The annual Blessing of the Hounds is a must-see for residents and visitors alike. Aiken Hounds is distinguished as having the oldest drag hunt in the nation. In a drag hunt, cloth saturated with fox scent is dragged across the terrain to create a trail for the hounds to follow. Mounted riders follow the pack. A local clergyman officiates the event each year. The ceremony pays homage to the various traditions of foxhunting, to the heritage of Aiken’s historic hunt culture, and to the skilled hounds that make this sport so engaging. There is no parking at the South Boundary entrance, but attendees may park downtown. One should allow 30 minutes to walk from Laurens Street to Memorial Gate. No motorized vehicles or dogs are permitted in the Woods for this event. There is no charge.