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Chapin Labor Day festival and celebration a huge success!

Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Chapin Labor Day Festival, which was held last Monday, was a huge success attended by tens of thousands of people. The celebration, now in its 38th year in the un-official Capital of Lake Murray, the town of Chapin, marks the end of the summer season with a parade, music, food, rides, politicians as far as the eye can see, and neighbors and visitors alike coming to enjoy the last event before fall officially begins later this month.

The parade kicked off the day, and oh what a parade it was! First, the weather was gorgeous, the sun shone bright and clear, and at first there was a slight breeze that helped keep the heat to a minimum. The only clouds in the sky were white and fluffy, absolutely perfect for a parade and the festival that would follow. As it got a little hotter, the funeral home fans came out, and most along the parade’s route had those working to keep the late summer heat at bay.

With more than 100 participants, the units of the parade made their way up Chapin Road from the parking lot at GIS, right through the heart of town, ending up at the Bi-Lo parking lot at the top of the hill. In total, it took more than an hour to get everyone who participated from beginning to end.

The sides of the road were absolutely packed with adults and children of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities, vying for a good view, and handfuls of FREE stuff being handed out by the parade’s participants. Some even had makeshift basketball goals they had converted to candy catchers with bullseyes painted on or slogans like, “Throw candy here,” with arrows pointing to the sweet spots for the sweet stuff!

This festival is a must appear stop for those elected, or candidates for any office, from the area who represent folks in various positions and post. US Senator Lindsey Graham was there as was Congressman Joe Wilson, his son SC State Attorney General Alan Wilson, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon and his wife Kim, SC State Senator Ronnie Cromer, Representative Chip Huggins, the current serving mayor of the town Skip Wilson, both his challengers, and many more. It was as if every business, boy scout troop, church, and sports team from miles around had a float or display and wanted to participate.

After the parade, the festival got into full swing. The Columbia Classic Chevy Club held the 9th annual car show in the lower parking lot of Mt. Horeb Church that was well attended with over 116 vehicles on display. The show was just turned over to them this year, but with the great turnout, I think you’ll see more of that in the future.

The vendors׳ area was packed by the throngs who wanted to see what was on display, for sale, or for FREE! The food vendors had long lines, and local country music and crossover artist Shelby Raye and her band entertained as did a number of others. There was so much to see, do, taste, and hear that you literally could spend the entire day enjoying the event. There was no shortage of things to keep the youngest to the oldest occupied, and enjoying the festival, and the town.

This, like most of what goes on in the Chapin area, was a quality event. The staff and crew of The Ledger enjoyed every minute of it, and we can’t wait until next year to do it again!

The parade committee and its leadership deserve a hearty pat on the back, as do the employees of the town and everyone else who pitched in to make this festival happen. Police Chief Seth Zeigler and his team did a wonderful job of keeping the peace. They were assisted by the folks from Lexington County’s sheriff’s department, EMS, and the fire service who all did a tremendous job of keeping folks safe and healthy as they enjoyed the day.

The Chapin Labor Day Festival is a wonderful example of true Americana. It is well produced, full of family fun, and held in a beautiful little town that’s growing and changing while still trying to maintain some of its history, classic character and identity. It’s as close to Mayberry as you’ll come in this modern day and era, and if you haven’t been lately, I’d suggest you put this on your calendar for next year. It’s certainly worth the time it takes to get to the far northwest corner of Lexington County, and a great way to say good-by to the summer!

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