A Joyful Noise: The Parade is coming!
- Thursday, 18 October 2012
- James Richardson
By Joyce Judd, Contributing Columnist:
Registration for the annual Travelers Rest Christmas Parade is officially open! For the 40th year in a row, we will again host motorcycles, clowns, dancing teams, football teams, cheerleaders, floats, marching bands and the great elf himself, Santa Claus.
Our parade enjoys a great history. In l972, the Jaycees began sponsoring the event, and through the years we have seen lots of motorcycles, horses, antique cars and tractors. We’ve had children in strollers pushed by their mommas (the Travelers Rest Evening Woman’s Club), and we’ve hosted dance teams, football teams, car clubs, riding clubs (horses) and a multitude of other entries.
As the parade grew, the parade committee named North Greenville Food Crisis Ministry as the sole recipient of the money the event generated. Since that time, we've experienced even more growth, allowing us to also contribute to Foothills Family Resources, which serves the Slater/Marietta area. And the motorcycles, known as “Iron Horses”, pay a 1 bike fee to the parade, and every bike after that pays $5.00, which is then given to the TR Police Department for their Toy Drive to help families hurt by the economy. We are so proud of our ability to help others!
For the past 10 years, the parade has been sponsored by the Travelers Rest Area Business Association, now known as the Greater Travelers Rest Chamber of Commerce, and we work very closely with the City of Travelers Rest. Our parade brings an estimated 14,000-plus visitors to our community, which helps many of our local merchants through the sale of food, drinks, and shopping following the parade.
This years’ parade promises to be one of the best ever. We are looking to bringing on a 3rd band, we already know Ronald McDonald will be with us, and we’re working on a few other surprises.
This year, the theme for our parade is, “Christmas Through the Years”. The parade is always on the 2nd Saturday in December, this year December 8. The parade begins at 10:00 a.m., and the route is: Main St. at Rowe Rd to Center St. It turns right in front of Sunrift Adventures and then travels to Plaza Dr, where it turns right and ends at the corner of Plaza Dr. and Poplar Dr.
We hope you will mark your calendars and plan to come be with us as we celebrate our community. The Travelers Rest Christmas Parade will delight the children you love as well as the child who lives in your heart. Won’t you join us?
(Editor's note: Follow the parade Facebook page here to stay up to date with announcements, view photos from past parades, etc.)
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A Joyful Noise: Musings from a southern perspective
- Saturday, 08 September 2012
By Joyce Judd, Contributing Columnist:
School has begun again, the Dogwood trees are sporting the occasional rust/yellow leaf, and my Bob turned 65. Wow! What do you do when someone hits that magical age? You know, the one that makes you a card-carrying member of the Medicare Club.
Well, while we were in Minnesota with the kids/grandkids, they surprised him with an ice cream cake, which of course tickled him silly. The little ones got such a kick out of it, because they were talking about his birthday and he kept saying: “it’s not til the end of the month”, or, “no, it’s not my birthday yet”. However, they knew their mom had a cake in the kitchen. She was lighting the candles and he was still saying “no”. When he finally saw the cake and we started singing, the kids were laughing! They put one over on Papa!
When we were back at home on the weekend that was his birthday, the local kids/grandkids put together a surprise as well. His birthday was on a Sunday, so Saturday evening they had us over for a cookout. His favorite food is hamburger, and once again, Papa was surprised.
But what was I to do with this man of my life? Hmm. Well, we do enjoy riding through the countryside and of course we like to eat, so I decided to offer him the choice of destination for his birthday dinner. (That’s noontime for transplants to the south). The choices were: the Pisgah Inn, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 14 miles above Hendersonville; the Applewood Restaurant at the Apple Barn in Sevierville, Tenn.; or the Old Mill Restaurant on Highway 441 in Sevierville.
His choice: the Pisgah Inn, partly because it’s on the Blue Ridge Parkway, partly because we haven’t been there, and partly because the North Carolina Arboretum is right where Highway 191 joins the parkway, and he wanted to go there too.
The Pisgah Inn is about 1.5 hours from us and is best known for its mountain trout. So I told him if we go there, he had to get the trout and he needed to have it “dressed” at the table (something they offer if you ask for it). Oh, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was fun.
We also were there early enough that we were able to sit at the window overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. We were up with the hawks and eagles, and it was wonderful. The Pisgah Inn is attached to the Pisgah Lodge, so if you’re casting about for a place to go for a meal, they’re open breakfast, lunch and supper, I believe, 7 days a week. They do close between meals so they can prepare for the next sitting, and if you want a table by the windows, arrive about 30 minutes early (lunch service begins at 11:30, and yes, they are busy on Mondays!). There’s a lovely deck with rocking chairs to wait, and the gift shop is fun to browse through as well.
On the way back, we did stop at the Arboretum. What a great place! Admission is free, but the parking is $8.00. However, if you decide to become a member, the $8 fee is deducted from the cost. You can also come and go during the same day for the same parking fee.
There is a half-mile drive from the gates up to the information building, which contains exhibits, the gift shop and a few other displays. There also is a hot house out the upstairs back door, and that’s where we found the ‘touch-me-nots’ and the pitcher plants, among others.
Continuing on out the hot house back door, we were into some beautiful gardens, including the quilt garden, which when viewed from above does in fact resemble a quilt. One of the gardeners’ sheds had a grass/moss roof; and there was a line of trees which had a basket-weave border to them that made them look as if they were in one pot…about 10 feet long. Fun ideas to see.
Bob had seen the information about the greenhouses being ‘up the road’, and so of course, we had to go. We enjoyed the greenhouses much more than we enjoyed the ‘formal displays’. At the greenhouses, folks were working, and we were allowed to simply poke into corners and wander around to see what might be in the next room. Outside there were 2 Quonset-hut style greenhouses, one of which held only bonsai plants. Bob has always loved bonsai, but he never took the time to play with doing bonsai, so he was thrilled to see the different types of plants they were working with.
We went into another greenhouse and discovered my favorite flower, the bird of paradise, blooming. And then we saw two plants we had never seen before: the African Mask plant, which resembles the elephant ear plant, and the escargot begonia, which, sure enough, looks like a snails shell. We were both having just the best time…dreaming about…maybe we could just get rid of all our furniture and turn the house into a plant haven. But no, we’ll simply continue to visit places like the Arboretum and dream on.
As we were heading home, we drove into an area where the Asplundh workers were cutting trees back along the roadside, getting ready for winter. Trees, power lines and ice are never a good mix, and these workers were cutting back the bigger limbs. It looked like the man in the bucket was 100’ in the air…and he may well have been.
Please remember as you’re traveling through areas where workers are working along the roadside to pay attention. Typically, there’s a patrol car with lights flashing a bit ahead of where workers are, but not always. And when officers are out directing traffic, there is nothing between them and your vehicle except your attention.
A Joyful Noise: Musings from a southern perspective
- Thursday, 31 May 2012
- Joyce Judd
By Joyce Judd, contributing columnist:
Is there anything more fun than watching kids play baseball for the first time? Our youngest Greer-grandson began playing recently, and the little ones are just so cute. The first time at bat they have the poses, but the bats are too long for their arms and a little heavy, so many times the tips of the bats dip into the dirt when they swing. But when they connect with the ball, the excitement – both on the field and in the stands – becomes something else!
The fielding team members all run after the ball like chickens to a bug. The batter watches the ball, runs a little bit, then stops and looks at the ball again. The coaches are flinging their arms in the air, motioning for the batter to RUN! And the parents are just as mixed up, with half of the stands yelling “get the ball! Throw it home!” and the other half yelling “RUN…touch the bag…RUN!!”
The umpires just try to stay out of the way, and when the play is ended, we’re all just exhausted! That is, until the next bat connects with the ball. If you need something to do on Saturdays – or any spring night during the week – just stop by your local ball field and have some fun.
Our grandsons play their games at Century Park in Greer, and on Opening Day Saturday, the youngest one was in the game when the train whistle started blowing. Sure enough, as the train passed by the field in full view, every little back was turned to watch the train. The game stopped. Even the batter was watching the train. When the coaches realized what was going on, they started turning the kids around, calling them to “get back in the game”. Of course, no one was at all upset! We were all just tickled at watching the kids.
A friend and I recently took the time – or, made the time – to meet and visit on a Monday afternoon. We both are working women, and we just decided we needed the time to unwind. So, we met by the Middle Tyger River over in Duncan, beside the Spartanburg County Library.
There’s a lovely little spot with a few picnic tables and walking trail. We had intended to walk, putting exercise with visiting, but the trail was very short. It took us down by the river, and as we were walking, there was a tree right in the middle of the path, ending the trail.
When I looked down, I noticed movement and told my friend: “Oh, the trail ends here; and look, there’s a snake.” At that point, she immediately turned around and began moving rapidly away from me. It was just a black snake (one of the good ones, if there is such a thing), but I discovered just how quickly short people can move when motivated!
Have you noticed the signs around Travelers Rest and the ads on the Tribune advertising the Elements Festival? This weekend, we’ll host a festival celebrating the elements in nature: earth (dirt), wind, fire and water. The point is to celebrate all the opportunites nature provides for us to get outside and play. Scott Buckhiester with DunBurks Premier Events is coordinating the whole thing. You may not know Scott, but he’s a local boy who has come home and is now working in the area.
This festival is an inaugural annual event hosted by our city and sponsored by North Greenville Hospital and Borklund Insurance Agency. It is going to be a great time in our town! What a great way to kick off our summer in Travelers Rest!
Our community is growing. There's no way not to realize that. The weather is heating up, and with the warmer months comes wonderful activities, but also the opportunity for bad things to happen. Remember, we are no longer a “sleepy little town” where everyone knows everyone else. Lock your car when you’re out and about. Pay attention as you cross the street....and hey – are you aware there are crosswalks with buttons to change the lights for you to cross safely at intersections?
It’s too hot to leave pets in the car while you shop, and children should never be left alone in a vehicle. We have new businesses coming, and that is not a bad thing; however, with the new businesses come new people. I’m not being a fear-monger, just reminding you to pay attention.
And – as always – keep our local heroes in your prayers. Our police department is dealing with a lot more traffic, events, and other challenges. They handle them all with professionalism as well as integrity. But unlike most of us, when they go to work, they never know the risks they will face. And our fire fighters also have more frequent calls to respond to medical situations, to car incidents, to house fires. They too could use your prayers.
A Joyful Noise: Musings from a southern perspective
- Monday, 23 July 2012
- Joyce Judd
By Contributing Columnist Joyce Judd:
We moved to the Apalache Mill Village just outside of Greer in August, 2007. Most of us here have dogs, cats, and/or some chickens, but our across-the-street neighbors have groundhogs. Their yard adjoins a kudzu field that drains away to Frohawk Creek. When we moved in, the next spring we noticed groundhogs in their yard. They were sleek and moved fairly quickly. They seemed to enjoy going into the storm drain and peeking out through the grates. At one point, we noticed they were coming up on our side of the road, and we became a little concerned. As cute as they are, they eat plants, and we were not interested in feeding them.
Each spring, the groundhog family re-establishes their presence in the neighbors’ yard. They are bigger than his dog, and they literally play and frolic among the bushes; they climb slightly up their tree and wander all around. I’m thankful they are across the street where I can watch them without worrying about our garden. And, there’s another neighbor who loves to eat them, paying $20 per groundhog. I hope they never learn to cross the road.
When our family arrived in the Travelers Rest area in 1989, we landed in Jones Gap on Duckworth Rd. near Palmetto Bible Camp. We lived there until December when we moved to the other side of Highway 25 over towards Tigerville. About 20 minutes from T.R., we would journey to town to go to the bank, do our grocery shopping, and to see Dr. Coleman if we needed. At that time, there was 1 traffic light at the State Park Rd. and Highway 25 intersection. Hardees was the only fast food chain in town. Bi-Lo was in the George Coleman Plaza, and Sunrift Adventures was on Hawkins Rd at Highway 25. Wow! Have times changed!
Over the 23 years we’ve been here, some businesses have closed; some businesses have come and gone; some have come and made it. I’ve had the salon now for 15 years. The coming of Ildi Revis-Browns’ The Leopard Forest seems to have begun the current growth and a bit of a change in the ‘flavor’ of our town. Meant to be simply a coffee roasting business, the community let her know quickly that we wanted a café -- somewhere to drink a cup of coffee and visit. Due to the quality of the coffee along with her expertise in marketing her product, she quickly became overwhelmed and needed to separate the businesses. Thus, we now have The Forest on Main St., and Leopard Forest Coffee Roasting Company (now located in Marietta).
Following Leopard Forest, The McCarrell sisters brought the Café at Williams Hardware. Soon, we had the Trailside Creamery; then others -- including Mae’s on Main, Upcountry Provisions Bakery and Bistro, Giovanni’s and the Barker Bar -- followed suit. There's talk of a distillery coming in the near future. We now have quite a few other businesses, such as the Flop Shop; My Sister’s Store and More; All About Me and Traci’s Flowers -- all great places to do a little shopping or to pick up a quick gift.
It would be wonderful, now, if we could land a department store on the order of a Belk or one of the larger department stores. No, I do not long for anything even close to a Greenville-sized city. However, there is more to life than simply eating and light shopping. And while I have no problem buying my socks at Walmart, I’d really rather buy my clothes and shoes at Belk.
We have had some pretty oppressive weather, but there are have also been some cooler trends mixed in. So if you have the opportunity, there are many things to do outside. The Furman Lakeside Concerts are on Thursday nights, Paris Mountain State Park, Jones Gap and Pleasant Ridge Park are good destinations for picnics, hiking and fishing.
If you boat, there are places to put your boat in the water from the Saluda River to Lake Hartwell, all of which are moderately convenient. And of course, walking or bike-riding the Swamp Rabbit Trail is an option right here in our own town. Many of us have put on a few pounds between October and June, and now we need to lose those pounds we found.
As always, I would ask that you keep our local law enforcement workers, fire fighters and emergency health support people in your prayers. During the hot weather, our law enforcement workers suffer with their uniforms and vests; fire fighters are double-heated in their big coats and the fact that fire is, well, hot! The emergency health workers, while jumping into and out of air-conditioned vehicles are still under stress trying to think quickly enough to save lives. We are quite fortunate in the north county area to have the quality of heroes we have.
A Joyful Noise: Musings from a southern perspective
- Friday, 13 April 2012
By contributing columnist Joyce Judd:
We like to sleep with the windows open. Yes, it’s that pollen time of year, but it’s so lovely having the windows open with the cool air coming into the room – especially if it rains in the night or the wind blows and the breeze comes across your pillow. It’s cool enough to snuggle down under the covers while listening to the night owls and other outside noises, somehow reminiscent of our childhoods.
We’ve determined the crack of dawn must be around 5:00 a.m. For the past few weeks, with the windows open, we’ve realized that it is dead silent at 4:55, but at 5:00, just like an alarm clock, there’s 1 bird that starts off singing. Within 10 minutes, everyone else in the bird world has joined in, and it’s a raucous sound that greets the day.
By 5:45, everyone has settled down, and they’re flitting around the yard – at the feeders, bird baths and garden – helping themselves to breakfast. The young birds are feisty and playing ‘tag’ as they chase each other. It truly is a lovely way to waken (albeit a little earlier than needed for us); but, it puts me in mind of that song that begins, “Let the whole creation cry, Halleluiah!” The birds are doing their part.
We like to sit on the swing (we make it outside around 6:30, in spite of the birdsong) with our morning coffee. Around 7:00, the geese begin lifting off the Apalache Lake just over the hill behind our house.
Do you know about geese? They mate for life, they always fly in groups, always fly in a “V” formation, and they honk as they fly. The honking is their way of encouraging the ‘point man’ to continue leading, since the the hardest job in the “V” is cutting through the air. We humans could learn a lot from these animals if we simply would. Sometimes, as they’re flying over us, they go quiet (not honking), and the sounds of their wings, a ‘whooshing’ sound, is beautiful. We are very blessed in our house.
We’ve moved the herbs to the back door area. I discovered last year I’m not good at thinking ahead. When I would realize that basil or chives or mint would be good in whatever I was cooking, I also realized it was still ‘down in the garden’. Consequently, I just didn’t use it. So, this year, I asked my personal gardener (Mr. Bob) if we could move the herbs into pots at the back door; and, sure enough, there they are – chives, basil, mint (new for me this year), dill and flat-leaf parsley. They seem very happy to have joined Mr. Bear at our back door, and I love picking a sprig of parsley off as we head out on a journey. It’s true that anyone with a little sunshine can garden, we just have to think of ‘pot gardening’…hm, well, ok, container gardening. :-)
One of the things I love about a summer sky is the contrails made by jets that fly in the sky. The other morning, as we sat on the swing, I noticed one in the sky. While I was looking at it, another jet crossed that contrail. As the trail sat in the atmosphere, it pulled apart and looked like a zipper. And then, another jet crossed both of them, making somewhat of the Z from Zorro. Yes, I took the photo…just for you. I hope that as we progress from spring into summer, you will make time as you ride in your car or sit in your yard to find the shapes in the clouds, to find the dinosaurs in the kudzu that climb poles, to reach back and find those pieces of your childhood that help all of us continue on looking for a little bit of fun.
Have you noticed how almost all of the Travelers Rest business community is embracing purple this spring for this year's Relay For Life? And have you been able to see the “purple polka-dot potty” as it’s made its way around town? When Debra Kramer at Mae's on Main instituted the idea of the traveling toilet, the thought was that no business would want a purple toilet with artificial flowers in its tank sitting in front of their business. However, Debra and April Morris at the The Wiggle Room Gallery, Studio & School made the toilet look so cute, EVERYONE wants it. One business kept it for three days!
When the purple potty lands (courtesy of Hunter Ballew at Upstate Hauling) at a location, they have to pay $10 to have it moved, but that business also gets to choose where it goes next. This has really been a fun time in our community, and it’s been interesting to see my clients reactions to all this purple. One person came into the salon and wondered, “Does all of Travelers Rest celebrate Lent?”
The Travelers Rest area Relay will be held on April 20 this year, and it will be on the ball field at the former TR High School (on the corner of Wilhelm-Winter and Old Buncombe). The time is from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. We give up a night's rest because “cancer never sleeps”.
Have you seen the new K-9 officer Stoki? I haven’t met him yet, but he’s already been busy with his officer, Donnie Widmer. He’s been chasing purse snatchers and finding drugs. His training seems to be going well. Remember, when the weather turns good, the bad guys come out at all times of the day and night. And we’re fortunate that we have men and women willing to meet the need of protecting our community while we rest in our homes. So, when you say your prayers, how about remembering our Travelers Rest Police Department. The dispatchers sit patiently waiting to receive your call for help. And our officers travel the town, looking to make sure all is well, and always willing and ready to answer your need.