2011-07-13 / Front Page

Festival kicks off Thursday

By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

The Fantastic Shakers and the Fabulous Kays highlight the Peach Beach concert lineup at Lake Whelchel for this weekend’s South Carolina Peach Festival.

The Fantastic Shakers is a Carolina beach music band best known for its hit single “Myrtle Beach Days.” They have performed more than 6,000 concerts with acts such as the Beach Boys since the band was formed in 1978.

The Fantastic Shakers will headline the Peach Beach concert Saturday at 7 p.m. The Fabulous Kays come from Charlotte and play a variety of cover tunes by beach music and Top 40 acts. They have played concerts in Monte Carlo, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Saint Thomas and San Diego in recent years.

Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $15 on the day of the show.

The festival board has already announced it will refund the full price of tickets in the event Peach Beach is cancelled by inclement weather. However, event organizers are looking forward to great weather for the Peach Festival.

“We’re very excited about Peach Beach,” festival board member Livia Hazlette said. “Lake Whelchel is a beautiful area and a great setting for outside music. We will hold a mud bog at Lake Whelchel on July 23.”

The South Carolina Peach Festival has been held annually in July since 1976 because this is the peak season for local peach production. This year’s events include a barbecue competition, a dessert contest, downtown Family Fun Fest, Lego tents, road race, a classic car show and concerts by local and regional music acts.

The Chamber will host a kickoff party Thursday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

R.C. and the Moon Pies will perform while local cooks submit their favorite peach desserts for judging in a dessert contest.

Aspiring young singers and dancers take the stage for New Talent Night on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Fullerton Auditorium on the Limestone College campus.

The Jeff Gates Band will perform in concert Friday at 5 p.m. during a Family Fun Fest and barbecue cookoff in downtown Gaffney. Gates, a Gaffney resident, will open for 80s rock music cover band Hit and Run. Hit and Run lead singer Benji Steagall is also from Gaffney.

Blues harpist Freddie Vanderhof, the Shane Pruitt Band and Evergreen will perform Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the Family Fun Fest. The event follows a downtown parade at 10 a.m. featuring the Marine Corps League Color Guard as grand marshals.

“The men and women of Cherokee County who faithfully serve and served our country will be represented by the Marine Corps League Color Guard,” festival board member Brooks Moss said. “Chris Fowlkes, a Cherokee County resident, lost his life in honor of his country and was a proud Marine.”

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