2009-04-17 / Front Page

Festival picture growing clearer

By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

Entertainment worthy of the American Idol television show could be coming to the South Carolina Peach Festival this summer.

The festival is in negotiations to bring a major entertainer who has appeared on the popular television show to appear in concert during the 2-week event.

Peach Festival event organizer LeighAnn Turner said the festival is working to bring in the nationally recognized artist to perform at a gospel event July 19 at the Michael Gaffney cabin.

"We are still working to secure sponsorship and finalize a contract with the artist," Turner said. "We hope to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks if we are able to reach an agreement with the artist."

An artist is also being booked by the festival for a Peach Beach concert scheduled for July 11 at the Broad River Electric Co-Op Auditorium. The Peach Beach will be held indoors and is one of the few events requiring a ticket this year.

"We are really excited about this year's Peach Festival. We have something going on practically every single day during the festival," board chairman Carlton Bridges said. "One of the things we have really focused on is supporting the community and providing low-cost family entertainment."

The South Carolina Peach Festival has started distributing schedules for the 32nd annual festival celebrating the area's peach industry. This year's festival will run from July 10-19.

Starmax will hold a Pro-Am bowling tournament July 3-5 prior to the official start of the Peach Festival.

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Peach Dessert Contest on July 10 as part of its annual kickoff party. A Blacksburg Street Dance and Movie in the Park is planned for later that evening.

"The dessert contest will be out of this world. We have limited the dessert contest to 25 entries and are bringing in professional judges for the event," Bridges said. "We are looking forward to bringing the festival to Blacksburg this year."

A road race and basketball tournament are planned for July 11. The opening weekend will end Sunday, July 12, with a worship service in Blacksburg.

New events planned for this year's festival include a skateboard competition (July 15) and a barbecue cookoff July 18 sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

The festival has also brought traditional events like the downtown Family Fun Day, parade, golf tournament, and a talent show presented by the Blacksburg Rotary Club.

Event times and ticket information for this year's South Carolina Peach Festival will be announced at a later date.

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