Steeped in history, Camden thrives as a progressive small town. Located 20 minutes from Columbia, South Carolina's capital city, the City of Camden offers a small town atmosphere with a subtle metropolitan sophistication. The City is constantly striving to beautify its public spaces in a manner befitting its rich history. The recently completed Camden Town Green, an exquisite "third place" set in the heart of downtown, doubles as a daytime parking area and transforms in the evening into a performance venue. The City also is one of the smallest municipalities to receive a federal grant (TIGER II) to narrow the primary downtown corridor from four lanes to two to slow down traffic and benefit pedestrian safety. This transformation will continue to enhance the downtown's accessibility, appeal, and charm. The beauty of Camden is also seen in its many amenities including the equine industry, historical presence, and art community. A combination of these elements creates an inviting environment for visitors and residents.
In addition to its southern gentility, the City prides itself on its strong ties and commitment to history, horses, and hospitality. Overflowing with rich history, Camden offers individuals the opportunity to embrace the Revolutionary era. Minutes from downtown, Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, home to the reconstructed Kershaw-Cornwallis House, enables a walk back in time to experience Camden during the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. Down the road, the Battle of Camden site marks the worst American battle defeat of the Revolutionary War. Step inside the Camden Archives and Museum to see Camden through images and objects making up the depository of the City's rich heritage and history. Or spend some time researching genealogy with an experienced and professional staff. Camden embraces its history and opens it up to share with the world.
Camden and the equine industry go hand in hand. Thrilling equine events bring people from all over the country to enjoy the atmosphere and events. In the spring the Carolina Cup and in the fall the Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup are renowned events with the accoutrements of fine thoroughbred steeplechasing and southerly-graceful social flair. The area also includes the South Carolina Equine Park home to a full range of activities, breeds and users, such as hunter jumper quarter horses, paint horses, dressage, ranch horse shows, breed shows, and youth events. The National Steeplechase Museum, the only museum in the country dedicated to steeplechasing, is located on the Springdale Race Course. Well worth a visit whether you are a horse enthusiast or not.
Prevalent throughout the City is the continuing support of the arts. People can tour the many antique shops and art studios located throughout the City. Many local artists display their work throughout the community. On the weekend, many come to visit the Farmer's Market for locally grown products. Camden also offers a variety of cultural activities. It is home to the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center, which offers a venue to display and engage in the arts. The Fine Arts Center also hosts annual Downhome Blues and Jazz Festivals transforming the downtown area into a music destination point.
One common thread that runs throughout the City of Camden is its commitment to what some call hospitality, but locals call a way of life. Visitors are able to enjoy the City and eat and shop in smoke-free environments. There is something for everyone in the City of Camden.
The National League of Cities (NLC) provides awareness and offers participation in a variety of programs. The City incorporates some of these special programs into the community to enhance the quality of life. Two recent programs presented by NLC and implemented are the prescription discount drug card program and Let's Move Cities and Towns. The NLC provides a valuable resource to cities by creating a venue to showcase programs and provide opportunities to enhance their community.