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Weekend in river towns great for families looking for good, clean fun

Cayce, West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – The weather and the events were absolutely perfect Saturday as people flocked to both Cayce and West Columbia to enjoy some of the best the two river towns had to offer. Although the Kinetic Derby Day in West Columbia and the Soiree on State Street in Cayce, were two entirely different events, both seemed to complement the other. Together, the two cities made it difficult to leave as the sights, sounds, music, and drinks displayed the truth that the west bank of the Congaree River has just as much, if not more to offer, than the Capital City.

A light breeze blew, and the sun was bright as the Second Annual Kinetic Derby Day kicked off in West Columbia. Meeting Street was closed at Brookland Baptist Church and State Street was closed from Meeting to about Thompson’s so there would be ample space.

The Kinetic Sculpture Parade started at 11:00 a.m. and there were entrants from quirky to just plain fast heading down the street lined with people. The whole procession was led by the drum-line from B.C. High School as folks along the street lined with people cheered. Afterward, all the kinetic racers lined up at the top of the hill where a giant chicken acted as the official flagman. Somehow, he had a checkered flag at the start, and a green and red flag marked the end. The switch up from the norm wasn’t really noticed and seemed very appropriate for a race where anything from a racer made from wheelbarrows to a Herby Curby roadside garbage can on wheels participated.

Lots of West Columbia’s official city departments participated and that only added to the fun. There were some questions about how smart it was for any department to beat the crew from finance, especially with the budget for the city currently being worked on! Both the Police Department’s car, built and raced by Assistant Police Chief Scott Morrison and his son Hunter and the car from the Fire Department, piloted by a young firefighter, were very fast. It begs the question, why not a race between the two departments heads up. Maybe this can be arranged for next year. The Morrison men said the police ain’t scared of nothing firefighters! I think that sounds like a challenge.

On State Street there was art and Kinetic sculptures to see and music to hear. There was no shortage of food to eat and cold drinks that were nice once it got a little warmer. Children could try their hand behind the wheel on a Kinetic racer and dream of taking the win next year. This was really just a great event all the way around.

The City of Cayce also closed a large portion of their end of State Street for the Soiree on State. This is an event that many have come to anticipate each year. Theirs features vendors, lots of music, of course art, food and drinks, and activities especially for the children. They had a long musical lineup that culminated with Tokyo Joe as the headliner. This South Carolina favorite took the stage at 8:00 p.m.

Cayce’s event had an adult beverage zone that was popular as people enjoyed the music and entertainment. Eventually, there were people dancing in the street as darkness began to fall.

This event also had something for everyone and was a perfect opportunity for Cayce to show off one of its “statelier” areas, State Street. This event really showcases the entire city and all it has to offer. It’s really is just an absolutely beautiful area to visit, work, or play. Mayor Elise Parton was acting as tour guide for groups and was in general just a great hostess. Others of the town’s elected officials were strolling around beaming as the weather, the event, and everything else came off without a noticeable hitch.

The true heroes of both events were both city’s employees. The hours put in have to be unmeasurable. Police officer kept everyone safe, firefighters responded on a few occasions when someone overdid it, and then the cleanups continued well after everyone had gone home. These cities have staffs to be proud of from whoever was involved in the planning to the person carrying the last trash cans away.

To learn more about the two cities that sit along the Congaree, go to the City of West Columbia’s website at or Cayce’s at There’re also tons of things to do listed on the website of the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce which can be located at

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Call Paul Kirby

(803) 587-3144

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