WINNSBORO – When Terry Vickers said Rock Around The Clock would be held rain or shine this weekend, she didn’t really count on Joaquin — that’s the hurricane, not the actor with the last name of Phoenix — putting the quash on the whole affair.
But late Thursday afternoon, Vickers surrendered to the forces of nature and the town’s weather prognosticator William Medlin.
She called it: Postponed until Halloween weekend, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.
“I hate it we had to cancel but the weather just looks bad,” said Vickers, president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce. “He (Medlin) was here first thing this morning. We have never had to cancel it so that’s why we didn’t want to do it this year.”
But perhaps moving the date might be a boon for the town. Vickers said they decided to roll Rock Around the Clock into this year’s Pumpkinfest.
“We were going to have the Pumpkinfest anyway on the 31st so we are just going to fold that into Rock Around The Clock and have even more events going on for people,” she said.
For Pumpkinfest, now in its third year, the streets are closed down, merchants hang out and hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters, folks dress up for the event and it’s just plain fun, she said.
“We have a jack-o-lantern decorating contest and a costume contest,” she said. “We had pumpkin pie tasting last year and we’re adding jams this year. So there will be a lot going on in addition to the street dance.”
Pumpkinfest drew about 500 people last year so with the two events co-mingling, Vickers expects a large crowd in downtown Winnsboro.
“The costumes are marvelous so we have the south end of the block lighted,” she said, adding that it’s more geared toward children.
The parade for Rock Around the Clock will still be at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 and the street dance will follow. A shag contest will be squeezed into the middle of the dance – at 9:30 p.m.
The festival will shut down at 11 p.m., take a breather overnight and open back up at 10 a.m. Halloween Day.
Now in its 19th year, Rock Around the Clock has earned a reputation as a great family event and a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of fall. Folks come from all over to visit family, have reunions and do some shopping, she said. The event has grown from just a few hundred in attendance to several thousand filling Congress Street.
Patricia M. Edwards is the regional editor for Civitas Media’s properties in South Carolina, which includes The Herald Independent. She is also the General Manager for The Herald Independent.