The sixth annual Arts on the Ridge event in the Town of Ridgeway on May 4 and 5 is shaping up to be the most artistically diverse show yet, according to the festival co-chair Virginia Lacy.
“We are going to have more than we ever had,” said Lacy, who has chaired the event since its inception. “We are tying in with the Smithsonian’s ‘New Harmonies’ exhibit at the Fairfield County Museum. We have made a point to pull in local and regional music throughout the weekend. It will be wonderful for the whole family.”
The festival will begin Friday evening with a Meet the Artists reception and sale from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Century House, 170 S. Dogwood Ave. More than 30 artists will have their work represented there. Visitors can vote for their favorite art in the “Best of Show” category. The Friends of the Fairfield Arts Award will be presented to someone who has been selected for making a difference in the community through art.
Ridgeway resident Beverley Anderson will be singing at the evening’s reception.
“Beverley sings at St. Stephens Church and teaches piano,” Lacy said. “She is exceptional. To hear her will be a real treat.”
That evening, the downtown merchants will host an Art Walk, and stores will be open until 9 p.m. and restaurants even later.
Saturday’s happenings take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Art Show and Sale will continue at the Century House, and local and regional artists will have booths outdoors across the street in the Cotton Yard Market, selling only homemade arts, crafts and food. The Fairfield Art Council gave cameras to Geiger Elementary students, who went to the Blackstock Music Festival and took photos that will be shown in the Century House.
Jazz Blues guitarist John Hartness will start Saturday’s musical lineup around 10 a.m. along Palmer Street. Music begins at the Century House at 10:45 a.m. Vocalist Semaj Whitener, a student at Fairfield Middle School who sings gospel and popular songs, will be followed by Lebanon Presbyterian Church group “God’s Choice.” At 11:30 a.m., “Country Buddies” and “Thorntree,” two groups who play weekly at the Blackstock Bluegrass venue in Chester, will continue the musical entertainment. Then at 2 p.m., the popular “Reunion Bande,” with members from Winnsboro and Ridgeway, will perform beach music favorites outside next to YesterYears Restaurant at 140 S. Palmer St. Carriage rides will be available, and the S.C. State Guard will provide a free shuttle golf cart service throughout the day.
South Carolina authors Mike Long, Lynn Wright, Sue Duffy, Lucinda Shirley, Susan Craft, Leslie Carter and Shayla Rhodes will be at JavaNook Books/Whistle Stop Cafe beginning at 10 a.m.
“There will be a labyrinth in the yard of the Century House,” Lacy said, “and muralist Sascha Instone will be working on a mural on the outside of Whistle Stop and children can come help.”
Mayor Charlene Herring will host “Front Porch Tales” on the Ivy Veranda, and will be recording oral histories of people who stop by to tell their stories and memories about Ridgeway’s past.
“There are students, armatures and professional artists — its a wonderful combination,” Lacy said. “The art is very varied also — ironworks, acrylics, watercolors, handmade jewelry, pottery, quilts and hand-blown glass. Every year, I have bought something that has enhanced our home — and you meet some amazing people!”
The Arts on the Ridge Committee includes Virginia Lacy, Co-Chair; Phyllis Gutierrez, Co-Chair; Charlene Herring, Carolyn Prioleau, Dawn Hendricks, Tina Johnson, Peni Chandler and Fairfield Arts Council Liaison Linda Dye.
The event is sponsored by The Town of Ridgeway, First Citizens Bank and Trust, Fairfield County Arts Council and the Pig on the Ridge Committee. For more information, visit RidgewaySC.org or call Ridgeway Town Hall at 803-337-2213.