Great Time to be in Clinton!
August. Who said there’s nothing to do in Clinton? We started the month of August off with National Night Out in Lydia Park on August 1st.
This is a great event to show community and law enforcement collaboration. It focuses on connecting our youth and their families with our law enforcement officers. This year, we held the event at Lydia Park, and included hotdogs cooked by our Department of Public Safety, and plenty of fun activities for the kids, such as inflatable bounce houses and slides. It was a great event and was well-attended by members of our community. In addition to our public safety personnel, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, Gateway Counseling Center, Laurens County Crime Stoppers, United Way, and many private businesses all participated in this great event.
We also had two Town Rhythms last month, featuring the band “Blue Moon” on August 10th, and on August 24th, we featured a fan favorite, the Swingin’ Medallions, which as usual brought a large crowd into our downtown area. This particular Town Rhythms was held in conjunction with the Presbyterian College Back to School Block Party, in which local businesses, and restaurants had activities and booths set up to welcome our college students back home (and when I say “home,” I want all students to feel that this IS their home away from home). Many of the college faculty, including President Bob Staton and his wife, Phyllis, along with the 400 freshmen and new School of Pharmacy students, were in attendance. The PC cheerleaders even led the crowd in several cheers and the PC fight song!
You might be wondering if it could get any better than this. It did!
On August 21st, Clinton was at ground zero for thousands of visitors who came to witness the total eclipse!
To a passerby, it may have looked like one of our famous gatherings on the rails, but I can assure you, the crowd was much larger, and much more diverse! I personally talked to people from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium, in addition to several other people from all over the U.S. Our restaurants were packed! Some visitors had initially chosen other locations but, ultimately, decided that Clinton was the perfect place to view the eclipse, thanks to our small-town lifestyle, and hospitality.
Since the eclipse, I’ve had numerous emails from visitors, telling me how much they love our town and our residents, and hoped to return one day. That should make us all proud. Monte Dutton from Go Laurens described the event as being “like a modern episode of The Andy Griffith Show.” What a perfect description!
Also, on August 22nd, Diedrich Fehr and his wife Sharon opened their new bakery on Main Street next to the Allstate office. I’ve personally eaten there, and found the food to be beyond delicious! Please try it when you get a chance. They offer cinnamon rolls, cookies of all types, cakes and pies made to order, gluten free bread, sandwiches, and even catering for all types of occasions! If you can imagine a cookie, cake, or pie, Sharon and her staff will make it for you. I ate breakfast there this past Saturday, and was amazed at the large number of people there, and saw so many Clemson shirts that I thought I was at a Clemson game. I’m sure Carolina fans will enjoy it, too!
On September 19th, Hospice of Laurens County hosted their 12th annual Flight of the Dove event, which featured 450 riders from nine different states, with some coming from as far away as South Dakota. Of the 450 riders, only 28 were from Laurens County, one of whom was Clinton City Councilman Gary Kuykendall, who has been an avid supporter of this event.
There are more than 30 different hospices IN Laurens County, but there is only one Hospice OF Laurens County. They are the only not-for-profit hospice serving Laurens County, which makes the Flight of the Dove such an important fundraising event for our citizens and Hospice. This year’s ride raised over $30,000 which will be used to offer services to local citizens and their families at a time when it is most needed.
Finally, on August 31st, United Way held their annual luncheon, where they presented the Bailey Dixon Service Award to a behind-the-scenes individual who does so much work in our community. I consider this year’s recipient to be a personal friend and most deserving. Congratulations to Karen Mattison.
With so much going on this past August, I can’t wait to see what September has in store for us!
(Bob McLean is the mayor of Clinton.)