About Tartan Day South

Tartan Day South honors the Celtic culture and heritage in South Carolina’s Midlands region. The traditions of the United Kingdom – Ireland, Scotland and England are showcased. The main event is in Cayce at the Historic Columbia Speedway on Saturday. Other free and paid events are held in West Columbia, Cayce and  Lexington.  It is truly an event for all ages.
Guests are invited to listen to Celtic music, drum and pipe bands, watch traditional dancing, observe athletes compete in Highland Game events, walk among prized British autos at the car show, discover the various clans and societies, be amazed as dogs herd sheep, birds of prayer or the adventurers can try their hand at ax throwing. An array of food is available onsite. A marketplace showcasing Celtic fabrics, jewelry, ironware and foods.
The event is held to benefit our nonprofit  partner the River Alliance.  The driving force that develops projects that continue to improve the access to the incredible 90 miles of rivers that are the greatest natural resource in the heart of the Midlands of South Carolina. 


Tartan Day South was conceived by John Banks and Donovan Murray with the Historic Columbia Speedway and is produced by John Banks and the Historic Columbia Speedway Group. On behalf of the producers, the owners of Historic Columbia Speedway, The River Alliance and our partners and sponsors, we welcome you to Tartan Day South.

John Banks, left and Donovan Murray
Our Partners

There are no more important members of the Tartan Day South team than our sponsors and municipal partners. Their generous contributions in many ways have made the event into what it is today. While you are at the event and out in the community, please take a moment to thank them for their support.

Guinness and Southern Glazer'sWine & Spirits of Columbia
12 Year Sponsor

The original partner from day one, Guinness and Southern Wine & Spirits have been great partners with Tartan Day South. Their commitiment when no one else believed has been paramount in the success of this event!

The River Alliance

Just over three decades ago, the Midlands’ Broad, Saluda and Congaree Rivers were an unknown resource. Today, the three rivers are the signature of the region and an expanding part of the daily life of the community.

The River Alliance is the nonprofit organization that makes it all possible. Representing the five local governments including the Cities of Cayce, Columbia, and West Columbia, as well as Lexington and Richland Counties, The River Alliance’s mission is to connect people to the rivers, making them accessible, yet protected.

Through the work of The River Alliance and its many partners, the rivers have become a stimulus for economic development, an attraction for regional tourism and an opportunity for local residents to enjoy the history, culture and natural surroundings of the Riverbank Region’s three rivers.

The River Alliance Saluda Riverwalk Project, Winner of the Waterfront Center’s International Excellence on the Waterfront Award, and The Sanctuary at Boyd Island project are the newest completed projects along the Three Rivers Greenway. The trail winds along the Saluda River behind the Riverbanks Zoo that ends at The Sanctuary at Boyd Island.  It is little bit of wilderness in the middle of the river, with an incredible observation deck overlooking the river with the skyline of Columbia in the background. The Second Phase of the Saluda Riverwalk is progressing. It will connect the Columbia Canal to Riverfront Park.  At that point, you can walk or bike from the Zoo to the State Museum and Edventure at the Gervais Street Bridge. 

Whether you are visiting, strolling along the Greenway, or wanting more information on our other projects, we hope you enjoy what our three cities have to offer. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the River Alliance.

Order of the Flaming Caber

Order of the Flaming Caber originated at Tartan Day South and recognizes those special individuals that have contributed to the promotion of Celtic heritage locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. They have shared their time and energy to help promote and produce Tartan Day South. Through their talents and support, these individuals have helped to establish a strong Celtic presence in the greater Columbia area, and beyond, through service, education and entertainment.

Symbolically the caber represents the strength of the Celtic Nations and the flame represents those that keep the memory of their heritage burning for future generations.

We will honor members of the Order of the Flaming Caber Friday night as part of the Celtic Commotion activities by lighting and tossing a flaming caber (weather permitting). We will induct new member(s) into the Order of the Flaming Caber on Saturday during our opening ceremonies.


Donovan Murray
Tartan Day Co-Founder
1957 - 2022


John Banks with honoree
Scott Wilhide and his wife Beth
Indispensable TDS Volunteer


William McCullough Jr
Palmetto Scottish Country Dancers
Has provided our Wee Games since our begninning


Dr. Bruce Durier
Scottish Genealogists
(pictured with wife, Carolyn)


Edward & Sigrid Judice
of Clan MacIntosh
First Clan to participate at Tartan Day South


Lanny Skinner
Original Member of TDS Team


Paul Gleeson
Council General of Ireland


Charlie Allan
CEO-Clanranald Trust for Scotland


Original Members of
Seven Nations

Celtic Rock Group
Struby | Kirk | Neil | Nick


Elise Parton
Mayor-Cayce, SC

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