Category Archives: Community

Festival fun finally returns

Lots to do locally this weekend and beyond

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — After a year of lockdowns and social distancing, spring brings with it a number of festivals and events this year, including many that are returning from last year’s cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pickens Azalea Festival will be held this Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17.

Roads will close at 6 p.m. Friday evening before the cruise-in, which will be held from 7-10 p.m. and will feature cars and Jeeps from all eras.

o fees or applications are required for this year’s cruise-in. Organizers ask that those who would like to participate in the cruise-in enter from South

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Monthly Soapstone fish fry set for this Saturday

PICKENS — Soapstone Church invites everyone to a special fundraiser at the church, located at 296 Liberia Road in Pickens, this Saturday, April 17.

The event will feature fine cooking and will be held from noon-8 p.m.

Visitors will enjoy true Southern cooking, including a fish fry, barbecue and fried chicken with all the fixings right from Ms. Mable’s kitchen.
For more information, call (864) 414-8470.

Navigating Easter celebrations in the era of social distancing

Holidays have been celebrated differently since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019. Easter was among the first major holidays to be celebrated differently in 2020, and celebrations likely won’t return to normal in 2021.

Celebrations and social distancing make strange bedfellows. However, it’s possible for people to safely celebrate Easter with their loved ones.

• Watch virtual Mass together. Though it might not be the same as attending

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New antibody screening through blood donation detects COVID vaccine response

COUNTY — As vaccines become more widely available, a community blood center is offering a service to blood donors that will check for the body’s response to COVID-19 in two ways.

The Blood Connection has implemented a new COVID-19 antibody screening that will test each donor’s blood to see if it contains the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine and/or antibodies from exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

TBC’s prior antibody screening — which started before vaccines were released — only detected a donor’s natural response to the virus through exposure, whereas the new

Peter Rabbit to visit Market at the Mill

PICKENS — Peter Rabbit will be posing for children’s photos in an Easter Bunny fantasy setting from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. this Saturday, April 3, at the Market at the Mill in Pickens.

Visitors can take their own pictures, or a paid photographer will be available. A free Easter egg hunt will follow at 2 p.m. and will be divided for different age groups.

The market is located at 225 Pumpkintown Highway in Pickens.

Bensway Learning Academy celebrates grand opening

LIBERTY — The Liberty Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, March 6, to celebrate the grand opening of Bensway Learning Academy, located at 207B W. Front St. in downtown Liberty.

Chamber president and Liberty business owner Brandon Harbrecht, Liberty City Council member Archie Newberry and Liberty City Council member and LACC board member Erica Romo Woods were

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Career center students perform well in regional manufacturing competition

COUNTY — Pickens County Career & Technology Center welding and machine tool technology students recently participated in Project MFG.

Project MFG is a national advanced manufacturing competition organized by RD Solutions and funded by the Department of Defense organization IBAS (Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program) that includes CAD/CAM, five-axis CNC and welding.
There are three rounds of the competition, which include invitational/state, regionals and nationals.

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Griffin Ebenezer earns Golden Can Award

Scout Troop 51 challenged other community groups to donate canned food goods for its annual Scouting for Food, with all donations going to the Gleaning House Food Bank. Griffin Ebenezer Baptist Church of Pickens met the challenge and donated more canned goods than any other group. Pictured here, Troop 51 senior patrol leader Jacob Santeler presents the “Golden Can Award” to Griffin Ebenezer pastor Terry Brown, along with members Carlton Holley and Rodney Wakefield. The community donated more than 800 pounds of canned goods. Other groups who participated were the Pickens Police Department, Pickens Rotary Club, Smith Chapel, Grace United Methodist Church and Pickens Presbyterian Church.

Scouts pitch in

Members of Boy Scout Troop 161 in Clemson led by Scoutmaster Michael Brown recently volunteered at Soapstone Baptist Church north of Pickens, helping clean up and complete projects around the church grounds.

Honoring more of the Greatest Generation

COUNTY — The Fort Prince George Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) continues to recognize World War II veterans. Chapter regent Carolyn Nations and American history chair Ann Warmuth recently presented four veterans with DAR certificates in recognition of their service.

Nations and Warmuth feel that there are more World War II veterans in Pickens County whose service should be honored. If you know of any World War II veterans or want more information on the veteran service projects, contact the DAR Fort Prince George Chapter at