South Carolina: The Food We Celebrate in Aiken

Developed by the South Carolina State Museum and South Carolina Humanities, South Carolina: The Food We Celebrate is a traveling exhibit that celebrates iconic foods from communities around South Carolina. The State Museum and South Carolina Humanities collaborated with 22 organizations across SC to develop the content for the exhibit, highlighting 20 different iconic foodways such as BBQ, chicken bog, peaches and more. The exhibit will be on display at the Aiken County Historical Museum through August 27, 2023.

South Carolina: The Food We Celebrate tells the story of selected foodways popular in South Carolina and how they are saluted and shared. Did you know that the World Grits Festival takes place annually in April in St. George, SC? (And have you heard of the event “Rollin’ in the Grits”?) Do you know the difference between chicken bog and pileau? Do you know which South Carolina community is celebrated for its pumpkins? (Hint: the word pumpkin is in the name!) You can find out the answers to all of these questions and many more in South Carolina: The Food We Celebrate.

The Aiken County Historical Museum is located at 433 Newberry St SW, Aiken, SC 29801. They are open Tuesdays – Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

There will be several special food-related events while the exhibit is on display:

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 | 6:00 p.m.
History on Tap Program
The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration

Chris Smith is the executive director of the Utopian Seed Project, a crop-trialing non-profit working to celebrate food and farming. Within this work, Chris collaborates on The Heirloom Collard Project, hosts a seasonal Trial to Table event series, and publishes Crop Stories, a crop-specific multimedia project. His book, The Whole Okra, won a James Beard Foundation Award in 2020 and he is the co-host of The Okra Pod Cast. More info at and
6:00 p.m. – Light bites
6:30 p.m. – Lecture
Tickets: $30 per person
Purchase ticekts:

Saturday, July 15, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Celebrating Aiken County Foods
Join us from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, July 15 for a “Celebrating Aiken County Foods” event that will pair with our “The Food We Celebrate” exhibit. This free, family-friendly event will feature a farmers market (in cooperation with the Aiken County Farmers Market), cooking demos, and food samplings on the grounds of the Aiken County Historical Museum. Rain date is July 22. See y’all there!

The Aiken County Historical Museum, under the direction of the Aiken County Historical Commission, collects, preserves, promotes, interprets, and exhibits the historical objects of Aiken County and its surrounds.

South Carolina: The Food We Celebrate is part of the SC State Museum’s Traveling Exhibit Program, which provides museums, art centers, universities and other institutions with high quality, affordable traveling exhibitions. These special exhibits provide a variety of fascinating shows for institutions of any size, from large exhibitions designed for major museums to smaller, South Carolina-specific exhibits for local museums, galleries, libraries, schools and more. Learn more.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.