Tartan Day South, John Banks’ baby is growing up

TDS begins March 29 and ends April 2

John Banks, right and his wife, Pam, at the Carolina Classic Home Home and Garden Show. And Banks at West Columbia’s City Council. (Photos Terry Ward)

Wherever you see John Banks these days he’s promoting Tartan Day South.
Banks is the tourism director for the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. And he’s the proverbial boss of Tartan Day South.
From home shows to city council meetings, Banks is the pied-bag-piper for the Tartan Day South Highland Games and Celtic Festival. The event begins March 29 and ends April 2, with the celebration taking place at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce, and other sites.

“It has grown to where it is a pretty big deal,” Banks said. He has seen the festival from its infancy in 2011. Now, in its seventh year, Tartan Day South is something to brag about.
“I like seeing the thousands of people coming here to see what we’re all about, “Banks said. “It is so exciting to show off all that we have. And it’s even better when everyone tells us what a great time they had at Tartan Day South, and they can’t wait to come back.”
And the numbers back up Banks’ words.

In 2016, Tartan day South attracted 10,221 total attendees over four days.
There were 1,879 zip codes collected on Saturday alone. (April 2nd , 2016.)
According to the stats Banks, and his crew of volunteers collected, 256 of the zip codes attending came from outside of South Carolina. The Tartan Day patronage represented 113 cities from 21 states. Banks’s said an estimated 1,100 attending came from outside of the state.

More than 1,600 zip codes were collected from 152 different areas in South Carolina, with 630 zip codes coming from 92 Cities in South Carolina.
And those visitors produce measurable results.

Tartan Day South had a 2016 economic impact of $1.33 Million dollars on the local economy based on S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism formulas.
Just a sample of states attending in 2016 included: Florida; Indiana; Michigan; Illinois; Kentucky; Tennessee; Georgia; ; North Carolina and beyond. Some festival guests called California and New York home. There was even an attendee from France.
From South Carolina, visitors hailed from: Georgetown, Tega Cay; Florence, Ruby; Greenville and even Swansea.
Banks said he is more excited about Tartan Day this year than ever. It’s growth, he said, has been like watching a child grow.

What is Tartan Day?
The 7th Annual Tartan Day South Celebration is a five day event honoring Celtic heritage. It is a festival of different events at many different venues, featuring unique sports, incredible music, great foods, and interactive as well as interesting exhibitions. Link to Tartan Day South Website
Tartan Day Events
Highland Athletics
Traditional Dancing
World Class Celtic Music
Pipe Bands
Sheep Dog Herding
Birds of Prey
Traditional Food & Drink
Classic British Car Show
Celtic Clans & Societies
Ax Tossing & Archery
Historic Encampments
Celtic Marketplace
Kids Rides & Play Area
“Wee Games”
FREE Movie Night
Celtic Commotion
Kirkin’ of the Tartans
Quidditch Tournament
Tartan Day 5K Run
Power of Plaid Fashion Show and Gala
Featuring: Special Presentations: Guest Speaker Dr Bruce Durie – Renown Genealogist, Writer, Broadcaster & Lecturer from Scotland