WINNSBORO — Official dates for the Big Grab 43-mile Yard Sale (Sept. 5 and Sept. 6) and Rock Around the Clock (Oct. 3 and Oct. 4) were recently approved by Winnsboro Town Council.
Council unanimously passed several requests for upcoming events from the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce and the Winnsboro Downtown Merchants Association.
Terry Vickers, president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, asked for streets to remain open during the Big Grab. Vickers noted an incident last year, at no fault of town council, where Main Street was closed at the courthouse because of a rally being held by a county council member.
She noted the closed street forced traffic to be redirected and caused some confusion for patrons not living in Fairfield County.
Vickers advised council that participants during past Big Grab events have told her how lucrative the event has been for them individually.
“This is very important to our town,” she stated. “Not only because of the visitors it brings, but also the economic impact to our citizens that participate in the yard sale.”
Vickers said she would stay in touch with Winnsboro Police Chief Freddie Lorcik to avoid any stumbling blocks this year regarding street traffic.
Vickers told Councilman Clyde Sanders that vendors will be located off the street and noted there would not be food vendors in an effort to encourage patrons to buy food from the local restaurants.
“I know last year the restaurants were bombed,” she said. “That’s another good thing, with that many people coming into the community, all of our businesses have an opportunity to generate revenue.”
Vickers said the property on South Columbia Road (across from TruVista) would be used again for vendors to set up. Permission to use property sites will be consented to by the property owners.
This year, the chamber is asking for sponsorship of $50 from businesses and $25 from individuals and non-profits to assist with advertising.
Vickers explained that the chamber is planning to do a radio blitz and will appear on a Sept. 3 telecast on WLTX to promote the event.
The Big Grab route will be marked with signs every mile along the way from Blythewood through Ridgeway and into Winnsboro.
Permission to use the entire downtown area for Rock Around the Clock was given unanimously as well.
“This (Rock Around the Clock) is something that our citizens have grown very fond of,” Vickers told council. “Some even scheduled family reunions or visits around the event.”
Spirit Fest 2014
Christina Fair, owner of the Corn Wallis Tea House, spoke on behalf of the Historic Downtown Merchants Association to request various dates be set aside for upcoming events in the downtown area.
The merchants association will hold the second annual “Spirit Fest” on Aug. 14 at the Fairfield County Courthouse.
“We did it last year and there was an excellent showing,” Fair said. “We are trying to get people to come into downtown and revive the area as well as get people on Main Street so they can see there are businesses on Main Street and we’re a positive force.”
She told council that the group has already received permission from the Department of Transportation to set up road blocks around the courthouse from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m. for the event.
Kathy Timms, a former teacher in Fairfield County and a current member of the Downtown Merchants Association, said she is looking forward to Spirit Fest 2014.
“It is just amazing how two schools can come together,” Timms stated. “It is just awesome how people can work together when given the opportunity. I think this year will be just another feather in the cap.”
Fair’s request for streets to be closed during the second annual Pumpkin Fest on Oct. 25 was unanimously approved by council.
Streets will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on South Congress from Washington Street to Liberty Street. Fair is looking forward to the second annual Pumpkin Fest.
“Our first one was last year and we’ve gotten nothing but positive reviews about it,” she said.
Fair requested that the Christmas Parade be moved to Nov. 23 to help usher in the holidays.The town will turn on the Christmas lights following the parade.
Fair noted that the merchants association is planning a series of events on Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 leading up to Christmas, although she said the events would not require street closures.
The idea of carollers has been discussed, but more details will available as the season comes closer.
The Downtown Merchants Association meets every Thursday morning at 8 a.m. at the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce to deliver updates about upcoming events.
Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy publicly thanked the association for its efforts.
“We appreciate all of your hard work,” he told Timms and the Downtown Merchants Association. “We sincerely appreciate the work you’re doing for downtown Winnsboro.”
Back to School Bash
Council granted free use of the Old Armory for the Zion Hill Prevention Save the Kids Back to School Bash, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 12. School supplies will be given out to students as well as honoring the memory of Tillie Armstrong.
Councilman Danny Miller donated $350 from his crime prevention fund to assist the funding of the Back to School Bash and Councilman Stan Klaus donated $100 from his fund.
Rural Development Grant
Connie Shackelford, director of Community Development and Town Grants, is working on two USDA grants for Winnsboro regarding police vehicles and a garbage truck. She advised council in a written statement that she would have the grants ready to submit within two weeks after holding a public meeting for the application.
Residents will have the opportunity to comment on such items as economic and environmental impacts, service area and alternatives to the project during a public meeting at Town Hall on Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m.