Fort Mill Town Council members are wrestling with the idea of hosting two big events on consecutive weekends next spring.
The Fort Mill History Museum wants to bring back for what would be a second consecutive year, a Fort Mill History Day event that would be held in Walter Elisha Park the last weekend in April. The following Friday and Saturday is the main portion of the town’s annual S.C. Strawberry Festival, also held in that park.
Council members and other officials are worried that the History Day events, which include elaborately equipped and dressed reenactors representing people from various centuries, will interfere with preparations for the Strawberry Festival. During a discussion at a recent Council meeting, members seemed more inclined to approve use of the park for the history exhibits if the museum scales the program back from two days to one. The problem with that, according to Fort Mill History Museum officials is that the reenactors are locked into a tight schedule far in advance so it might be both or nothing.
If last year’s draw is any indication, the history day events will attract 3,000 to the downtown area. That might be a drop in the bucket compared to the anticipated 60,000 for the Strawberry Festival, but it’s still a lot of people and we’re sure area shop owners wouldn’t mind the potential bump in sales they represent.
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Once again, we’re astonished by Council’s inability to walk and chew gum at the same time.
There’s nothing too complicated about this. If the town puts its mind to this, we’re more than confident it can find a way to host two events on back-to-back weekends. In fact, it should look for opportunities to host outdoor events every weekend from spring through fall and indoor events during winter.
Considering town officials were just speculating over the possible impact the history events would have on Strawberry Festival preparations and none of them mentioned any specific problem, perhaps that worry is nothing more than a simple over reaction. And if there is so sort of minor conflict, the town has a whole week to figure it out.
An even better idea is for the town and the museum to talk about making annual history day events a part of the Strawberry Festival. That would give visitors to Fort Mill during the festival an added attraction and a chance to learn about the town some of them may be visiting for the first time.
In any case, the town should stop wringing its hands over what’s mostly a non-existent problem and figure out a way to let the museum program proceed unimpeded.
Be a ‘Good Cookie’ this month
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and if you wondered about the sudden appearance of gold ribbons in downtown Fort Mill, the town put them up to raise awareness. During this month, Dana Boutwell, Mrs. SC Strawberry Festival 2013, and local shop owners and other businesses have teamed up, for a second consecutive year, on “30 Days For a Cure.”
This program involves participating business – one for each day of the month – pledging a percentage of a day’s sales to the cause. The businesses and the patrons who spend their money there on the designated day are considered “Good Cookies” for their participation. Boutwell said her goal is to exceed the $35,000 raised last year and so far she’s office to a good start. Counting the pledge of a matching donation, more than $4,000 was raised after just the first three days.
There is more than two weeks left in “30 Days For a Cure” and we urge everyone who hasn’t already to please help by becoming a customer at one or more of the remaining businesses this week.
Click here for a calendar showing which businesses are designated for the remaining days.