By: Crissie Miller Kirby
As I write this, life in our little corner of the state has returned to normal. The hustle and bustle of the last week has given way back to the slow pace of life we typically enjoy, traffic moves slowly and easily along normal routes, and the children of the town are feeling slightly depressed. You might think that this would be the scene in the days following Christmas, but for Batesburg-Leesville, this is life following the 3-day-event known as the SC Poultry Festival. In its 26th year, the festival is still going strong and appeared to be well attended. The festival pays homage and recognition to the importance of the poultry industry to our state, and indeed our little town as Amick Farms, Columbia Farms, and Gentry’s Poultry all have operations located within a few mile radius of the town center. Many of our family and friends are poultry growers or work for one of the aforementioned companies; others of us are employed in an agri-business that finds many of its customers in the poultry industry.
I could spend pages detailing the events of the festival. Suffice to say that our little town does it up right and offers so much that our population swells to nearly 100,000 during the festivities. From beauty queens and barbecued chicken to volleyball and corn hole, rides and games to crafts and chicken calling contests (seriously), a parade filled with local middle school and high school bands, local dignitaries, and even Cocky and the Clemson Tiger. There are 3 stages offering different musical choices. The pinnacle of the festival is the fireworks display around 9:15 p.m.; which for a little town, we know how to get your attention with the fireworks.