Top 10 Things Every Newberrian Should Do This Fall
Top 10 Things Every Newberrian Should Do This Fall
The annual Newberry Ag Expo returns to PD Johnson Farm September 6 and 7. The event features bouncy houses, a mechanical bull, ag education, and fair style food. The main event is the SC High School Rodeo Association’s annual rodeo! High School age students rodeo for college scholarships and prizes, all to the delight of the audience. Details on this event can be found at www.newberryagexpo.org
Don’t miss an afternoon of activity for the kids from the Newberry Fire Department. The annual Kids Fun Day takes place on September 8 from 2 pm to 5 pm at the new City of Newberry Recreation Complex! Come out for an afternoon to learn more about our local first responders and utilities that work to support and keep our community safe. In the past the NFD has hosted Law Enforcement, DNR, Forestry, Dive Team, Haz-Mat, Search and Rescue teams, and others! Tour their work vehicles, enjoy fire safety relays, water splash zone with the NFD, free giveaways, snow cones, bounce houses, and more, all free! For details call 803-321-1030. Please note many areas of the complex are still under construction- what a great opportunity to see it in progress!
In addition to festivals and football, fall is the perfect time of year to get outside and experience the Great Outdoors of Newberry. Consider a hike, bike ride, or picnic in nearby Lynch’s woods or Sumter National Forest to take in the natural splendor of fall color. More structured outdoor fun can be found at local farms including Do-Si-Jo's Corn Maze and Lever Farms, featuring corn mazes and pumpkin patches just minutes from town. Looking for a unique experience? Check out Carolina Pride Pastures. Their National Alpaca Farm Days September 28 and 29 give visitors the opportunity to see a functioning alpaca farm and possibly go home with unique gifts! Of course, you can always keep your outdoor experience close to home- go leaf peeping in your own neighborhood, host a smore’s roast for friends and family, or simply hang a hammock and curl up with a cozy blanket and good book in your own backyard.
Celebrating its 18th year, the Newberry Oktoberfest transforms downtown for one-day-only into a German heritage festival and craft fair. This event offers activities for all ages to enjoy including authentic German cuisine, German style biergartens, handpicked art & craft vendors, live craft demos, music, a traditional German dress contest, and the Kindertown family fun zone. There is so much to see and do in downtown Newberry during Oktoberfest! You’ll want to be sure to save October 5th to your calendar and make plans now to attend! Visit www.newberryoktoberfest.comfor event details and more.
Football season is here, and Newberry College will be hosting six games at home this fall, the fourth of which culminates Newberry College’s Homecoming Week. Each year the college hosts a robust schedule of public activities to get hyped for the big game weekend. Bonfires, lawn parties, face painting, parades, tailgating, and more all leading up to the main event the week of October 7 through 12. For details visit www.newberry.edu/homecoming.
All are welcome to the annual Fall Festival at Boys Farm, Inc. where “making a difference and having a great time” are one in the same. The event features free hay rides around the 300+ acre farm & pond, pony rides from the horses cared for on site, bouncy houses, and live bluegrass from Amick Junction. Barbecue plates will be for sale, proceeds of which will benefit Boys Farm. The fun takes place October 12 from 11 am to 4 pm. Details can be found at www.boysfarm.org.
Imagine an afternoon unwinding on a wrap around porch with a glass of wine as you tap your toes to the music of a local band, occasionally getting up to peruse booths from artisans and crafters and grabbing a bite to eat from a local food truck. This could be you at Enoree River Winery LLC’s annual Newberry Harvest Festival. The event is scheduled for October 12 from 11 am to 6 pm. Can’t make the big day? They will continue the fun on Sundays at their Pack the Porch live music series as well. For details on the winery’s fall events visit www.enoreeriverwinery.com/events.
This fall the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual Pumpkin Decorating Party in front of Community Hall. On the afternoon of Sunday, October 20, pumpkins will be provided to the 1st 100 participants who are ages 12 and under, and painting/decorating supplies will be provided. What will your family create? A happy pumpkin? Pumpkin goblin? Maybe you’ll draw your inspiration from downtown and paint a Newberry themed pumpkin! Call 803-276-4274 for details on this fun fall activity.
The 2019 season at the Newberry Opera House offers quality shows, acts, and more every week. The concerts and shows of amazing variety are made possible in part by the Newberry Opera House Guild’s efforts to promote and support the venue. Consider giving back to the Opera House by attending the annual Guild Oyster Roast at the Waldrop Family Farm. The event features Bowens Island oysters, Carolina BBQ, peel n’ eat shrimp, beer, and wine. Save the date for food and fun on Sunday, November 3rd. Contact the Newberry Opera House for tickets by calling 803-276-6264 or visit www.newberryopreahouse.com.
Featuring local ROTC groups, scouts, bands, and the Newberry area American Legion (the organizers of the event), as well as the patriotic displays of support of our local Veterans and active duty Armed Forces, the Newberry Veteran’s Day Parade returns this fall! Come downtown donning red, white, and blue to show your support for our Vets. The parade is followed by a short service honoring our Veterans. Don’t miss it on November the 9th at 10 am. For details contact Henry Brooks at 924-3629 or Eugene Brooks at 276-0408.
The highly anticipated opening of The Newberry Museum is expected to occur this fall! This project, funded in part by the voter supported Newberry County penny sales tax initiative passed in 2016, lovingly renovated downtown Newberry’s Taylor Building (known by many as the old post office or library) to house a first-rate museum focused on bringing Newberry’s history to the people. The museum is expected to hold permanent and rotating exhibits where visitors can learn about the histories of each of Newberry’s municipalities, Newberry College, the origins of Newberry, notable figures, and much more, including a video theater, mezzanine, and children’s museum area. Stay tuned for opening day by visiting their website www.thenewberrymuseum.com.
Kids Fun Day Slated for September 8
The Newberry Fire Department’s annual Kids Fun Day will be held Sunday, September 8 from 2-5 p.m. New this year, the event will take place at the future site of the City of Newberry’s recreation complex, located at 1786 Glenn Street Extension.
Fire Chief Keith Minick said while the event will be fun and is called Fun Day, they hope to use it as an educational opportunity for kids and families to portray a fire and life safety message and to also encourage those interested to get involved with an agency such as the fire service.
“We hope that they get lots of educational messages related to them by the fire service, law enforcement, EMS or another agency,” he said.
The event, which has been held for over 25 years originally started as a fishing rodeo for kids, but transitioned over time into the department’s Kids Fun Day. Minick said the fire department currently hosts an annual golf tournament in the spring and portions of the proceeds help support the Kids Fun Day event.
“We’re excited to host this at the city’s future recreation complex,” Minick said. “While the facility is not completed, it will give the public a chance for a sneak preview of what’s to come there at the complex.”
Drinks and food will be provided from several community organizations. There will also be games and giveaways to include bookbags for children with supplies donated from various organizations. Bookbags, sponsored by Komatsu this year, will be available while supplies last. Other vendors on site will also have giveaways for those in attendance.
Several fire trucks from both the city and county fire/rescue departments will be on display for the community to visit and look inside. The Newberry Police Department and Newberry County Sheriff’s Office along with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Newberry County EMS and other agencies will also be on hand to meet with the community.
The Red Cross will be on site to gather information from anyone, within the city or Newberry County that is in need of a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm for their home.
Inflatables will also be on site for children to enjoy as well as face-painting. The City’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department will have additional outdoor games available through the RecMobile.
New this year, the University of South Carolina’s mascot, Cocky will be on site from 2:30-3:30 p.m. for photos and to spend time with visitors.
Lieutenant Chris Connelly said an event like this is a good way to get children out in the public, showing them what the fire service and other agencies do each and every day in the community.
“We had a great crowd last year and we really just want that to continue this year,” he said.
Anyone wishing to participate in this year’s event or become a sponsor can contact Connelly at the Newberry Fire Department at 803-321-1030.
These boys participate in the kids combat course set up by the Newberry Fire Department during last year’s Kids Fun Day event
Riddle Recognized for 10 Years of Service
Mayor Foster Senn, City Manager Matt DeWitt and Utility Director Tim Baker recognized Brandon Riddle Tuesday for his 10 years of service with the City of Newberry’s Water Treatment Plant. Riddle began working with the city on July 20, 2009 and currently holds the position of Water Plant Operator C.
“Water is something we use every day and something we don’t have to think about because of the outstanding folks like Brandon that work at our Water Plant every day,” Senn said.
Baker described Riddle as contentious and a leader at the water plant.
Under updates, Senn told council he had received many positive comments across all city departments regarding the efforts of city staff and departments going above and beyond their duties to provide the citizens of Newberry with excellent customer service. Senn went through these comments with council and thanked each department for their efforts to serve Newberry’s citizens.
Assistant Utility Director David Eldridge provided his monthly update for council on the fiber rollout within the city limits. Eldridge said that Zone 1 that included the Newberry Hospital area was now complete with the exception of areas in the vicinity of Forrest Ridge due to underground construction.
Zone 2, he said was underway and includes the areas from the lower end of Wilson Road into the Mollohon area. The Tanyard Street fiber distribution hub that includes the areas around Evans Circle is also being constructed along with Zone 2.
Senn asked Eldridge about the coil brackets in the shape of wreaths that residents may notice on electrical poles in their area. Eldridge said as fiber cable was installed, additional lengths of approximately 50 feet were installed for future maintenance and repair. This additional cable is stored on the coil brackets. As residents see these brackets going up in their neighborhood, Eldridge said they can expect to be hooked to the network within a few months.
Baker updated council on the Nance Street construction of water and sewer infrastructure.
“We’re currently rebuilding the water, sewer, electric and data lines along Nance Street,” he said.
The project was split into two phases. The first, Baker said included the areas of downtown until the intersection of Pope and Nance Streets and has been completed. The second phase from Pope Street to the cross street at Kendall Road is underway.
Baker said the water line for the second phase had been laid and was currently undergoing pressure testing. The sewer line is also in, he said but awaiting testing. As an estimate, Baker said approximately 90 percent of the electric and date lines were complete, with sewer close to that point. The estimated completion of the project would be this fall, he said. The upgrades are expected to last approximately 50 years.
“I know everyone will be glad to see the project completed and we appreciate the residents’ patience as work is being completed,” Baker said.
Baker also provided council with an upgrade on the progress of the Mollohon substation to which he said one transformer had already been put into service. Because of its location to the football stadium at Kendall Park, Baker said they partnered with the Parks, Recreation and Tourism department to have netting installed behind the field goal post with a sign saying “City of Newberry Utilities Supports Youth Athletics.”
Circuits are currently being installed down Dixie Drive, Baker said and are approximately 70 percent completed. The substation will supply the power to the city’s new recreation complex when competed. An estimated completion date, Baker said was mid to late fall.
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Scott Sawyer provided two updates for council Tuesday, the first on the Capital Project Sales Tax (CPST) recreation complex. Both the splash pad and playground area should be finished sometime this fall, he said.
Sawyer said the public would have an opportunity for a preview of the complex on Sunday, September 8 as the Newberry Fire Department would be hosting their annual Kids Fun Day event on the property. While the playground will not be available at this time, Sawyer said the public will be able to access the parking lots and multi-purpose fields.
“Whatever we can open, we will as projects are completed,” Sawyer said.
This would most likely include the multi-purpose fields, playground and nature trail, he said.
As another update to council, Sawyer said their department had received a $20,000 Park and Recreation Development (PARD) fund grant to assist in building a bathroom at both Wise Street Park and Marion Davis Park. Sawyer said currently Marion Davis did not have a bathroom that was ADA accessible.
By the end of next week, Sawyer said they were hoping to have three quotes on the projects. The bathroom at Wise Street Park will be installed first, with plans after the first of the year for the bathroom at Marion Davis Park.
“We anticipate within the next month to have work started at Wise Street Park,” he said.
Under public comment, Margaret Riebe and Bruce Palmer addressed council regarding the speed enforcement on Nance Street, just beyond the Dixie Drive interchange. Palmer said he was concerned for his safety when backing out of his home into the street and felt the police department needed more coverage in the area.
Police Chief Roy McClurkin said he had had officers running stationary radar of cars traveling in and out of town as well as enlisted the use of a speed limit detector sign from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office in the area while the Newberry Police Department’s detection sign was repaired.
“My officers will be there making sure you all are safe, that is my number one concern,” McClurkin said.
Senn asked if there could be an update presented to council in October with reports of how traffic had been in the area, etc.
Under old business, council approved second and final reading of an ordinance to amend the city’s flood damage prevention ordinance. Recently, city staff received communication from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) – Flood Mitigation Program requesting an update to the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to safeguard the public interest by protecting the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city. The Legislature of the State of South Carolina has in SC Code of Laws, Title 5, and amendments thereto, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry. The adoption of these changes to the model code would align the City with the state regulation. Motion was made by Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd and seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker.
- Motion was made by Councilman Zebbie Goudelock and seconded by Councilman Lemont Glasgow to approve first reading of an ordinance to establish policies, standards and procedures for the protection and management of public trees within the city limits. Senn said council and city staff were working to pursue a Tree City USA designation, a nationwide movement that provided the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. As part of the process, it is necessary for council to adopt a tree care ordinance.
- First reading was approved of an ordinance to amend the Newberry Opera House bylaws. The Newberry Opera House Foundation requested that council approved changes in the bylaws to better align the practices of the board to match the policy. Changes to the bylaws include an amendment that specifies that no member will receive compensation, an addition of a finance and program committee and a change in staff from a bookkeeper to business manager. Motion was made by Boyd and seconded by Councilman David DuBose.
- Due to a recent change of leadership at the Prosperity Police Department, a mutual aid agreement was re-executed between them and the Newberry Police Department. With the agreement in place, both departments are within the legal confines of the law to offer assistance in situations that are deemed necessary. Motion was made by Goudelock and seconded by Wicker.
City Council recognized Brandon Riddle for his 10 years of service with the City of Newberry’s Water Treatment Plant. He is pictured with Utility Director Tim Baker.
City Hospitality Tax Forms Now Available Online
In an effort to better serve customers, the City of Newberry’s finance department is now accepting online hospitality submissions from city restaurants and hotels.
Finance Director Shannon Smith said after working with SC.Gov, the feature was now live on the city’s website.
When visiting cityofnewberry.com and clicking on the Pay Bills tab at the top of the screen, visitors will see a link labeled Local Hospitality Tax Payments. The link takes visitors to the secure SC.Gov website where they can fill out the necessary form.
Prior to the service being offered online, Smith said the form had to be picked up at City Hall and then mailed in with the business’ check.
“This feature allows our customers to submit the form online anytime of the day,” Smith said.
Those with questions regarding submitting or filling out the form online can call the city’s finance department during regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 803-321-1007.
“Finding ways to enhance customer service is very important to us,” said City Manager Matt DeWitt. “I’m always happy to see our departments finding new ways to make doing business with the City of Newberry more convenient and efficient.”
Newberry National Night Out slated for August 6
The City of Newberry police and fire departments, along with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies throughout Newberry County will come together August 6 for their annual National Night Out event. Held in Mollohon Park, 211 Player Street in Newberry, the event will be from 6-8 p.m.
Organizing National Night Out for the Newberry Police Department this year is Sergeant Will Bouknight who said the purpose of the event is to promote law enforcement-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.
“It’s my first year at spearheading this event for the police department and I’m excited to further build relationships with those in the community,” Bouknight said.
Communities from all over come together on the first Tuesday in August to host parties, festivals and other community events with safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.
“We always enjoy being a part of events like National Night Out,” said City Fire Chief Keith Minick. “This is a time for our fire service team members to show our community how much we care and want to share important safety messages. This also allows our community members to see some of the equipment up close we use during response.”
The Newberry Fire Department will be on site during National Night Out, Minick said to talk about fire and life safety as well as to participate in games with those attending.
The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office will bring their command center again this year, Bouknight said along with other familiar booths and games from last year to include archery with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the dunking booth with the Newberry Police Department.
Other outdoor games will be set up to include inflatables for youth. Police Chief Roy McClurkin said other vendors from the community will also be present to give out information.
“This event continues to grow each year and shows our commitment to the citizens and bringing the community together,” McClurkin said. “We always look forward to this tremendous community-building event.”
Little Caesars pizza will be available for those who attend as well as popcorn and snow cones at no cost.
Towards the closing of the event, the Newberry Fire Department’s ladder truck will be on site for kids to see and to perform the annual ping-pong ball drop for prizes.
The Newberry County Council on Aging will be offering van rides from each apartment complex within the city limits beginning at 5 p.m. on August 6 for those interested in attending. Following the completing of the ball drop with the fire department, the van will begin transports back to the apartment complexes.
All children riding the van must be accompanied by an adult to the event.
“National Night Out is a great community event,” said City Manager Matt DeWitt.
DeWitt said the event provided the community with the unique opportunity to interact and get to know local public safety officials outside of an emergency.
“We appreciate these agencies coming together to provide this event for Newberry,” he said.