All Aboard For Fun!

Welcome to the Town of Central and to our sixth annual Railroad Festival. This insert is your guide to everything you need for an unforgettable day of fun for your whole family. As you read it, you will find maps, schedules and information about the day’s exciting activities, as well as the details of our sponsors who have once again helped us provide all the day’s activities free of change.

The festival takes place in historic downtown Central, where Main Street is blocked off and transformed into a pedestrian friendly mall, complete with arts, crafts and food vendors, live entertainment and more. Central’s unique range of exceptional restaurants will also be open to cater to the culinary needs of festival-goers.

We have been working hard to bring you some brand new exhibits and entertainment options that will make this year’s festival a memorable day for your family. This year we have partnered with Central Elementary School’s “Keep it Movin’” 5K run which will be held the morning of the festival.  Live Steam will run their working scale model steam locomotives, with all the nostalgic sounds and smells of the real thing, and the Central Water Department will have a live display that you won’t want to miss. We also have a local train historian on hand to entertain you with spellbinding tales of life on the railroads of yesteryear.

This year’s festival brings back so many of your favorite options for entertainment and fun: An Elvis Legacy Artist will be performing on the main stage, along with the Southern Wesleyan University Jazz Band, local singer/songwriter Tony Tidwell, and the popular 1960’s oldies band, The Flying Saucers. As always, the kids are in for a real treat this year.  Ziggy’s Music and Magic show is sure to delight our young audience members, and once again, the Hot Foot Cloggers will entertain us all with their award-winning dance routines.

The Central Railroad Festival has become known as a great event, especially for families with small children. This year will be no exception with inflatables, face-painting, balloon artists, the “Central Express” tractor train rides, games, model trains and a whole lot more.

Everyone knows that kids and trains just go together. With so many free activities on offer, you can bring the kids to be entertained for the entire day. “Function Junction” is a must-see destination for kids of all ages. Situated at the heart of the festival area, it features all kinds of train layouts, including a Thomas the Tank display. There will be kid-powered trains for the small-fry, and the bigger kids can become the engineers running some of the electric layouts on display. The real draw of “Function Junction” though is an amazingly realistic train layout that just about fills the room. It has several trains running through tunnels, past cities and towns, and even stopping at a working container depot at the harbor! And this is just a taste of what awaits you when you mosey on over to the Central Railway Museum. More trains and layouts than you can ever imagine running through every room, through the walls, over hills and through valleys, past many familiar local sites that will keep you transfixed for hours.

Alive Wesleyan will be back again this year with their fun-filled tent of games and activities for the kids. One of Central’s Fire Trucks, as well as CAT’s “Bendy Bus” will be on display and Lowes will once again provide a hands-on ‘make-it-and-take-it” craft activity.

And if you want a break from the crowds for a while, take the free Railroad Festival tour. In addition to providing shuttle services between the off-site parking areas, Clemson Area Transit buses will transport festival-goers to nearby historical sites including the Central Heritage Museum, and Collins Ole Town, a 1920’s-era village recreation. The Central Railway Museum will also be open for free tours during the festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The town of Central was named as a result of its historic link to the railroad. Being located at the exact half-way point on the main line between Charlotte and Atlanta, Central was the name that was given to this booming 1873 railroad town. As the railroad company invested in Central’s maintenance activities, the town grew and prospered. When the railroad company eventually moved away, the textile industry moved in and the railroad remained an important factor in the town’s development. To this day the railroad still runs through the heart of downtown. With a variety of restaurants, shops, businesses, and the unique Railway Museum, the town of Central has plenty of reasons to celebrate and toot its own horn.

It is clear that the Central Railroad Festival is a great event for the whole family. No other festival in the area provides so many FREE activities for the entire family. We would encourage everyone to plan on coming out for the whole day. Park at one of our convenient locations and take the CAT but into town for an experience you and your family will talk about for years to come.

If you need directions, information, or medical assistance, please stop by the information tent and EMS station near the railroad crossing at Bank St. The Central Railroad Festival Committee thanks everyone who has donated, participated, volunteered and attended the 2014 Festival. We hope that you have an enjoyable day with us and look forward to seeing you again at next year’s festival on the fourth Saturday of April 2015.