Facing a fierce defense and with thousands of Ridgeland-Hardeeville fans on their feet cheering against them, the Newberry High girls basketball team rose up, made clutch plays and captured the school’s first-ever girls state championship Saturday at the Colonial Center. The city will host a community celebration of the team and the state championship on Sunday, March 18, at 3 p.m. at Memorial Park downtown.
As sure as the blossoming pear trees around town signal new growth, a number of new businesses and activity point towards a growing local economy. Southern Renaissance is a pretty, new store at 1216 Main Street, owned by Jane Robertson, Janel Thomas and Vickie Wiseman. They sell “a mix of antiques, painted furniture, mid-century moderns and decorative items.”
Mi Tipico restaurant recently opened at 2701 Winnsboro Road and is owned by Ruth Cervera. I enjoyed the fajitas there.
Well-known local businessmen Brian Brooks and Darrell Taylor opened B&D Auto Mart at 667 Wilson Road (beside Domino’s) selling pre-owned cars and trucks. At Bear Village on Wilson Road, the former convenience store is being renovated and will be the new home of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
A number of companies and organizations are hiring, from Kraft-Heinz to the City of Newberry. Samsung now employs over 600 people and is building facilities for future growth.
The city is putting in an economic incentive to encourage residential home development. If a developer establishes a new housing development and puts in new water and sewer lines that meet city standards, the city will reimburse the developer for the cost of those lines as the homes come onto the city system.
Tennis lessons for adults, youth and children are getting a good response at the new Oakland Tennis Center. Sign-ups are still available.
On the new recreation complex the city is working with architects and engineers to develop final plans that can be put out to bid for construction. For the park location, if you’re at Cromley Ford, turn on the 34 Bypass, and as you go over the railroad bridge, look to your left at the pine trees. The city bought 200 acres there for the complex. A five-acre lake is hidden behind those trees and will be featured as part of the park, in addition to the ball-fields, spray park, playground and walking trail.
A number of activities are on the local calendar. The Newberry Half Marathon and 5K are Saturday morning and hosted by Boys Farm. Sign-ups are available until race-time, which will start at Newberry High with the races winding through town.
The popular Irish Fling is Friday, March 16 with live music, specials and fun all over downtown, and the fun continues into Saturday with sales and specials at stores and restaurants.
The Newberry Opera House is having an outstanding 20th anniversary year with local talent and national performers bringing in big crowds. There’s a full slate for March and April.
I often hear from visitors that Newberry is a pretty city. We aim to keep it that way and appreciate the support of Keep Newberry County Beautiful, which is organizing the Great American Clean-up in Newberry on March 23. Litter pick-up supplies will be available that Friday from their truck at Piedmont Tech and directions given to local areas that need trash pick-up.
Upcoming festivals include the Groove N’ Brewfest on April 7, sponsored by the Newberry Downtown Development Associations, and Pork in the Park on April 21.
Thank you for supporting Newberry businesses and happenings.
Foster Senn is the mayor of Newberry. His columns appear periodically in The Newberry Observer.