Sumter’s Iris Festival has consistently been ranked as one of the top festivals in the Southeastern United States. Every Memorial Day weekend, Japanese iris blooms set the stage for a weekend of flowers, food and fun! The festival includes concerts, an arts and crafts show, a flower show, a quilt show, car shows, and a number of contests and children’s activities. The Japanese iris bloom yearly in mid to late May and last until the beginning of June. Sumter’s Swan Lake-Iris Gardens -- the main staging area for the Iris Festival -- is home to all eight types of the world’s swans including swans from Asia, Australia, England and South America. This is the only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species. The lake is also dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant. Returning home after a wonderful day at the Iris Festival & Gardens, arriving back approximately 8:30 PM.