Last Thursday night was a great evening with the Men of Distinction in town for the Summer Celebration Down at the River. However, with the recent storms and the threat of rain on Thursday afternoon, the performance was moved to the Kingstree Recreation Center. (Thank you to the town for allowing us to use the REC on such short notice.) The Kingstree Recreation Center does not have the ambiance that Gilland Park has, but it was cool, dry, and gave everyone the opportunity to dance, which is difficult at the park. The Men of Distinction is an exceptional eight piece band from the Columbia area that has been together for 17 years and has played for more than 1,500 events. The chamber was thrilled to host them in Kingstree. However, I was somewhat disappointed with the attendance, but was very pleased to have new faces join us for the event. At some point during the evening while discussing the number of individuals in attendance, a good friend made the comment that it appeared that people in the community would rather complain about not having anything to do in Williamsburg County than actually participate in some of the events going on. Without doubt there are countless events and activities in our community during the year. Of course, no one can participate in everything, but instead of just complaining about not having anything to do, let’s consider just a few opportunities available to everyone.
Thursday night at the REC while we were enjoying the Men of Distinction, Kingstree was hosting several little league games. It is my understanding that baseball can consume one’s life and time, but it’s a wonderful family activity. By the way, congratulations to the Kingstree girls for winning the state competition in their division.
Recently, the Town of Kingstree and the chamber established a partnership for hosting local events. The joint venture began with June and July’s Summer Celebrations and included the Williamsburg Tourism Board as an additional sponsor for the Men of Distinction. In October the “Falling for Families Celebration” will be held in downtown Kingstree with a variety of activities for children two to 12 years old. There will be inflatable rides, face painting, a pumpkin decorating contest, clowns, games and other entertaining activities. Look for times and dates for this fun family affair. In September and October, Concerts on Academy will be held in Welch Park on Academy Street. These concerts will be free and open to the public. The concert for September will showcase the Strings Ensemble from the Williamsburg County School District and a gospel group is planned for October. Performances in Welch Park will also be planned for next spring. The Christmas Season will be kicked off in Kingstree with a Grand Community Holiday Open House. It will be bigger and better than ever.
For a community the size of Williamsburg, we have a variety of well designed and attended festivals. The first one on the agenda is the Muscadine Festival at the William’s Vineyard in Nesmith. No one works harder than Cassandra Rush to promote her family’s farm and vineyard. The Stag Festival in Lane is a growing event that promotes and observes the hunting season in our community. The Pig Pickin’ Festival has grown each year and is one of the largest barbecue cooking contests in the state. Come See Me Weekend, a relatively new experience, celebrates our heritage and history. It’s also a time to spotlight the Cedar Swamp Lancers and the many talented artist in the area. Hemingway’s Bar-B-Que – Shag Festival honors our state dance and our love of barbecue. Greeleyville’s Flag Day Festival just celebrated its 13th anniversary and is a wonderful memorial to our friend Leonard Jonte who helped begin the event. The 17th Running of the King’s Tree Trials in November brings people from all over the southeast and recognizes the importance of the horse industry in our community and in South Carolina.
Under the leadership of Debbie Ipock, the hospital is planning special events such as the “Party on the Porches” in August and the “Give Cancer the Boot Dance” in February. All of these events do not even take into consideration local parades, the endeavors in our churches, schools, neighborhoods, civic clubs, and with our families. Wow, I get tired just thinking about all the things we can do in this community. As I see it, we have a choice. We can join our friends and neighbors in community activities, or we can just complain because there is nothing to do in Williamsburg County. I can only speak for Bunny and me, but for us, our calendars are filling up!