Springdale, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Town of Springdale, its citizens, leaders, and staff showed for a second year that doing it up big doesn’t always require everything to be big in a literal way. By the time their Second Annual Summerfest officially kicked off with a parade at 6:00 p.m. in the park beside town hall Saturday, there were already lots of kids and families just enjoying themselves. If there is a community or shining star of family values around, Springdale has got to lead the way. Summerfest is just another example of their commitment to families and community.
Summerfest’s parade starts like any other. There are roadblocks, a deserted street, and crowds alongside in anticipation. Motorist traveling Platt Springs Road often pulled a u-turn at the roadblocks, rolled their windows down, and asked if there were a bomb scare or the likes. When they heard it was a parade, they like most, must have pictured marching bands, military vehicles, fire trucks. When the first vehicle turned out of the Platt Springs UMC’s parking lot, it was a bit of a shock to see the lead unit was a garishly decorated golf cart in an aloha theme! What followed were more of the same. The entire parade is just that, a golf cart parade, and whoever can seem to decorate in the most outlandish way is the victor!
As the golf carts whisper by, kids adorn them as much as the pinks, bright yellows, and blues. There was a giant shark, pink flamingos, flowers and more, but lots of kids! They all waved, beamed and generally enjoyed the ride. Some threw candy and one group even gave out pool noodles and a life jacket or two! There was no way to suppress a smile unless you were dead.
The parade ended at the park where the smells of bar-b-que wafted across the tops of people’s heads and music from Whiskey Run entertained. Here too, it was done just right. The food was free, both the bar-b-que and the hotdogs, and the drinks were cold. The music was loud enough for the older crowd to hear without drowning out the laughter of the covey of kids cooling down in Springdale’s beautiful splash pad. Haybales made the amphitheater seats and those who needed more comfort simply brought a folding camp chair. Later, the local favorite Trent Jeffcoat played his own brand of country and southern rock and his faithful followers tapped their feet and clapped with the beat. The drink of the night was water or softdrinks, no one really needed anything stronger to enjoy the evening.
Just as darkness fell, fireworks lit the night sky as everyone oo..hhed and ahh..ed their heads tilted back, their eyes glued to the glory of it all! All of this, everything from beginning to end, was provided by the town or donations; free is just the right price for a young family.
Summerfest is proof positive that little events, events that put the family first, socials if you will where the police pass out cold drinks and the council stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the guys who ride the recycling truck to make their party a success, can make a community stronger. The music was great, but even if it were absent, the sound of the children would have been enough entertainment. It was music to the ears of many in a town that knows that doing it small, not taking yourself too seriously, and acting like it’s 1959 again, can draw crowds and bring a community together.
Summerfest, the original idea of one of the Ricard girls, is just that. It’s a social, a family fun event where friends are made, bonds grow tighter, and a parade and a night in the park are but one of the premier events of the year!
Thanks Springdale. Thanks to your leaders, your police, the town’s staff, and mostly for the community. All of you make Lexington County a better place to be.