Best of the Pine Belt 2023


Signature Magazine hosts an annual Best of the Pine Belt voting contest that allows residents to nominate their favorite food, music, art, businesses, and people in this region.

The Southeastern region offers something for everyone. Be it an orchestra performance or a thought-provoking lecture series, there’s sure to be something exciting happening in this part of the United States.

1. The Hub City Players

Hub City Players have quickly established themselves as one of the premier theatre companies in the Pine Belt region. Following an outstanding sold-out, held-over run of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, they have elevated all aspects of production, setting a new standard among regional theatre companies across Georgia.

Beginning as a one-night FestivalSouth cabaret show entitled LOL: A Showtune Cabaret, The Players have since grown into a full-scale production company offering Broadway-calibre main stage shows such as Sister Act, Steel Magnolias, Rock of Ages, James and the Giant Peach and fundraising events such as Brewhoho/Brewhaha.

Hub City Players offers you a memorable Halloween experience this year with Little Shop of Horrors, their adult-only musical comedy show that will surely please audiences of all ages! As always, the show serves as a fundraiser for The Hub City Players so you can both have fun while supporting local communities simultaneously! Be sure to purchase tickets early, as this event tends to sell out fast; visit their website for show times and ticket information.

2. The Hub City Farmers Market

Hub City Farmers Market, established in 2003 and providing support and education to local producers while informing its community on seasonal produce and nutrition, is the longest-running farmers market in Upstate South Carolina. The HCFM offers three markets throughout the week – Saturday Market at Northside Harvest Park, Downtown Lunch Market, and Mobile Market, which visits 18 weekly locations from Monday through Friday – providing people with shopping opportunities while hosting events such as cooking demonstrations and children’s activities. HCFM’s mission is to make fresh, healthy food accessible for all and serves as an example for other community organizations. They accept various nutrition incentives, including WIC, SNAP Healthy Hero Vouchers, and an EBT Matching Program, which doubles spending with them.

HCFM and Ruth’s Gleanings share similar values: creating an affordable, healthy food system in Spartanburg County that allows individuals and families access, understanding that good health starts in the kitchen, and dedicating themselves to serving their community. Both organizations cite the Mary Black Foundation as a common thread that has enabled them to build capacity while taking risks and focusing on systems-level work within their communities.

Thanks to Presidents’ Day sales, winter weather conditions, tax season, and pre-owned inventory at Pine Belt Subaru, February is an ideal month to shop for cars or browse. We carry an impressive selection of 2023 Subaru vehicles that could meet your needs; visit us today – 498 Howard Street, Spartanburg, SC 29301

3. The Hattiesburg Arts Festival

This Saturday marks the return of Hattiesburg’s premier arts and music festival: HUBFEST 2023! Boasting four stages of live music, over 250 arts & crafts vendors, food vendors, children’s activities, and an expansive children’s area, this festival promises to keep all attendees occupied! When the event ends on Saturday night, head over to Brewskies for “Celebration Nocturna,” presented by Southern Eye Center, with Rarebit Orquesta from Ecuador performing!

Matt Maeson will take to Hattiesburg Saenger Theater this Friday to close out his That’s My Cue Tour, before which you can witness an exciting performance by the University of Southern Mississippi Civic Chorus and Meistersingers!

This weekend, look up to the sky for something spectacular: hot air balloons! Forrest County Multipurpose Center will once again host this spectacular event hosted by RISE, a 501c3 nonprofit. Admission costs only one dollar or a canned food donation and includes live entertainment such as aircraft stunts, skydiving, tethered balloon rides, and much more!

Paul B Johnson State Park will welcome thousands this Saturday and Sunday. Known for its dense forests of majestic longleaf pines, delicate dogwoods, ancient oaks, and more – Paul B Johnson State Park offers visitors an idyllic natural landscape perfect for picnics, swims, hikes, bird-watching excursions, and exploring! Conveniently located near Downtown Hattiesburg and USM campuses, visitors can also participate in their annual festival/parade!

4. The Hattiesburg Fair

Hattiesburg offers something for every culture buff or outdoor adventurer alike – year-round tours and trails and annual and pop-up events offer something exciting to experience in this historic city.

The Pine Belt Fair will return to Forrest County Multipurpose Center September 2 – 11 and promises plenty of entertainment, food, and attractions for people of all ages. Experience classic fair games such as popping balloons, tossing rings, or knocking down pins to win a stuffed animal at this exciting event.

Common Grounds offers outdoor enthusiasts the perfect place to experience live music performances, including Thomas Hall (voted “Best Local Band” by Signature Magazine this year) and Restoration Band, an instrumental Christian ensemble.

Hattiesburg Arts Council’s Brown Bag Concert Series returns this October and takes place each Thursday from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at City Hall Fountain Park Plaza. Coke and local restaurants provide soft drinks, sandwiches, and desserts without charging an admission fee for attendance.

As part of its many cultural and outdoor activities, the city also hosts multiple job fairs throughout the year to connect young people with jobs that could lead to promising careers. One such job fair was recently hosted in June; over 200 high school students associated with employers with immediate hiring needs or summer positions offered as summer jobs.