Rock Hill's annual salute to spring returns in April with plenty of old favorites but also a big new addition: A salute to "Happy Days" that features a sock hop, classic car cruise-in and the movie "American Graffiti" on a big screen in downtown.
Come-See-Me -- the largest all-volunteer festival in South Carolina -- is set for April 16 to 25 at venues all over town, including Glencairn Garden, Winthrop Lake and Old Town Amphitheater at City Hall.
The first weekend puts the spotlight on familiar events such as the Beach Bash, Mayor's Frog Jump, pancake breakfast and ice cream sundaes with Glen the Frog and Mother Goose.
But organizers are eager to showcase some new festivities. The salute to "Happy Days," for example, kicks off at 6 p.m. April 16 at the amphitheater. That night, a musical mania at the Manchester Meadows soccer complex ends with a mass kazoo march around the lake.
The "Be Seen Green" parade moves to April 18 at 10 a.m., with a downtown starting point at East White and Caldwell streets. Marching bands, mascots and the city's Clean & Green group are set to promote environmentally friendly themes in this year's parade.
The final weekend is highlighted by a barbecue cook-off judged by the South Carolina BBQ Association. Cookers will compete April 25 at Winthrop Lake in an all-day extravaganza that culminates with an exhibition by the Carolina Skydiving Team and a fireworks show.
Presiding over the festival this year will be Cameron "Bubba" Bailey, a 20-year resident of Rock Hill and a mortgage officer at South Carolina Bank & Trust.
An avid golfer, hunter and University of South Carolina Gamecocks fan, Bailey has been involved with Come-See-Me since childhood. As a youngster, he entered his "Cocky the Frog" in the Mayor's Frog Jump.
The Come-See-Me festival debuted in the spring of 1962 under the direction of former Mayor C.H. "Icky" Albright, who viewed it as a way to encourage visitors to enjoy Rock Hill during its most beautiful season.
Organizers will recognize several merit award winners, including the Palmetto Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, WRHI-AM radio host Allan Miller and Bev Carroll, a longtime advocate for people in need.
For information, visit the official festival Web site, comeseeme.rockhill.net, or call 329-7625.