Pickens’ Founders Day scheduled for September

Local officials and members of the Young Appalachian Musicians cut the ribbon on the new Pickens amphitheater as part of its inaugural event June 29. This year’s Founders Day Music Festival will center around the amphitheater.

PICKENS — On Sept. 14, Pickens’ West Main Street will be the site of this year’s Founders Day Music Festival.

The event will center around the new Pickens outdoor amphitheater, which will provide a spectacular music venue. The free event, which celebrates Pickens’ music and cultural heritage, will begin at noon and end around 8 p.m.

For the festival, hundreds of roots musicians, including old time, country, bluegrass and folk, will descend on Pickens. A hot licks competition will be added this year, and early evening will bring all musicians together for a big jam featuring “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Seven well-known bands, such as County Clare and The Traveling McCollums, will be featured on the amphitheater stage.

“We’ve had bands contact us from all over that want to be a part of this year’s festival,” said Daniel Brazinski, the event’s music chairman. “Not only will we have great entertainment on stage, we also expect to find hundreds of musicians, from near and far, playing everywhere all day long.”

Founders Day will feature much more than music. This year, more than 40 vendors will offer traditional, original arts and crafts as well as food and beverage such as homemade ice cream. Numerous “lost craft’ experts will provide demonstrations on blacksmithing, quilting, musical instrument construction, gunsmithing, and more. Special activities, such as face-painting and traditional games, will entertain the kids.

“We’re working on some other very special things for the kids — more news to come,” said Wayne Kelley, Founders Day special events chairman. “Andrew Pickens will again be there throughout the day to tell of his life and have photos taken with him. And since the 13th is Andrew Pickens’ 274th birthday, we are planning on having the largest birthday cake in Pickens history for everyone to share.”

Living history reenactments will be staged with musket, long rifle, and cannon firing demonstrations. A larger number of specially selected vintage vehicles will be on display. The Hagood-Mauldin House and the Pickens County Museum, where Pickens’ history can really be seen, will be open for tours. There will be great entertainment, music, fun, food and demonstrations of interest to everyone in the family.

The festival is being planned by the many volunteers associated with the Pickens Revitalization Association. A wide variety of volunteer and sponsor opportunities are available. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the PRA at (864) 878-0105.