Hear that train (rhythm) a'comin'
Weekend of fun brings food, music by the rails in Clinton
A fun array of carnival rides, games, music, food, shopping and high-fliers were highlights of the Rhythm on the Rails festival wrapping up Saturday (May 18-19) in uptown Clinton.
The King BMX Bike Stunt Show performers were the high-fliers for the festival, and Mark Lippard got a lot of "altitude" as well, performing on stilts and a unicycle. The BMX performers came from the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina for a Clinton show in the vein of their National Football League and National Basketball Association halftime shows. Teams of high-flying BMXers travel the country with this troupe. thrilling audiences just like they did with three shows on Clinton’s Musgrove Street. This was the team’s first performance here.
Multi-talented Christian performer Lippard is familiar with Clinton as he has been part of the Clinton Y’s Prayer Breakfast programs at Clinton High School and at First Baptist Church, Clinton.
Carnival rides were very popular, and BBQ competition awards were given out during a 3:30 pm Saturday ceremony at the CNNGA Main Stage. Major award-winners were Blowin’ Smoke as Grand Champion, and Hey Good Buddy as Reserve.
Matt Davis Insurance was sponsor for the BMX event, and Jeff Smith Nationwide sponsored the barbecue judging.
The Shriners sold chances for a lawn-manicuring machine in advance of the Shrine Race.
The event will be Tuesday, June 12, at the Laurens County Speedway; they're going to be selling chances for the grand prize again at this coming weekend's Catfish Feastival in Ware Shoals.
All proceeds from this race will benefit the Shriner’s Hospital, and are tax deductible. The 37th Annual Laurens County Shrine Race is sponsored by Wilson Tractor and Bush Hog, and the racing events will include:
-- The Carolina Clash - Super Late Models;
-- Crate 604 and Crate 602;
-- Thunder Bomber;
-- 4 Cylinder; and
-- Front Wheel Drive (info: Carroll Baker, 864-923-0524 or George Thompson, 864-923-0633).
Clinton's BBQ & Music Festival (rotrclintonsc.com) celebrates the City's long and proud railroad heritage and, true to form, trains were coming through the mainline all day on Saturday.
Friday evening's fun was cut a little short by what Mayor Bob McLean said was booming lightning, But the hot, partly cloudy day on Saturday gave lots of folks a chance to come out and enjoy uptown Clinton.
The weekend’s featured performers and events were:
-- Quilted Sky (classic rock) and Munson Music Bucket Brigade;
-- Julie Roberts (country - all Friday, CNNGA Stage);
-- Car Show by Hot Rods and Happy Hour, Broad Street (Saturday);
-- King BMX Bike Stunt Show, Musgrove Street;
-- Mark Lippard, main stage and around The Depot;
-- Pam Taylor (blues - Saturday afternoon, on Main Stage);
-- ELoveation (variety) and BBQ Awards;
-- Mark Webb Jr. (country), and National Armed Forces Day tribute with CHS JROTC;
-- Matrix (old school funk) and
-- The Shag Doctorz (beach and oldies).
Planning starts for next year's ROTR right away (MainStreet@cityofclintonsc.com).
Rhythm on the Rails was Clinton’s main focus on Saturday, but there were other events locally, as well.
Young football players received instruction at the Presbyterian College Youth Camp 2018. For second through eighth graders, the camp was held in Bailey Memorial Stadium.
The Laurens Family YMCA staged its BattleMud Laurens County Mud Run Saturday morning. This event is sponsored by Greenville Health System Laurens County Memorial Hospital and Main Street Laurens.
The 5th Annual Bass Fishing Tournament on Lake Greenwood was staged to benefit the Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic of Laurens County. The event provided $2,250 in cash prizes for the fishermen.
A Laurens County United Way agency, the clinic is an interdenominational Christian mission providing free medical care, medication and pastoral support to Laurens County residents who are without government assistance, or private insurance, or the financial resources to afford care. It provided more than $4 million in free healthcare to the needy in Laurens County last year (donations to: PO Box 1535, Clinton).
On Sunday, the 15th Annual Butterfly Celebration of Hospice of Laurens County was held at Bellview Baptist Church. The event was open to anyone who wanted to remember or honor a loved one with a butterfly. Donors who could not attend has their butterfly released by a child attending the event (donations to: PO Box 178, Clinton; info: Catherine Gambrell, 864-833-6287).
Finally, Team Clinton placed 43rd in the National Science Olympiad, staged at Colorado State University. The South Carolina champion teams from Clinton Middle and Clinton High Schools flew to Colorado; and a van with all their “competition stuff” was donated by Cooper Motor Co., and driven to Colorado and back by volunteers.
District 56 and the City of Clinton were primary donors of money to support the long trek of these junior scientists and their coaches to Colorado.
Founded in 1985, the South Carolina Science Olympiad has been won 18 times by Clinton Middle/Bell St. Middle School - 16 championships in a row - and 8 times by Clinton High School.
The 2019 national championships will be at Cornell University. In 2020, junior scientists and their gear from SC (probably from Clinton) will take the short bus trip to Raleigh, N.C., to compete for national honors at North Carolina State University.