ON THE ROAD: Batesburg-Leesville festival fosters sense of community in unique town
BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, SC (WOLO) — The summer months are almost upon us but there’s already fun things to do in the Midlands now that warm weather is here to stay.
One of those things, not far down the road from Columbia, is the South Carolina Poultry Festival.
“The charm of it is you do have a little bit more room and space between neighbors. Most of the time people still help out and you have good neighbors,” said Josh Kerr, chainsaw carver at the Poultry Festival.
The first thing you may think of when it comes to Batesburg-Leesville is Shealy’s BBQ but this weekend something else is in town, the Poultry Festival.
“We got so many poultry growers in the community. You got Amick Farm and Columbia Farms in the area too,” said Mike Taylor, Batesburg-Leesville resident.
Poultry Festival brings carnival rides, food trucks and live entertainment to downtown Leesville. Saturday featured a parade, car show, fireworks and more.
“It’s kind of a blast. It’s a summer festival celebrating the Midlands area, the poultry industry and the agriculture industry in general,” said Lancer Shull, Batesburg-Leesville mayor.
One of the vendors at the Poultry Festival is a chainsaw carver from around the area.
“We got some bears and owls. Right now, we’re working on a little dragon,” Kerr said. “We’ll probably do some roosters and other things tomorrow when people are around and have fun at the poultry festival.”
While Leesville got all the attention this weekend, Batesburg is also worth a stop.
“We’re going to be redesigning and creating a new park called Unity Park. It’s in the Batesburg historic district,” the mayor said. “We have some new businesses that are coming in over there. It’s going to be exciting over the next 6 to 8 months. You guys have to come back and visit us.”
So what makes the growing town of around 5,500 people so special?
“The people,” Taylor said. “We all care about each other. We work hard.”
“It’s those mom and pop shops that really thrive here and the sense of community,” Shull said.
Many residents decided to brave Friday’s rain, but there was plenty of fun to be had all weekend long.