LITTLE MOUNTAIN — One of the oldest festivals in South Carolina will take place next Friday and Saturday, the Little Mountain Reunion.
“It is one of the oldest festivals in South Carolina, it started in 1882 as a reunion for Newberry College to help promote interest for the college. Which at the time was trying to increase its size,” said Mayor Jana Jayroe. “The college always plays a part in the Reunion, and will again this year. I think the president (Dr. Maurice Scherrens) is speaking this year, he usually does come.”
The kick off to the Reunion will be Friday at 7 p.m. with Noel Lindler and the Bank Walkers featuring Brendan Roberts performing. Along with the music, there will be food, rides (provided by Palmetto Amusement) for children and a beer wagon for the adults.
“The rides will be there both days, and you have to purchase tickets to ride, they will be located in the baseball field,” Jayroe said.
On Friday the Reunion will wind down at 11 p.m., but only for a short time. The festival will start bright and early at 7 a.m. on Saturday with the Glenn Shealy Memorial Road Race (both a 5k and 10K) held in memory of Glenn Shealy who passed away in 2014, a few months prior to the Reunion.
All proceeds from the race go to the scholarship in his name.
Jayroe said they are trying to build that scholarship up, this year they were able to give out three scholarships at $1,500 apiece.
“We feel this is in spirit of the Reunion, we wish to give back to the community, and Glenn absolutely believed in giving back to the community. He was raising his children to do that, always helping people whenever he could, he was a great individual,” Jayroe said.
If anyone is interested in signing up for the race, they can do so by going to www.strictlyrunning.com.
After the race, the parade will kick off at 10 a.m., this year the theme is Homegrown Heroes and the grand marshals of the parade will be the Little Mountain Fire and Rescue.
“They are all volunteers, they spend a lot of their free time training. When the siren goes off in the middle of the night, they go off and help. We are super proud to have them here, they have done a fantastic job over the years. This past year they have grown a lot, and we just want to encourage it and keep them going because they do a wonderful job,” Jayroe said.
So far, the parade has over 70 entries and Jayroe believes they will have around 100 for the entire parade. Roads will close at 9 a.m. and will reopen at 11:15 p.m. The following roads will be closed during that time: U.S. 76, Wheeland Road, Mill Street and S.C. Hwy 202.
The parade will last roughly an hour, followed by the traditional speeches. Walt McLeod has invited a variety of different politicians to attend and Jayroe said guests can expect to see local political leaders during the Reunion. The speeches will take place at 11 a.m. on the older stage and will be followed by musical acts.
Henry Brooks and Friends will perform from 12-2 p.m. on the older stage, Shelby Rae will perform 12-2 p.m. on the newer stage, Cash Money will perform 2-4 p.m. on the new stage and Jim Quick will perform at 7 p.m. on the newer stage.
During the Reunion there will be plenty of food for sale, and different vendors. Once again there will be two vendor locations, the arts and craft vendors will be in the Little Mountain Elementary School cafeteria, and the others will be in the park.
The food vendors will also be in the park, and barbecue sandwiches will be for sale, with proceeds being split between the Little Mountain Fire and Rescue and the Mid-Carolina Band Boosters.
There is still time to sign up to be a vendor and to be in the parade, to do so go to littlemountainreunion.info.
This year the Midlands South Carolina Muscle and Classic Car Group will be hosting the car show. Anyone interested in participating in this year’s car show can park their car in front of the Little Mountain Elementary School between 8-9:30 a.m. or after the streets reopen at 11:30 a.m. Cars can park in a space, or in the grass. There will be door prizes and a canopy for the admissions table.
The Little Mountain Town Council will be judging this years car show, and giving out trophies to the winners.
When it comes to this year’s Reunion, Jayroe said she is most looking forward to a lot of people coming out and enjoying themselves.