Featured Image: Post and Courier
For the 8th year in a row, the Sweet Tea Festival will be hitting the streets of downtown Summerville on Saturday, September 21. Just 8 years ago, a small event held on the lawn of Hutchinson Square has grown into a premier event in the Lowcountry.
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Wearing the title of The Birthplace of Sweet Tea, Summerville’s iconic downtown is the perfect setting for the festival. Already known for its hospitable, charming nature, Summerville takes great pride as the birthplace of the iconic Southern beverage. The Sweet Tea Trail winds through the town and gives visitors a personal experience learning about the history of the town and its ties to sweet tea.
Summerville’s sweet tea history begins in the 1700s when tea plants were imported into the area from China. It wasn’t until 1888 when Dr. Charles Sheperd created the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville which became the first prosperous tea plantation to produce American grown tea. Long after the death of Dr. Sheperd in 1915, these plants were transported to Wadmalaw Island in 1963 and became the original tea plants at the Charleston Tea Plantation which continues to be in full operation to this day.
The event is in the same location as when it was first held in Hutchinson Square, on West Richardson, and on Short Central. Mugs will be sold at the event so visitors can try all of the teas and then cast their vote in the tea tasting contest for the People’s Choice for Best Sweet Tea. Come out and enjoy historic Downtown Summerville with some sweet tea and live music!