places.  It also has a beautiful, renovated Riverwalk where many Conway SC festivals are held and is considered a part of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area. So, why not join the festivities at the Rivertown Music & Beer Fest and have a great day in the Historic town of Conway, South Carolina.

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