Originally created 07/05/97

Festival provides fun, raises money for good cause



AIKEN -Saturday, people can help save the environment while qualifying to win a brand new ski boat.

The second annual Pennies for the Park Parade and Picnic, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Virginia Acres Park in Aiken, will culminate with a raffle for a 20-foot Galaxie Waterski Boat equipped with a 205 hp Mercruiser inboard-outboard engine and Cox drive-on trailer.

Other prizes will include a week at Edisto Beach, two railside spaces for the Aiken Fall Steeplechase with tickets and picnic lunch for eight and dinner for two at several restaurants in Aiken.

The purpose of the celebration is to help the Aiken County Open Land Trust raise money to buy the Carolina Bay Nature Reserve, 14 acres across Price Avenue from Virginia Acres Park that consists of a natural wetland.

"This is a chance for families to come and for the kids to have a good time at the parade and for families to get together for the weekend of the Fourth of July," said Lucy Knowles, a committee member for the Carolina Bay Park. "The wetland is a nice, quiet refuge for people and there are all birds down there like ducks and kingfishers."

Ms. Knowles said the committee would eventually build a "birding platform" so people can watch the birds.

"It'll be a completely different experience from what you get on the other side of the road at the park," she said.

Another highlight of the day will be the children's tricycle and wagon parade with prizes awarded for the cutest, prettiest, funniest and most unusual "floats."

The parade and picnic are free, but donations will be accepted. Sandwiches and hotdogs will be sold and drinks will be provided.

Another festival scheduled for today is the Wagener Freedom Festival, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The festival will include barbecue starting at 11 a.m., a horseshoe tournament, B.B. gun shoot, arm wresting and dunking booth at 1 p.m., a pie-eating and watermelon-eating contest starting at 6 p.m., a dance featuring the band "One Step Ahead" starting at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about this event, call (803)564-5450. For more information about the Pennies for the Park Parade and Picnic, call Lucy Knowles at (803) 649-4422.