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4th Camellia CityFest delights

While Mother Nature brought blustery breezes and some clouds, not a drop of precipitation fell on the Camellia City last Saturday. And that made Francine Wasden a very happy woman.

Wasden, the executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, said the fourth edition of Camellia CityFest provided organizers, participants and visitors alike a “fun, fun day.”

“I think we had a really good event. The weather cooperated; we had great entertainment, plenty of food and wonderful vendors—it was just a great day to be in downtown Greenville,” Wasden enthused.

By mid-morning, a sizable throng of attendees roamed the blocked-off portion of Commerce Street, with 30 vendors lining both sides of the city’s main thoroughfare. Everything from original artwork and fine art photography to handcrafted jewelry, colorful wooden toys and hand-painted scarves were on offer to visitors.

Ten food vendors were scattered across Confederate Park, tempting taste buds with everything from cupcakes and corn dogs to funnel cakes and fully loaded French fries. Several local organizations, including the Miss Camellia Scholarship Program and the Boy Scouts, used CCF as an opportunity to satisfy hunger pangs and raise funds for their causes.

“I had a really good time. And it was great to be able to share information about our program with those in attendance along with our baked goodies,” said Michelle Styron of the Miss Camellia Program.

At the Ritz Studio downtown, Nancy Idland and her volunteers manned a flea market to raise funds for the Greenville Area Arts Council, offering everything from furniture to fancy costumes once worn by Putting on the Ritz cast members, along with vintage records, books, glassware, dolls and much more.

Hope Hull’s Charity Bowden, a former “The Voice” contestant, gained new fans as she performed on the event stage in front of city hall on Saturday morning, with the Jeff Sellers Band taking the stage in the afternoon.

Popular Q-94 morning show hosts David Norrell and Kyle Haynes emceed CCF 2018, promoting the event’s vendors, chatting with attendees and providing some high-octane tunes before and between Saturday’s live entertainment.

While on stage with Norrell and Haynes, Wasden expressed her desire to see the annual event continue to grow and possibly develop into a two-day affair.

“Many events start small and then over time, they expand. It’s happened in other cities and towns and I think it can happen here, too,” Wasden said.