New North Augusta SpringFest replaces Yellow Jessamine Festival
The City of North Augusta has created a new spring festival in the place of the previously held Yellow Jessamine Festival. The new festival will be called SpringFest and will take place across three weekends in March. The festival kicks-off with a reception for the SpringFest Art Competition this Friday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Augusta Arts and Heritage Center.
So why the shift from the Yellow Jessamine Festival to SpringFest? John Felak, the program coordinator for the City of North Augusta, explains.
“This is the seventh year we’ve been doing a spring festival, but it’s the first year painting it as ‘SpringFest.’ We decided this year to change the name of it,” he said. “Our artists had become a little challenged for new ideas for painting yellow jessamine, so we decided to change it to ‘SpringFest,’ where we could change the focus of the artwork without changing the name of the festival.”
This year’s theme is the camellia. Camellia plants can be found throughout North Augusta and have a notable tie to the community. The historic Lookaway Inn, located in North Augusta at the fork of Carolina and Georgia avenues, was once home to Dr. H.G. Mealing, a local physician and avid horticulturalist who developed and registered 20 new camellia varieties. Some of his camellias still exist on Lookaway Inn’s grounds, and at the Maude Edenfield Park’s new camellia garden, through the efforts of the Aiken Camellia Society.
Aside from the name and theme change, another element that differentiates SpringFest from the Yellow Jessamine Festival is that it will take place over three weeks, with each week encompassing a slightly different focus.
“We actually used a tagline for SpringFest,” says Felak. “And that tagline is North Augusta HAS it. The ‘H’ stands for ‘horticulture,’ which is really our second weekend effort. The ‘A’ stands for ‘art,’ which is more of our first weekend effort, and the ‘S’ is for ‘sports,’ which is what our third weekend is.”
The other big change for the festival is the location. In the past the festival has taken place on Georgia Avenue, closing the city street for the spring festival, but this year it has been moved to Riverview Park.
“We have had a very successful and extensive remodeling of the park,” Felak explains, “it is our grand reopening of the park. We’ll have the mayor there. All of our spring sports, or at least most of our spring sports will have their opening day that day [March 23] that will start at 9:30 in the morning with remarks from the mayor, a ceremonial ribbon cutting and the Star Spangled Banner. Then there will be other entertainment throughout the day.”
All events are free and open to the public. For more information on SpringFest 2013, check the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta’s webpage at artsandheritagecenter.com. You Might Also Like: