Pickens plans first-ever Founders Day festival

PICKENS — On September 22, Main Street will come alive with a celebration of Pickens’ music and cultural heritage.
The free event will begin at 10 a.m. and end around 8 p.m.
On that date, hundreds of roots musicians, including old-time, country, bluegrass and folk, will descend on Pickens. Eight bands, all with local ties, will be featured on center stage. “Open mic” times will allow individuals and groups to jam, at will, throughout the day. Early evening will bring all musicians together to set a record for the largest jam in Pickens’ (perhaps Upcountry) history. The event will conclude with contra dancing for everyone.
“Early response has been phenomenal,” 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 up and down Main Street all day long.”
However, Founders Day will be much more than just great music. Vendors will offer traditional 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 in Legacy Square. Special activities, such as face-painting and traditional games, will entertain the kids. The new “Turtles On The Town” tour will guide visitors to various historical sites around Pickens.
An Andrew Pickens impersonator will be there throughout the day to tell of his life and have photos taken. Specially selected vintage vehicles will be on display. The Pickens County Historical Society will display a large model of the downtown monument that will be constructed to honor the city’s namesake. The Hagood-Mauldin House and the Pickens County Museum will be open for special tours. Living history reenactments will be staged with musket, long rifle, and cannon firing demonstrations. Visitors will actually have a chance to fire an authentic cannon. Hagood Mill will offer an alternative to the evening music and dancing with a unique mill site, one-time only, candlelight history tour.
“We expect this inaugural founders event to be the start of a great tradition in Pickens,” said Wayne Kelley, special events chairman. “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 sponsor opportunities are available. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the PRA at (864) 878-0105.