The largest Edgefield County festival other than the Peach Festival, this year’s jubilee promises to be “bigger and better than ever before,” said co-chairman Sonny Seawright.
“After trying other locations for several years, the festival has moved back downtown, with better access for everyone,” he said.
“The town will be blocked off for the event and we invite our neighbors from other counties (and states) to come and have a fun-filled day, beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. There will be plenty of food and activities, with something for everyone, especially children and history buffs.”
Originally known as the town’s fall festival, several years ago it was coordinated into an event to reflect the town’s rich heritage.
“With Edgefield being a town steeped in history and the home of 10 governors, naturally a lot of historical events are planned,” Seawright said.
The Civic League will conduct tours all day of Willowbrook Cemetery, where, among other famous people, Sen. Strom Thurmond and other members of his family are buried.
Tours of the museum at the National Wild Turkey Federation and other NWTF activities will be offered, as well as tours of the Discovery Center and Oakley Park. Revolutionary War re-enactments will be held downtown at intervals during the day.
Arts, crafts, food concessions, Bingo, raffles and other activities will fill the Town Square. A total of 90 vendors have signed up, said Seawright, with arts and crafts featuring glassware, birdhouses, homemade aprons, knives, jewelry, quilts and many other items. Standard festival food fare will include funnel cakes, boiled peanuts, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, ice cream and such.
A Classic Car Show and Motorcycle Show will be held all day at Piedmont Technical College’s parking lot. For the children, a Kids’ Zone downtown will include castles and a rock-climbing wall.
A Whole Hog Cooking Competition, which actually begins on Friday night, will be held at Oakley Park on Columbia Road, about .4 of a mile from the downtown area. The contestants are divided into teams and compete for trophies and prizes.
On Friday from 6:30-9:30 p.m., an Anything But Pork contest will be held, with contestants offering appetizers to the public for $1 each. This competition is a friendly one and usually includes such food items as seafood, chicken, Lowcountry boil and venison, said Joel Jolly, chairman of the cook-off.
Teams for the Whole Hog Competition usually camp out all night at the park. On Saturday, barbecue plates will be sold downtown for lunch. Plates usually consist of a barbecue sandwich, chips and a drink, Jolly said. Judging for this competition is held on Saturday morning and winners are announced at noon.
Live entertainment will flow from center stage all day Saturday. The lineup includes the Broken Arrow Band, the Strom Thurmond High School NJROTC, Liz Timmerman Dancers, saxophonist James “Bo” Gardener, Elvis tribute artist Rick Wade, award-winning shag dancer Sara Kemp, gospel singer Miles Mealing, John Olsen Band, other local musicians, cloggers, Irish dancers and a praise-and-worship group.
Topping off the festival will be a Street Dance from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring the Scott Brantley Band, a high-energy country and western band that is well known to the Augusta area.
The band is led by accomplished singer and songwriter Scott Brantley of East Dublin, Ga., who also performs as lead vocalist and guitar player. The band also includes Jason Rushton of Johnston, S.C. on bass guitar and steel guitar; Troy Holcomb on drums; and Chris Fleming on electric guitar and acoustics.
The band has played a variety of venues including some big-name clubs, such as the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, Tenn. They have recorded a CD, Nobody Likes Sad Songs, and have been named the Georgia Country Band of the Year.
“We’re hoping for pretty weather, so bring your family, friends and lawn chairs and come and enjoy Edgefield’s festival for all ages,” said Seawright.
For more information, call (803) 637-1800 or (803) 637-6687 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.