Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Dining on The Dam, an idea turned into an event, came to fruition Sunday night with hundreds of people strolling in perfect weather, eating gourmet foods, enjoying wine pairings, beer, their choice of mixed drinks, and listening to amazing live music, all while overlooking beautiful Lake Murray. You could use words like magnificent, stupendous, perfect, amazing, or astounding, but all point back to the same thing, this event was just a great time in a great place organized by some great people!
Dining on The Dam was an event put on by the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitor Center Sunday evening. The idea was to close the upper lanes of traffic across the entire Lake Murray Dam, set up a stage, some bars, and food tents that served everything from brazed short-ribs with roasted root vegetables, to a charcutier station, and a sweets tables laden with high-end cookies, cake pops, and petit fours. You would also throw in some linen covered tables, some chairs, and restrooms for everyone’s comfort, and enough law enforcement officers to keep someone from accidentally driving down through the middle of it all. Of course, you’d need an ambulance if someone wasn’t feeling well and buses and limo vans to take people from the SCE&G parks on either side to the event. You’d also need lights, speakers, some tents, and a million other little details too. What could go wrong, right? Rain, stiff winds blowing tables and linens and plates, a shortage in the electrical system, someone just generally acting stupid; Well everything could go wrong but it didn’t! To the visitor’s eye it was perfect!
Some of the people who enjoyed this evening were the most influential in the Midlands and certainly Lexington County. SC Agricultural Commissioner Hugh Weathers, and Lexington County Council Chairman Scott Whetstone were there as were most of the remainder of the council. Beth Carrigg, Darrell Hudson, and Glen Conwell, were just a few in attendance, as was Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher and her husband Clifford. Representative Paula Rawl Calhoun was there being dutifully waited on by her husband former eleventh circuit solicitor Donnie Myers. He was going back and forth for food and drinks with a huge grin on his face while she sat and chatted with old friends. By the smile on his face, it seemed as if Myers is enjoying his retirement from politics and prosecuting while passing that mantle on to his wife.
Many area business leaders were also in attendance. Lou Kennedy, the president and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceutical, was always surrounded by a crowd, not for her influence but more because she just a great person to talk and laugh with. There were others as well, but it was also nice to see small business people in attendance too. People like Scottie Shelley from Sunset Primary Care and Jeff Sarokas of Low Country Billing, both of whom had their beautiful brides accompanying them. There were plenty of 20-somethings there, but also many folks that were gray enough that you knew they had passed 70 and could still enjoy a great party.
The weather was perfect, and how’d they do that? There was a light breeze blowing as if someone had the air set on a perfect 72 degrees. There wasn’t a spot of rain, and the lake was as smooth as glass. If the organizers didn’t arrange for the few cabin cruisers, the odd sailboat, and the fisherman that were peacefully floating by to act as backdrops, you certainly couldn’t tell. They added a great deal to the atmosphere of the whole affair.
Enough rambling about a perfect event, the people behind it made this happen. Of course, Otis Rawl, the chamber’s president and CEO was at the helm, but he’s not anywhere near a vain man, and I’m sure he’d tell you this couldn’t have been pulled off without his staff and the event's sponsors. People like Connor Watkins, Adam Deloach, Sondra Gettys, and Melanie Lybrand are just a few that had to work thousands of hours to make this happen. I’m sure they may have noticed a little thing here or there that needed to change, but to the eye of the visitor it wasn’t evident at all.
Sponsors were where the money came from for all this perfection. Nephron, BB&T, Great Southern Homes, Comporium, Safe Federal Credit Union, Southern First, Advanced Disposal, and MCEC were just a few of many that joined in to make this all possible. An event like this takes partners and all were great ones.
To sum it up, this was one of the nicest events held in some time. If Dining on The Dam year one was any indication of what will come in the future, you’ve set the bar very high friends, very high.