Last updated: May 06. 2014 11:27AM - 850 Views
By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

Town, county and state officials hold the ribbon as Carolina Event Center owner John Smalls cuts the ribbon on Wednesday at the grand opening ceremony.
Town, county and state officials hold the ribbon as Carolina Event Center owner John Smalls cuts the ribbon on Wednesday at the grand opening ceremony.
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WINNSBORO — Fairfield County now has a facility to host large meetings.

Town and county officials as well as community members attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday for the Carolina Event Center in the BI-LO shopping center at 1126 U.S. 321 Business in Winnsboro.

Mayor Roger Gaddy congratulated John Smalls for the endeavor in the Town of Winnsboro and Fairfield County.

“We want to thank you for this new addition and venue for people to come to in Winnsboro,” Gaddy told Smalls. “I think it’ll be very well utilized and a good representation of our county and community.”

The facility has the capacity for 400 people — banquet style — and can subdivide the large room into three separate venues.

“We can accommodate just about any need a customer requires,” Smalls said.

Next to the front lobby is an upscale conference center for business meetings. Inside the conference room is a large conference table, a large screen television and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment.

Fairfield County Council Chairman David Ferguson was on hand to show support as well.

“On behalf of Fairfield County, John (Smalls) we really do appreciate you investing in Fairfield County and the citizens of Fairfield County to make a venue like this possible for people to come and have an event in a setting that is appropriate,” he stated.

State Rep. Mary Gail Douglas said the grand opening of the Carolina Event Center has created a buzz and excitement around the county.

“We are so grateful for new things and new ideas that come to Fairfield County, this is a new day,” she emphasized. “We have needed a venue like this for so so long. And as I look around this room, I already know that there will be many memories made in this place. It is because of the vision you (Smalls) and your family have had.”

The long-time vision is one that comes from Smalls, his wife and two daughters. Smalls is a long-time resident of Fairfield County and after retiring, finally had the opportunity to begin a business his family had longed for.

“We see this as an opportunity for the folks here to stay in Winnsboro and enjoy their time in Winnsboro,” Smalls noted. “Winnsboro’s development is growing and we felt this was an opportunity to invest a little bit and contribute to the economic development. We plan to be very much involved in the community.”

As a part of the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony, Smalls displayed some various events the center could host including weddings, receptions, business meetings, conferences and banquets.

Smalls’ daughter has been an event planner for the last 15 years in Atlanta and will be available for customers to utilize.

The event center will offer event planners and catering. There are three different caterers under contract with the Carolina Event Center, which allows it to pinpoint any menu requested.

“This is not just a rental facility,” Smalls specified. “This is an event center, which means we can do all the planning from decorations down to the clean-up and set up. The only thing our customers will need to do, is come and enjoy themselves.”

Next week, the event center will be fully operational.

The Fairfield County School District has chosen the Carolina Event Center to host its Hall of Fame banquet on May 24.

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