SPF 33: Party Time!

The 32nd Annual S.C. Sweet Potato Festival in Darlington, October 2014 Photo by Samantha Lyles

The 32nd Annual S.C. Sweet Potato Festival in Darlington, October 2014
Photo by Samantha Lyles

By Jana E. Pye, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

“We hope it won’t rain on our festival!” said Ruth Flowers, chair of the Pilot Club of Darlington’s S.C. Sweet Potato Festival. “We had such beautiful last year, we hope it will be just as pretty this year.”

The festival will be held on Saturday, October 10 from 9 a.m . – 4 p.m. The Darlington Pilot Club celebrates the festival’s 33rd year with a party theme; proceeds fund many civic projects in Darlington, including scholarships for high school seniors, charities in Darlington and S.C., and the Pilot Club International focus on brain-related disorders.

“The stage will be decorated with party banners, and of course, we’ll have sweet potato vines all around,” said Flowers. “We have so many wonderful entertainers, delicious food, and vendors coming from several states. This will be our best festival yet.”
One of the highlights for many residents are the delicious sweet potato pies, and fried sweet potatoes from local farmer Bobby Arnold.

“His sweet potatoes are the best,” said Flowers. “They juicier, dark red, and the sweetest around. I think that is the secret to why our pies are so delicious – we use his sweet potatoes.”

In an area known for agriculture, the sweet potato ranks high in local pride. “We have people that come from all over just for those alone!”

The pies, however, are a source of pride for the Pilot Club, who bakes and sells as many as they can manage each year…and creates their mouth-watering funnel cakes, another festival favorite.

“We have people lined up all day waiting to buy the funnel cakes,” said Flowers. “They work very hard making them all day.”

This year celebrity emcee Greg Rowles will grace the stage, as well as many other performers. Assistant emcee Jai Jai Spann will assist, and door prizes will be given out throughout the day.

An antique car show will be featured on nearby Cashua Street, as well as exhibits and craft vendors around the Public Square.

The event schedule:

9 a.m.: Festival begins, Antique Car Show open on Cashua Street

9:15 a.m.: Darlington High School Band performs on Carolina Bank lawn. Band Director Brendan Johnson leads the band.

10 a.m.: Opening Ceremony and introduction of guests; presentation of colors by 1st Class Sgt. Leroy Williams and the JROTC Color Guard of Darlington High School.

10:45 a.m.: Johnny Iseman performs

11:15 a. m.: Sandy Banks performs

11:45 a.m.: Brenda Cranford School of Dance

12 p.m.: Greg Rowles, entertainer and host of WFXB Fox TV Not the News and Midday News.

12:35 p.m. Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival Chelsea Bullock, Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival Teen Kinsley Odom, Pageant Princesses and presentation of competition dances.

1 p.m.: Phoenix Phame Show Choir from Mayo High School for Math, Science and Techonology with Choir Director Cole Davis.

1:30 p.m. Patsy Hathcock School of Dance students

2 p.m.: Larry Flowers, vocalist

Carl Caulders, acrobatic performers

2:30 p.m. Kendall Standish Voice Studio performers: Zhadaisia McDuffie, Taylor Adkins, Anna Morgan Tadlock, Alana Yarborough, Savannah Stanley. Special appearance by X Factor Stone Martin.

3:05 p.m.: Johnny Iseman

3:35 p.m.: John Pickett

Author: Duane Childers

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