Originally created 07/03/05

Aiken's July Fest has moved into the city



Aiken's 18th annual July Fest is moving on up - uptown, that is.

This year the event will be held on Newberry Street from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The street will be blocked off between Richland and Park avenues for the festivities.

Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, which is organizing the event, is making plans to accommodate 5,000 visitors or even more.

"I'm expecting more this year than last year," said Betty Gyles, the recreation supervisor at Smith-Hazel Recreation Center. "This is our first time downtown, and it's in walking distance for a lot of people."

The festivities will include entertainment, carnival games and rides, a rock-climbing wall, food, arts and crafts, karaoke and a youth talent show.

"That's something new this year," Ms. Gyles said of the talent show.

Children ages 17 and younger will take the stage from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. They can perform individually or in groups.

The entertainment will kick off with a musical performance by gospel recording artist Thelma Robinson.

Tickets can be purchased at Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, H. Odell Weeks Activities Center and Busy Bee Beauty Shop.

Everything other than the food concessions is free with the price of admission, Ms. Gyles said

Proceeds will benefit the parks department.

"It gives the family and friends a chance to come out and enjoy each other," said Ms. Gyles. "It's a way to let the people know that we're here for you."

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (803) 648-1395, ext. 113, or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: July Fest

WHEN: 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Newberry Street, Aiken

TICKETS: $3 in advance; $4 at the gate; no charge for 5 and younger

INFORMATION: Call 642-7635.