Family Travel 2012

Nichole Livengood



McCormick residents go for the gold

Posted 9/12/2012 4:21:00 PM

Take your chances at striking it rich this weekend at the McCormick Gold Rush Festival.

Did you know the town of McCormick is built on a gold mine? The 35th annual festival celebrates McCormick’s rich cultural heritage. Here’s a quick history lesson: William Dorn discovered gold in McCormick around 1850. Chicago resident Cyrus Hall McCormick purchased the mine from Dorn and later donated the land for the town that bears his name. The mine continued to be used into the 1930s.

Fun Fact: Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884) is credited with patenting the mechanical reaper.

The early bird gets the worm -- or in this case the pancakes -- at this festival. The day starts with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at McCormick United Methodist Church, then crowds line the streets to kick off the festival with a good old fashioned, small town parade complete with a marching band, decorated floats and beauty queens.

Other festival day activities to enjoy are panning for gold, exploring the old Heritage Gold Mine Park, touring the steam operated Grist Mill (only the second one in the country, and the only one in South Carolina) at The Old Dorn Mill Complex and the historical Dorn House. Stop in at The Mack, McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah, for a peek in the gift shop, to bid on something in the silent auction, or watch the live art demonstrations. Art vendors also will be set up along the street for the event.

And don’t forget the grub. Food vendors will be serving up barbecued turkey legs, ribs and other festival fare. Pull up a chair, have a bite and listen to some live music.

Little ones will enjoy face painting, hands-on activities and rides. Dad will enjoy the car show, with everything from Model Ts to 2013 Mustangs.

“This is the kind of festival where you can bring your kids and feel safe,” said Anne Barron, Executive Director of McCormick’s Chamber of Commerce. “We’re just a small town community.”

Can’t make it for the festival? Barron says families can pan for gold in the creeks of any of McCormick’s three state parks year round. Just check in with the park staff first. For more information about the McCormick Gold Rush Festival visit the website at, email or call (864) 852-2835.