By David Meade
The Town of Williamston gave their approval Monday to organizers of two events to use Mineral Spring Park as the location for their events.
The Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) is planning a “Party in the Park” event for Friday, May 31. The next day, Saturday, June 1, the park will be the center of activities associated with a new event called “ParkFest.” Though both events are in the early planning stages, organizers had plenty to say about them.
GWBA president Chris Trotter, said “Party in the Park” will include displays and food vending by GWBA member businesses, inflatables for kids and will feature a popular area country/rock band.
“We are doing things for the community,” he said. “More things to drive business and grow that with community relations.”
Trotter said he sees the event as a “Business After Hours” type event for the entire community.
In addition to promoting local businesses, Trotter said there will be kids activities and local food vendors including barbecue, hotdogs, pizza, wings, sno cones and drinks.
The event will feature music by a popular area country/rock band, the Eric Scott Band.
In addition to GWBA businesses, AnMed Health is helping sponsor the Friday night event.
The next day, the town will be filled with the sound of motorcycles and music.
“ParkFest” organizer Jack Ellenburg said it will be a new event which will bring a lot of excitement and people from outside into Williamston.
ParkFest is being promoted as “Celebrating our local heroes with a little Southern flavor,” according to Ellenburg. “Hopefully we will put together an event that will be overwhelming,” Ellenburg said during his presentation to the town.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. There will be music, food and children’s activities throughout the day.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Defenders Motorcycle Club will bring 100s of motorcycles from across the Upstate and Georgia through the town.
The Defenders will honor the heroes of both those serving actively and those who have fallen in the line of duty, as well as those first responders serving in police, fire, EMS and public safety.
The event will feature a drill team from Spartanburg, the Color Guard from the Anderson City Fire Department, EMS rendering the National Anthem and Honor Guard 21 gun salute to fallen officers. Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper will also speak.
There will be motorcycles, EMS vehicles, fire trucks and patrol cars on display. The motorcycle display will include judging for best motorcycle.
During this time there will also be a concert by the Piedmont Boys, a popular regional country rock band at the park’s amphitheater stage.
“It’s different,” Ellenburg said. “It needs to be different.”
He said the event will bring together different cultures with the motorcycle club activities and others family oriented activities.
There will be barbecue offered by local vendors and bluegrass music on the banks of Big Creek. There will also be children’s amusement rides.
Additional information on both events will be published in The Journal when it becomes available.
Though the two events are being held on the same weekend, they are separate, organizers said.
Mayor Mack Durham has indicated that he would like to see more events in the town and has been supportive of both events.
The town already hosts the Pig in the Park barbecue cookoff in May, July 4th Fireworks, Spring Water Festival in August, Boo in the Park in October and Christmas Park events.
Each of these events is funded in part by the town’s Hospitality Tax funds.
Organizers of the two new events said they plan to request some funding from the town and will probably be on the agenda for the next meeting of Council.