Bumping fists with Carolina Panthers stars such as linebacker Thomas Davis, right, is among the attractions that draw fans to Spartanburg for training camp. But the city’s visitors bureau wants fans to know there’s more to do there. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Bumping fists with Carolina Panthers stars such as linebacker Thomas Davis, right, is among the attractions that draw fans to Spartanburg for training camp. But the city’s visitors bureau wants fans to know there’s more to do there. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Inside the Panthers

Inside information and observations on the Carolina Panthers

Inside the Panthers

Panthers camp: Spartanburg’s giant light bulbs are just one way to energize your trip

July 24, 2017 06:30 AM

UPDATED July 24, 2017 06:30 AM

After 22 years of Carolina Panthers training camps at Wofford College in Spartanburg, many fans have developed a routine.

It might go something like this: Drive to Spartanburg, watch the Panthers practice, bump fists with popular players or hunt down autographs after practice. Then catch up with old friends, grab something to eat and head back home. That’s fun, for sure, but could there be more?

This summer, the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to build even more joy into that routine.

I always come back to this one. It's the fireflies. Artist: @aimee.wise #visitspartanburg #hubcity #spartanburg https://t.co/zpZctSI0xi pic.twitter.com/O24mbkpcEz

— Upstate Exposures Ma (@UpstateExposure) April 19, 2017

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The visitors bureau has posted a fans guide with hot spots and ideas for food and fun around Spartanburg. A downloadable and printable version is already posted on its website’s Panthers training camp information page – look for the “Plan Your Day Link.”

The CVB plans to release an interactive version on VisitSpartanburg.com before training camp opens on Wednesday, Chris Jennings, the bureau executive director, told the Observer. And it plans to post links on its social media sites.

After a Carolina Panthers training camp session, the local visitors bureau wants fans to know there’s more to do in Spartanburg than grab an autograph.
David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The guide – “A Day at Panthers Training Camp 2017” – lays out an itinery for a full day of activity that revolves around a morning Panthers practice and ends with a night in an area hotel or B&B.

What’s included is “just a sample” of the Spartanburg area’s offerings. so Jennings says the bureau plans to update the interactive version during camp. At least one new restaurant will open during camp, and they may want to spotlight area establishments such as the many ice cream shops and breweries.

“We have some new twists that hopefully get folks to stay here a little longer,” Chris Jennings, with the visitors bureau, told Greenville television station WYFF.

Among the suggestions in the guide are hiking, jogging and cycling trails for fitness-oriented visitors.

A smartphone can guide visitors through the Spartanburg Music Trail, a tour with stops highlighting artists such as Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd and the Marshall Tucker Band from genres including country, gospel, soul and rock-and-roll.

There’s public art, such as Lighten Up Spartanburg, which consists of 28 6-foot tall fiberglass light bulbs painted, sculpted and otherwise transformed by 36 local and regional artists.

At night, the city’s cultural district beckons with art galleries, live performances, theaters, artist studios and museums.

We are SpARTanburg. Photo by @leslie_bigg on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/Zq5qKfDULO

— VisitSpartanburg (@SpartanburgCVB) April 22, 2017

Blue Moon Specialty Foods is among the places listed in the guide.

“We just love seeing people from out of town come and take our products away and share them,” owner Chris “Wishbone” Walker told the TV station. Walker wants new customers to walk away thinking, “Man, I can’t do without this stuff” and come back for more.

Follow Mike Reader on Twitter.