Here Are the Best Spring Events in Aiken, SC in 2023

Here are the best spring events in Aiken, SC in spring 2023.Spring is one of the most captivating seasons in Aiken, SC. The temperate weather is accompanied by blooming trees and flowers, making it the ideal time to enjoy a walk through Hopeland Gardens or a ride in Hitchcock Woods. Spring is the peak season in Aiken, and there are a plethora of outdoor events to attend including Steeplechase, art and music festivals, polo matches, golf tournaments, and much more. Come out, enjoy the sunshine, and mark your calendar now for these upcoming spring events in Aiken, SC!

If you are thinking of relocating to Aiken, right now is a wonderful time to visit and enjoy any of these exciting spring events in Aiken, SC. While you’re in town, be sure to contact Suzy Haslup for a personalized tour of Aiken. An avid horsewoman with years of real estate experience, Suzy would love to answer any questions you may have about a specific home, local neighborhoods, schools, or the different equestrian communities.

Top Spring Events in Aiken, SC, in 2023

1. The New Orleans-Style Funeral Parade  March 2nd | 5 p.m.

Join us at Newberry Hall at 5 p.m. as we prepare to march in Joye in Aiken’s second Funeral Parade! Led by Juilliard-trained trumpeter Alphonso Horne, the parade will feature a horse-drawn caisson, lots of beads, masks, and costumes, and a band made up of local and visiting jazz musicians. Help kick off the grand 15th Anniversary Festival week. You’ll definitely want to be part of the celebration!

2. Breakfast at The Gallops: March 17th | 8 a.m.

Breakfast at The Gallops is a favorite tradition here in Aiken. Held the day before the Aiken Trials, it’s the perfect event to kick off the horse racing festivities. Head over to the Aiken Training Track for a light breakfast, speak with local trainers, and watch how the young Thoroughbreds train. This year’s guest speaker is Acacia Courtney, a renowned TV host, analyst, and reporter for the New York Racing Association. She also hosts America’s Day at the Races and is a paddock reporter for Saratoga Live, both available on FOX Sports.

Breakfast is from 8 – 9:30 a.m. and tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Aiken Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

3. The Aiken Triple Crown: March 18 – April 3

2023 welcomes the return of the Aiken Triple Crown, which offers three consecutive weekends of equine fun! The Triple Crown consists of three events: The Aiken Trials, Spring Steeplechase, and Pacers and Polo. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Aiken Trials: March 18

First held in 1942, The Aiken Trials were established as a way to give young horses in training the opportunity to experience live racing. In 2023, this is still a favorite town-wide tradition, drawing upwards of 10,000 spectators who enjoy a day of family fun, tailgating, vendors, and competitive horse racing. 

The 80th Annual Aiken Trials takes place on Saturday, March 18th from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

There are six races on the program consisting of five races for two-year-olds and maidens, and one race for older horses that have already won. Pony races will also be featured, along with contests for “best hat,” “best tailgate” and more.

Tickets for The Aiken Trials can be purchased online, in person at the Aiken Training Track office, or at various locations in town. Rail Spaces, Patron & General Admission Tickets, and Tent Permits are available at the Track office. 

  • Spring Steeplechase: March 25th

The second leg of the Aiken Triple Crown is the Spring Steeplechase. This is Aiken’s largest sporting event, drawing thousands of spectators from near and far. Dress to impress and get ready for a fabulous day at the races with family and friends. Watch the Thoroughbreds race to the finish line and cheer on your favorite competitors. The Steeplechase includes opening ceremonies, tent parties, hat contests, tailgating, games, pop-up shops, and more. It is truly an event like no other!

The 56th Running of the Aiken Spring Steeplechase will take place on Saturday, March 25th, 2023. Tickets are available now, and you can purchase them online, at the Aiken Steeplechase Association’s office, or at various locations throughout town. 

For more details about race day and a map of the facility, visit the event’s website

  • Pacers and Polo: April 1st

Pacers and Polo is the third jewel of the Aiken Triple Crown. Come out to Powderhouse Polo Field and enjoy a fabulous day of polo, complete with an opening ceremony, 6 chukkers, divot-stomping, an awards ceremony, Silent Auction (VIP) and more. This event is sponsored by the Aiken Polo Club in conjunction with USC Aiken. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. and the match kicks off at 1 p.m. Please visit the USC Aiken website for more information about this year’s Pacers and Polo event.

4. The Aiken Horse Show in the Woods: March 31-April 2

For over a century, the annual Show in the Woods has wowed spectators and set the standard for many local top-tier equestrian competitions. The horse show takes place right in the heart of Hitchcock Woods, offering a picturesque setting in nature. Come admire the beautiful showgrounds, mingle with friends, and watch horses and riders compete! The show begins at 9 a.m. each day and runs into late afternoon.

The 107th annual Horse Show in the Woods will be held March 31st – April 2nd. Friday is Opening Day, featuring the $750 Aiken Hounds Welcome Stakes and the $1000 Aiken Horse Show Open Handy Hunter Stakes. Saturday is “family day” which features children’s divisions, leadline, the ever-popular costume contest, family class, Junior Hunter Division and the $500 Junior Stakes. On Sunday, there will be everything from foxhunting to sidesaddle classes and more. The event is free for those who hike into the woods, or there is a $10 parking fee per day ($25 to park all 3 days). Hiking in is not encouraged via the South Boundary entrance due to vehicular traffic. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch, or purchase a ticket to reserve a catered lunch under the tent. There will be a garden bar along the side of the tent, a wonderful Silent Auction, concessions truck and merchandise tent. Sponsorship packages are also available. 

5. Joye in Aiken: March 3-10, & June 22-25

Our charming Southern town welcomes the world’s finest artists from Julliard and beyond during Joye of Aiken. From smooth jazz to ballet and performing arts, get ready to see performances from some of the most talented musicians, dancers and actors in the world this spring. Mark your calendar now for the following events:



Location: USC Aiken Etherredge Center

Tickets $50; Students FREE with ID



12:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. THE JOYE OF JAZZ

Location: The Willcox

Enjoy a Gospel Brunch with Alphonso Horne and the Gotham Kings from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $125 Lobby; $100 Dining Room. This includes a Two Course Brunch menu and cash bar, along with 1:00 – 1:50 p.m. and 3:00 – 3:50 p.m. Handful of Keys and Listening Party sessions.

There is also an Evening Headline Session Featuring Jumaane Smith from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tickets for the Evening Session are $150 Lobby; $125 Dining Room. This includes a three course dinner and cash bar.

If you’d like to attend both sessions, All Day Passes are available for $250 per person Lobby; $200 per person Dining Room.




Location: St. John’s United Methodist Church

Tickets $25; Students FREE with ID





Location: First Presbyterian Church

FREE and Open to the Public

General Admission is on first come first served basis; doors open at 11:30 AM




USC Aiken Etherredge Center

Tickets $30; Students FREE with ID


FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2023


Location: USC Aiken Etherredge Center

Tickets: $50 per person; Students FREE with ID 

The 13th annual Joye in Aiken will take place in various locations throughout town in March and June. Ticket sales are now open, so make sure to reserve your spot today!

Find Your Place in Aiken, SC

You can experience all of these spring events in Aiken, SC, when you live in the heart of it all! If you’re considering relocating to the area, contact Suzy Haslup today. She is also active in the community as a member of two fox hunts, Chairperson of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee for the City of Aiken and a board member of the Racing Hall of Fame Museum in Hopelands Gardens. Between her experience as a Realtor® and horsewoman, Suzy will ensure that you find the equestrian property of your dreams, whether that’s an idyllic farm out in the country, land, or a home in Aiken’s Historic Horse District. 

Are you ready to make your dream of living in Aiken, SC, a reality? Contact Suzy to begin your home search now!