Rock Hill’s annual salute to spring is blending new events with long-time favorites that have become festival traditions.
Come-See-Me, which runs from Thursday through April 12, kicks off with the “Blooming Gardens” parade, which has a new route through downtown Rock Hill. It will start at 135 S. Oakland Ave. and travel south, turning right onto East Main Street, then right again, ending at the Wells Fargo parking lot.
Come-See-Me hosts events geared to the music lover, art appreciator, sports enthusiast and, of course, children.
Glencairn Garden, the birthplace of Come-See-Me, hosts a mix of music acts while listeners relax on lawn chairs and blankets among the blooms.
The festival promotes a tennis tournament, golf tournament, basketball competition and a number of Winthrop University sporting events.
A new event is the half marathon on Saturday, which begins at South Pointe High School. The 13.1-mile certified course takes runners on paved streets through farm and residential areas. The registration fee is $65.
Back by popular demand is the Come-See-Me Cornhole Throwdown, a tournament during the tailgate party and barbecue cook-off at Winthrop Lake. Teams of two compete for cash prizes. Competition begins an hour earlier this year, at 4 p.m. April 12. The Matt Tucker Band is headlining a night of fun and fireworks.
There is plenty to do for kids at Come-See-Me. Top activities include Sundaes with Glen and Mother Goose with PW’s ice cream on Sunday at Glencairn Garden and the Teddy Bear Tea Party on Tuesday at Winthrop’s campus green.
Other kid-focused events – Chalk Art on Main and Musical Mania, which includes a kazoo parade – have been moved to Friday to accompany Beach Bash, featuring the music of Ken Know and Company.
Also geared to kids is Everything Trucks, a little boy’s dream, at a new location – the Giordana Velodrome. The April 12 event allows kids in the driver’s seat to explore (and honk the horns of) big trucks and heavy equipment.
Healthy Kid Zone, inside the 250-meter Velodrome cycling track, has a new time to complement Everything Trucks. There is a tricycle race and other activities. Both events will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For the art enthusiast, the “Rouser, Simpson and Mullenix” exhibition is open at the Center for the Arts on Main Street. The photos of De’Angelo Dia’s “Hopeless Maybe Not...” are exhibited at Clinton College throughout Come-See-Me.
On the stage, Winthrop University students will perform the drama “Next Fall” from Thursday through Sunday. The play takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. It is geared to adults.
To be the star of the show, visit Broadway Night on April 10 at Sullivan Middle School. After auditions, local performers dance and sing pieces from various Broadway productions.
One of the longest-running Come-See-Me traditions is the Boy Scout’s Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 234 E. Main St. This year marks the 45th year for this event. Tickets are $6 per person and available at the door. Children younger than 5 eat free.
The final Friday of the festival will bring the sweet sounds of Moonlight Jazz and Blues, featuring Fishing with Dynamite at 6 p.m., Noah at 7:15 p.m. and Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’Blues at 8:30 p.m.