Winnsboro Gets Ready to ‘Rock’

Tonight kicks off the 16th annual Rock Around the Clock festival in downtown Winnsboro. The Town Clock serves as the focal point of downtown Winnsboro. It was built in 1833 and is the oldest continuously running town clock in America. The origin of the festival’s name is two fold. Originally it is derived from the Blue Granite, for which Fairfield County is famous, that surrounds the Town Clock. Couple that with a festival that invites bands to play music and encourages street dance and you have a natural fit for “Rock Around the Clock.”

Planning for the festival started way back in January, but Chamber of Commerce President Terry Vickers said the prep is like clockwork.

“After 16 years, we’ve pretty much got the routine down,” Vickers said.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. with the Rocking Chair Parade. The Fairfield County VA took home the first place prize for best float last year, but TruVista Communications hopes to regain their top spot. TruVista won 2008-2010. From 8 p.m.-11 p.m. the CoastRunners band from Charleston will play during the annual street dance. There will be a Shag contest at 9:30 p.m. with the winner receiving a cash prize.

The Food Court will be located on West Washington Street and the vendors will be using tickets for the purchase of food. Be sure to visit the ticket tent located on the corner of Washington and Congress streets. Tickets are $1 each. There will be a little bit of everything at the food court, from Caribbean style cuisines to Philly cheese steaks, funnel cakes and much more.

Saturday’s events begin at 10 a.m. with Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy introducing the newly crowned Rock Around the Clock Beauty Queens. From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. there is plenty to do. For the kids, there will be a strawberry ride, giant slide and a mega mountain obstacle course on North Congress Street. Arm bands will be available at the amusement area for $10 allowing children to play until 3 p.m. For the adults, the annual classic car and truck show goes from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and trophies will go out to the top 50 entries, including a Judge’s Choice Trophy.

Throughout the day there will be live music from Will Hobgood, Zumbia Ladies and Winnsboro’s own ReUnion Bande. Town councilman Clyde Sanders is one the band’s singers.

“We have been looking forward to this and it’s going to be a good show,” Sanders said. “I think people will enjoy the music.”

The ReUnion Bande is a revival band from the ‘70s and has been together for 15 months.

The Rock Around the Clock festival is a time that has become a staple to kickoff the fall in Winnsboro.

“It’s just a great time,” Vickers said. “It’s a time when every citizen can be a part of the community.”

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