I like to look for company logos on clothing when eating out for lunch in Newberry. They’re representative of the impressive offering of international companies we have. Shirts with logos of Kraft-Heinz, Komatsu and Kiswire. Jackets sporting the logos of companies like Samsung, West Fraser, ISE, Trucast, SWM and Valmont. Most communities our size don’t have industry like this.
Samsung is making rapid progress towards its goal of making washing machines in Newberry in early 2018. Hundreds of people are being hired with some sent and already back from Seoul, South Korea for training. A large contingent of Samsung staff from Korea are here to help get the factory set-up and staged. Construction crews and cranes are working steadily as Samsung plans to triple the size of the former Caterpillar factory.
As appreciative as we are of our large businesses, we are just as proud of our small business community. Downtown merchants have an open house tonight through Sunday. We’re excited for the upcoming months in Newberry and encourage you to shop and dine Newberry County first, as you plan for the Christmas season.
The city held the ribbon-cutting Wednesday for wheelchair accessible swings at Marion Davis Park, and we’re excited to have this available now. The Oakland Tennis Center is nearly done, will open later this month and is quite impressive.
The city will hold a vision planning session open to all city residents on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Led by Charles Weathers, this will be a time for city residents to give feedback to help the city plan for the next five years.
The annual Veterans Day Parade will be Saturday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. on Main St. Sponsored by the American Legion, I encourage you to attend to salute our veterans and to demonstrate to our young people, many of whom will be in the parade, that patriotism is important.
After the parade Samsung invites all Newberry County veterans and their families to a free luncheon at the Newberry Opera House at 11:30 a.m. Samsung has as a national philanthropy supporting American veterans and is working with our local American Legion posts to host this luncheon.
The Opera House has a full and exciting slate for November and December, including the only South Carolina performance for Wynton Marsalis, which will be Dec. 1. The first Miss Newberry pageant in many years will be Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Opera House with young ladies from Newberry County and Newberry College as contestants. We’re proud Molly Fortune, the Opera House executive director, was recently elected as vice-president of the League of Historic American Theaters.
The holiday season gets its official start downtown with the Main St. Lights celebration Nov. 17 from 5-8 p.m. There will be choirs, street musicians, the Polar Express movie at the Ritz, and we’ll have the Christmas tree lighting celebration at 6:15 p.m. Dominic Brown of WIS will broadcast live from downtown. It will be a fun evening.
An exciting addition to the festivities this year is a Gingerbread House competition with entries being displayed at the Opera House in December. Gingerbread house displays are popular in many places, and we appreciate this year’s Main St. Lights chairman, Anne Smith, for bringing this neat idea to Newberry. Entry applications for adults and kids are available on-line and at the city PRT office on College St. until Nov. 22.
Thank you for supporting the many activities in Newberry.
Foster Senn is the mayor of Newberry. His columns appear in The Newberry Observer.