Air horns and fireworks signal end to Rock Hill’s annual Come-See-Me festival

adouglas@heraldonline.comApril 12, 2014 

Rock Hill’s annual 10-day Come-See-Me Festival wrapped up Saturday with family-friendly events and the festival’s signature fireworks extravaganza and tailgating at Winthrop Lake.

Volunteer organizers reported nearly 1,000 people attended the festival’s “Everything Trucks” event, held this year at Riverwalk, off Cherry Road near Interstate 77.

David and Melissa Morton brought their sons Aidan, 6, and Carson, 5. The boys climbed behind the wheel of tractors, and other big trucks on Saturday. Later, they attended the fireworks show.

Come-See-Me volunteers and Everything Trucks participants such as Hans Boden, who brought his 53-foot heavy hauler big rig, greeted visitors.

Boden, who works at Guy M. Turner in Rock Hill, specializes in hauling heavy and oversized machinery. On Saturday, he watched as hundreds of kids climbed into the driver’s seat and took turns honking the big truck’s air-pressure horn.

For safety, all the trucks at the event were turned off or running only when authorized personnel were behind the wheel.

“I got the key in my pocket. I’m not worried about what they do,” Boden said with a smile.

The truck can tow more than 150,000 pounds, he said, and it has a heated trailer for transporting sensitive machinery such as the rubber paper mill rollers used at businesses such as Resolute Forest Products in Catawba.

Hauling large loads, Boden said, “is not for rookies.” He has logged nearly 2 million miles over his 20-year career driving big trucks. His longest trip took him to Alberta, Canada earlier this year.

Others from the Rock Hill community took advantage of the Come-See-Me Festival as a way to introduce themselves to future customers. April Kirkpatrick, a veterinarian technician, recently started her own business called Pet Emergency Transport Service.

She and her fiance, Tega Cay police officer Cliff Conant, say it is the only ambulance service for pets in the state. After spending more than a decade working for local vet offices and animal hospitals, Kirkpatrick said she saw the need for a pet ambulance in York County.

Her business will transport animals to appointments or to animal hospitals for emergency care. She also provides in-home care for pets and emergency care in the ambulance en-route to the vet, she said.

On Saturday, families visited with Kirkpatrick and her dog Meiling at the pet ambulance parked at Everything Trucks.

Also at Riverwalk, Safe Kids of York County handed out free bicycle helmets for children.

Other Come-See-Me events Saturday included a barbecue cook-off and tailgate party at Winthrop Lake, a skydiving exhibition and sheep shearing at historic Brattonsville in McConnells.

The Catawba River Rod Run Car Show has been rescheduled for April 17 and 18 at the Rock Hill Galleria Mall parking lot.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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