American Heritage Festival lit up the night, literally

The Crazy Daysies at Jarrito's
The Crazy Daysies Jennifer Day Thompson (left) and Rebecca Day with a staffer at Jarrito’s in Lake City, SC.

On Saturday a group of us traveled from different cities to a farm near Lake City, South Carolina, to hear The Crazy Daysies perform at the American Heritage Festival.

The weekend-long event is only a couple of years old, but organizers and vendors offer a lot of sights, sounds, and handmade crafts for guests. 

American Heritage Festival characters
Townspeople in period dress came to the beer and music tent to announce the firing of cannon and musket. (Photo: IAS)

The weather was perfect, although on the cold side for a Floridian, but there was a lot to see and take in on the property.

The farm is located just on the outskirts of Lake City, near the Carolina coast. The property, Graham’s Historic Farm, has been in the family since 1738. Historical events during the American Revolution, our secession from England, make the farm a significant part of US history. Figures like Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox) and Col. William Moultrie are part of the farm’s past.

americanheritagefest16bThe Festival featured presentations by historians, traditional caroling, hay rides, and a town crier who was definitely entertaining as he delivered announcements in a voice with the accent of a Scotsman. Other activities included a fife and drum corps, reenactments, and musket demonstrations.

The Crazy Daysies at the American Heritage Festival.
The Crazy Daysies performed at the American Heritage Festival in Lake City, SC.

Characters in period dress moved around from site to site, and more than once I jealously eyed the warm capes the women were wearing. It was a good night for a cape. People were camping and cooking over fires in one special area, and each tent had a Christmas wreath.

The sound of the cannon firing is memorable, but those muskets make a neat racket as well. Between the weaponry and the Christmas decorations, and the music, the night lit up nicely.

Different bands played, but our group went on Saturday, so we only heard two because of our travel schedule.

Castle Crossing
Castle Crossing performed at the American Heritage Festival.

Castle Crossing did a variety of Celtic tunes and Americana. The band is based in Charleston (SC), and Rebecca was excited because some of the members knew about one of her favorite bands named Shovels and Rope who also hail from Charleston. A mix of guitar, nice harmonies on the vocals, and a violin pleased the crowd of folks sitting in the beer tent.

That big tent was handy, by the way. It was really nice to be able to sit there with a glass of wine, watch the characters in costume at the festival, and listen to music beneath a clear moonlit sky.

We couldn’t get there in time to hear Randy Turner, who was on before Castle Crossing.

The Crazy Daysies played, and it was during intermission for their show another cannon and musket firing session was conducted. I can imagine what it must have been like to have been contemporaries of those weapons and have to listen to them in battle. Rebecca and Jennifer had many kind words from supporters and everyone seemed to enjoy the show—the sisters love to see people dance to their music.

Just before the cannon and musket display, a group of people in period dress, and carrying torches, came to officially announce the event was about to begin.

Our whole group then headed into Lake City to have supper, and we made some great discoveries.

One, the downtown district of that city is charming—all lit up for Christmas, it looked like a Hallmark card. I was sorry it was late and the shops were closed. Lots of neat places there.

The second great discovery was Jarrito’s Mexican restaurant. The food was fantastic, and the staff members were all very nice. We had a little after-party there, of sorts, and then we headed one hour south of Lake City to spend the night at our hotel in Santee. We returned to Jacksonville on Sunday, and traffic wasn’t too bad considering it’s this close to Christmas. All in all, we had a great time at the American Heritage Festival—it was a nice break for us personally before the Christmas rush takes over.

Next week the Daysies are busy with a private corporate event followed by a duo performance at Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery (Southside) on Friday, Dec. 9, and then a solo performance by Rebecca at Uptown Kitchen in Springfield on Saturday, Dec. 10. On Saturday, the community where Uptown Kitchen is located holds its annual Historic Springfield Home Tour—this is a beautiful historic area and the homes are one-of-a-kind. We also enjoyed Springfield’s annual Porch Fest recently—the Daysies played at that and we saw old friends and met new ones.

[All photos by Indie Art South]

(KBD/Dec. 7, 2016)

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