Get Your Pink On!

Walk for Life to benefit Palmetto Health Breast Center

By Deena C. Bouknight

A parade of pink will pass through the streets of Columbia this Saturday, October 14. In fact, thousands of walkers and runners are anticipated for the 27th Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K that begins and ends at Spirit Communications Park.

The color pink first came to symbolize breast cancer survivors in the early 1990s when pink ribbons were given out in New York City during a Race for the Cure. Now people automatically think pink whenever there is a mention of a breast cancer associated event. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and even First Lady Melania Trump showed support by having the White House lit up with a pink hue the first Sunday of this month.

Online registration will be open until noon TOMORROW, Oct. 11th. After that time, paper registrations for walkers will be accepted at the Expo on Oct. 13 at Spirit Communications Park. Paper race registrations will be accepted by Strictly Running at the Expo on Oct. 13, 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Spirit Communications Park. Race registrations will not be accepted on Oct. 14.

Registrants can pick up their t-shirts, bibs, and chips during curbside pick-up Thursday, Oct. 12, 4-6 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park, at the Expo Friday, Oct. 13, 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park, or on the day of the event, Saturday, Oct. 14, beginning at 6:15 a.m.

Registration includes a cotton T-shirt for walkers and a performance shirt for runners. However, breast cancer survivors will receive a commemorative pink bandana.

The schedule of events for October 14 looks like this:

  • Walk for Life late registration 6:30 a.m.
  • Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon start 7:15 a.m.
  • 10K race start 7:30 a.m.
  • 5K race start 7:40 a.m.
  • Walk for Life start 7:45 a.m.
  • 5K medal ceremony 9 a.m.
  • 10K medal ceremony 9:30 a.m.
  • Half marathon medal ceremony 10 a.m.

According to the U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. A man’s risk is about 1 in 1,000. Proceeds from these signature fundraising events, led by Palmetto Health Foundation, benefit Palmetto Health Breast Center in Columbia, S.C. Proceeds will stay in the community to help purchase a seventh 3D mammography unit at Palmetto Health Breast Center. The new 3D unit will be used for screening and diagnostic mammograms and will improve the early detection of breast cancer.

Visit WalkForLifeColumbia.org for information on parking, the Expo, and event day.

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Gala-vanting the Night Away

An evening of food, fashion, and fun

By Katherine Dyke

On Thursday, September 28, the Columbia Chamber hosted its 115th Annual Gala to toast the past year’s accomplishments, look ahead to new goals, and celebrate some of the Midlands’ most inspiring individuals. Columbia Metropolitan Magazine was honored to be a sponsor of the event along with Presenting Sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and other community leaders. More than 800 Midlands business leaders attended the Gala at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Two receptions opened the evening: a VIP reception upstairs included a wine tasting sponsored by Aleph Wine Corporation, and the reception on the Lower Level featured a photobooth by the University of South Carolina Athletic Department. Both were very well attended.

The gala program and seated dinner were held in the Exhibit Hall, a large, hangar-like exhibition space transformed into a rather elegant dining room. Stars lit the walls and ceiling! Wine coolers made of ice adorned the tables! Fun music and a festive feeling filled the room.

Once everyone settled down and settled in, dinner and the program began. Up first: the presentation of the colors and the singing of the national anthem, which alone made it a worthwhile evening. Beautiful! Carl Blackstone, Columbia Chamber President and CEO, then thanked the evening’s many and generous sponsors and introduced the group of 2017 honorees. The honors included: Ambassador of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, Public Servant of the Year, Military Advocate of the Year, and Diplomat of the Year.

The 2017 Ambassador of the Year is Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball Head Coach. Dawn Staley is not only an accomplished coach, leading her Gamecocks team to the 2017 NCAA National Championship title, but also a selfless Midlands citizen committed to giving back. Dawn accepted the honor via video recording, thanking the Columbia Chamber and speaking of her mother’s example of generosity in helping others. University President Harris Pastides and Athletic Director Ray Tanner represented her and the University of South Carolina while Staley was in California for a commitment as head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team.

John Griggs of NBSC was honored as the 2017 Young Professional of the Year. The 2017 Public Servant of the Year is Bobby Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce. Kevin Shwedo, of the SC DMV, was named the 2017 Military Advocate of the Year. And the 2017 Diplomat of the Year is Phyllis Wood of Palmetto SolarPros. Tribute videos highlighted each recipient’s positive impact. The honorees are smart, dedicated, and deserving; how fortunate to have them working in our community!

The Columbia Chamber’s Immediate Past Chairman, John Singerling, introduced the new Chairman, David Lockwood. John Singerling, David Lockwood, and Carl Blackstone all spoke to the strength of the Chamber and its impact over the last several years. They also introduced the Chamber’s futurist initiative, “Forward, Together,” as their exercise to ensure the Chamber continues to build a stronger Midlands community for businesses and residents through 2040.

The Columbia Chamber’s 115th Annual Gala was a fun and inspiring evening all around. Congratulations to the 2017 honorees!

P.S. In case anyone is  interested, here are fashion and food details. Attire was black-tie optional. A surprising number chose the option of tuxedos and floor-length gowns, which definitely added to the celebratory atmosphere. Dinner included a green salad with peaches and prosciutto and a lemon vinaigrette; dinner rolls with five compound butters; surf and turf of sliced teres major steak (aka, bistro filet) with a crab cake, asparagus and roasted potatoes; and, tables of petit fours and coffee for dessert. Sound good? Plan to attend next year’s event!

7 Days and Counting

Last minute information for eclipse-day planning

By Deena C. Bouknight

A full article on the upcoming August 21st total eclipse is featured in the July/August 2017 issue of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. Visit ColumbiaMetro.com.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the moon crossing in front of its view of the sun on Jan. 30, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. EST in 171 and 304 angstrom light. The two wavelengths are blended together.

The eclipse is the talk of the town. Hotel occupancy has been reserved for months at 100 percent for the evening of August 20th, and 91 percent the evening following the eclipse. Hundreds of thousands of are expected from all over the world due to Columbia’s unique position in the path of this rare astronomical phenomenon. Some in Columbia are even offering up rooms through AirBNB and VRBO sites. The eclipse will last nearly 3 hours in all — starting a little after 1 p.m. and ending shortly after 4 p.m. The period of totality will last about two and a half minutes just after 2:40 p.m.

The website set up to handle questions and provide information – managed by city leaders – is totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com, and it started receiving at least 2,500 hits daily nearly a month ago. “At 2:41 p.m. on Monday, August 21, 2017, viewers who have gathered in the Greater Columbia, S.C., area will experience the longest period of 100% total eclipse for a metro area on the entire East Coast of the United States — ranging from 2 minutes and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 36 seconds of total darkness,” it shares. On the site, visitors can view a map of the eclipse route, learn history and details of eclipses, know events, sales, and activities planned for Eclipse Weekend, and find special eclipse glasses, which must be worn to protect eyes.

One location to purchase glasses is the State Museum at only a few dollars a pair. Glasses will also be given out at various events during the eclipse. The City of Columbia expects to distribute at least 100,000 pairs.

One common question is: Where should I be during the eclipse? It is important to decide prior to August 21 where to view the eclipse. Either stay home and plan to watch from the yard, or get to another site early to avoid crowds and secure a viewing spot. Officials are forecasting severe interstate congestion and cautioning travelers to plan for patience.

Here are just some eclipse-planning considerations, provided by Total Eclipse Columbia SC:

Festivals & Entertainment

  • “Soda City Eclipse Viewing Party” and Eclipse Eve Drive-In Movie Night at Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce, S.C., just across the Congaree River from Columbia, S.C.
  • Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball games all weekend and “Total Eclipse of the Park” game and viewing event during eclipse with iMAGINE STEM Festival
  • Solar 17 at Lake Murray viewing festival with tents, free water and free eclipse glasses at Lake Murray dam & lakefront park sites, 25 minutes from downtown Columbia, S.C.
  • The Lexington County Blowfish baseball team is dedicating their entire 2017 season to the eclipse and will open the Lexington County Baseball Stadium for a free viewing event
  • ECLIPSEFEST 2017 at Music Farm Columbia w/rock ‘n roll tribute bands
  • Viewing event with family-friendly band in the spacious gardens of the Robert Mills House
  • Solar Fest West at the West Columbia riverfront amphitheater with live entertainment

Science & Education

  • The S.C. State Museum (home of the Boeing Observatory) will host ticketed events and educational programming all weekend, with a NASA exhibition and eclipse day viewing event with a personal appearance by S.C. NASA astronaut Charles Duke (one of 12 men to walk on the moon).
  • Astronomy workshops, exhibitions & lectures at University of South Carolina department of Physics and Astronomy and at USC’s Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections’ Robert B. Ariail collection of historical astronomy
  • Eclipse Geocaching Cointrail event at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
  • Solar Learning Challenge party for families on Aug. 19 at Richland Library
  • Riverbanks Zoo will be open for regular ticketed admission all weekend and on eclipse day
  • Saluda Shoals Park’s family-friendly Eclipse Extravaganza with games & hands-on activities
  • Historic Columbia walking tours of Main St. & the Vista, happy hour water balloon fight
  • Summer Learning Challenge hosted by Richland Library
  • Eddie’s Eyes on the Sky Sleepover with EdVenture, educational indoor camping

Outdoors

  • Paddling on the lower Saluda River at Saluda Shoals Park’s Total Eclipse on the River event
  • “Shadows and Science in the Wilderness” programs & ranger-led hikes to prime viewing locations at Congaree National Park, 20 minutes from downtown Columbia, S.C.
  • Guided outdoor historical walking tours along the paved, riverside forest trails at the 12,000 Year History Park in Cayce, S.C., 10 minutes from downtown Columbia, S.C.
  • Total eclipse viewing event at Sesquicentennial State Park in Northeast Columbia, S.C.
  • Tent camping and eclipse viewing at Siesta Cove Marina & RV Park on Lake Murray
  • Eclipse tailgate party, plus parking and RV parking, at the S.C. State Fairgrounds
  • Picnic and eclipse viewing in the wide-open fields of Camp Discovery

Food & Drink

  • Lowcountry Boil & Paella Party with live music at City Roots urban sustainable farm
  • VIP Eclipse Viewing Party with open bar & luxe buffet at Motor Supply Co. Bistro in the Vista
  • “The Grape Eclipse” 4-day wine, food and jazz party at Mercer Winery in Lexington, S.C.
  • Two Gals and a Fork Food Tours
  • Taco Monday eclipse viewing specials at Publico Kitchen & Tap in Five Points
  • Cooking class and rooftop eclipse viewing with Let’s Cook Studio
  • Barrel-aged beer release at Old Mill Brewpub in Lexington
  • Enoree River Winery’s crowd and RV friendly viewing event with live music

Arts

  • A large-scale public art/laser light installation at the Congaree River, “Southern Lights”
  • “Star Wars Musiclipse” space-themed concert by S.C. Philharmonic
  • The Jasper Project’s “Syzygy” eclipse-themed plays and poetry events w/two Poet Laureates
  • Nickelodeon Theatre screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The popular Arts & Draughts party at the Columbia Museum of Art
  • Palmetto Y Luna arts event at Tapp’s Arts Center
  • Film, music, art & dance events across the region
  • “Art in the Dark” family-friendly celebration from Bravo Blythewood
  • Learn how to photograph the eclipse with the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce

The solar eclipse will be here before we know it! To countdown, visit this handy site:
eclipsecountdown.com.

Accolades and Reopenings for Richland Library

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Columbia’s local library receives prestigious national medal and renovates the Cooper Branch

By Helen Clay

Summertime offers new opportunities for reading as kids complete summer reading requirements and adults craft literature lists of their own, hoping to relax with new novels during family vacations or downtime. While submersing yourself in a new story is entertaining, the process of choosing which book will become your companion for the next few weeks is equally exciting. Will you revisit historical events, experience thrillers, or re-read your favorite classic?

In Columbia, we are lucky to have a vast book collection at our fingertips through Richland Library. Richland library boasts of an extensive collection that fulfills every reader’s needs — novels, historical fiction, children’s literature, biographies, primary resources, and more! Last year, the Richland Libraries received more than two million visits, a number that does not include the numerous programs Richland Library brings to Cola Town in different venues. Richland Library’s dedication to the local community and its impressive book selection garnered the library a prestigious honor as the winner of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This award is the nation’s highest award given to museums and libraries for service and dedication to their community. We have all reaped benefits as residents of the Midlands from Richland Library’s civic service, and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine joins the community in congratulating them on this elite honor!

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After a nearly $3 million renovation, Richland Library Cooper Branch reopens its doors to the public.

As Richland Library continues its work throughout our community, the organization celebrates yet another milestone in 2017… the GRAND REOPENING of the Richland Library Cooper Branch! After a nearly $3 million renovation, the Copper Branch is flinging open its doors to the public once again. The project included a reconfiguration and renovation of the existing 10,000 square foot structure and a new addition of 1,000 square feet. The branch now includes an expanded children’s area, the addition of two “Makerspaces” (an area that provides hardware supplies, software, and electronics for people to gather to create and learn), a quiet reading room, and a covered book drop.

Richland Library Cooper Branch invites you and your family to come celebrate the grand reopening from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19. Come experience the charm of this local library and make new summer memories with your children. My fondest childhood excursions involved a trip to the Richland Library Cooper Branch with my shiny new library card in hand, eager with the anticipation of stuffing my bag full of wonderful literary treasures… It was almost better than Christmas.

Don’t miss your chance to view the newly renovated Richland Library Cooper Branch tomorrow morning! What will be next on your summer reading list?

Richland Library Cooper Branch GRAND REOPENING

Date: July 19, 2017

Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location:  5317 Trenholm Rd, Columbia, SC 29206

 

 

 

Boating Day!

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Plan Ahead for a Primo Day

By Deena C. Bouknight

With a 78-square-mile lake nearby and the coast within a few hours’ drive, there are thousands of boating enthusiasts within the Midlands. A day of boating is tons of fun! Simply allot some time for a little pre-planning.

Avoid throwing a bunch of stuff in bags and coolers the morning of. Make a list, depending on number of people, activities, length of time, etc. To make the boat trip even more enjoyable and memorable, pack some interesting items that are not typically used and consumed at home. Some suggestions are these:

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– GoPro! Film candid videos, as well as activities such as skiing, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing

– Bluetooth speakers and a festive summertime playlist for dancing or impromptu karaoke

– Several floaties… especially if boating on a lake. (There are easy-to-store items called Lazy Bunz, water mats that hold lots of people, and even an inflatable slide for the side of a boat)

– Bag of books

– Food that is easy to eat with fingers or minimal disposable utensils and packs easily in a cooler. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Individual layered salads (fruit or veggie) in plastic cups with lids
  2. A sealable snack tray of cheeses, deli meats, fruit, and cut veggies
  3. Chips and salsa; wrap sandwiches; barbecue on rolls
  4. Baked or fried chicken; and, a tub of cole slaw.

Plus, containers of pre-made salads, such as chicken, egg, tuna, or shrimp, are easy to keep in a cooler and can be eaten on bread, with lettuce, or with crackers. Many restaurants in town sell these salads in varying sized containers. For dessert, bring a range of cookies that will not easily melt or crumble, which will make it easier to keep your boat deck clean!

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Have plenty of individual water bottles, but also diverse and interesting drinks. Make easy to consume drinks that are disposable (pack a giant trash bag the night before). Cut up lemons, limes, and orange slices and store them in a sealable bag so that they can be added to any beverage for a refreshing twist.

A quality cooler, even though pricey, is worth its weight in gold on a boat. No one wants to drink warm beverages or eat food that is sopping from melted ice.

Don’t forget… sunscreen! Avoid frying on the boat all day by making sure a bag with plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses is on hand.

Boating is loads of fun, but can also be hazardous – especially during summer months when waterways are congested and temperatures soar.  Not to worry. The goal is fun! Just be prepared with a properly stocked ditch bag.

A ditch bag is a compact floating bag designed to hold critical items boaters may need in case of an emergency. Instead of just sticking items here, there, and everywhere on a boat, a ditch bag keeps necessities together to grab and go. Plus, a ditch bag is reassuring to boat owners and passengers alike; emergencies are prepared for, even if they never come.

There are several ditch bag do’s to consider:

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  • Start with a real ditch bag – not any ol’ freebee logo bag will suffice. It needs to float, and have plenty of pockets and storage compartment to keep items organized. It should also seal well. A fully-loaded bag should not sink or take on any water. It should also be a bright color and feature reflective tape. Reflective tape can be purchased separately and attached if necessary. Plus, an adequate ditch bag will have a tether and a clip so that it will not float away.
  • Invest in a quality radio beacon, which alerts the Coast Guard of the boat’s GPS position, especially if planning outings in the ocean.
  • Long-lasting lights, such as clip-on strobes and/or flashlights
  • Flares and/or chemical glow sticks
  • A hand-held GPS device
  • A whistle or other noise-making devices
  • Drinking water pouches that store flat
  • Emergency food rations, most important if boating in the ocean
  • Duck tape
  • Knife
  • First-aid kit.

Depending on the level of recreational boating and location, there are other items boating specialists recommend for a ditch bag. And, what is in the ditch bag does not discount what else should be on the boat for safety purposes, such as plenty of life jackets and a bucket or some sort of bailing device or pump. If a boating novice, it is a smart idea to consult with a local marina and other boating veterans to learn additional ditch-bag and general safety suggestions.

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It is better to be safe than sorry and invest in a well-planned ditch bag that will hopefully never be used.  A primo day of boating enjoyment awaits with just a little forethought and organization. Anchors aweigh!

 

 

Retreat … Without Going Far

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Three Local Inns Provide Unique Experiences 

By Deena C. Bouknight

We may think of staying at a bed and breakfast only when out of town – at some historic destination in another state or perhaps while in the Carolina mountains. Yet, some in Columbia are beginning to seek solace at nearby bed and breakfast inns for one-night or weekend retreats. Although there are several in and around the capitol city, three distinct inns are spotlighted here: Chesnut Cottage, Old McCaskill’s Farm, and Whispering Willows.

Pastoral Old McCaskill’s Farm

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Old McCaskill’s Farm is a farm-to-table bed and breakfast.

The farm-to-table philosophy is alive and well at this bed and breakfast just a few miles from the heart of Camden. Contractor for renovations and historical properties, Lee McCaskill and his farmer wife Kathy rebuilt their home in 2008 after a catastrophic fire. Yet, it was rebuilt to look like a four-over-four plantation style home that has existed on the property for 100-plus years. Various woods, architectural details, accessories, and functional items are actually old finds that have been refurbished. Few elements are shiny new and modern. A few years ago, the couple decided they wanted to share their home and opened the four rooms upstairs to the public.

School children were already taking regular tours of the farm, and their daughter, Ashley Robinson, has been serving a Friday farm-to-table, first-come-first-serve lunch with about 80 percent of selected menu items grown or raised directly on the farm.

Those who stay at Old McCaskill are assured an authentic working farm experience – but without actually getting hands dirty. Kathy will often pop up from picking vegetables in the wide garden, while Ashley is busy canning foods. Guests can rock on the second floor expansive covered porch and admire a pastoral scene dotted with sheep and sometimes lambs. There is a wine bar and mini fridge in the wide hall/sitting area that four spacious bedrooms upstairs share. Each area is a treasure trove of antiques and artifacts.

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The Old McCaskill’s Farm shop features tasty preserves.

Guests can also visit the animals, or shop in the on-site store, which includes blankets woven from a portion of the wool from the McCaskill’s sheep as well as farm and/or local meats, eggs, preserves, jellies, and cheeses. Hand-made soaps are also available for purchase.

Warming in the dutch oven for guests each morning are such specialties as homemade pecan and cinnamon French toast casserole and farm raised, brown-sugar sea-salt cured, nitrate-free bacon; or, another favorite is the special quiches made from the eggs collected on the farm.

Each room is $125 nightly. Rooms are named The Horse Paddock, The Honeymoon Suite, The Colonial, and The Swamp Fox, in honor of local Revolutionary War hero, Francis Marion.

Located just off Interstate 20, Old McCaskill’s Farm is only a few miles from historic a Camden, which boasts many unique shops, restaurants, antique/consignment stores, and a first-rate independent bookseller that attracts best-selling and local authors. Plus, Camden is equestrian country with a full calendar of equestrian events and activities open to the public. Driving in the opposite direction, yet still within a few minutes of the Farm, is the upscale Mill Pond Steakhouse dining experience.

                Location: 377 Cantey Lane in Rembert

                Phone Number: 803-432-9537

                Website: http://www.oldmccaskillsfarm.com.

Historic Chesnut Cottage Bed and Breakfast

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Chestnut Cottage is a historic Bed & Breakfast in the heart of downtown Columbia.

Despite its location on Hampton Street, just a few blocks from Main Street in downtown Columbia, Chesnut Cottage was not burned by General William Tecumsah Sherman’s men in February 1865. Mary Boykin Chesnut, who resided in the home at that time but “escaped” just prior to the Union army’s presence in the then-Confederate state, documented her eye-witness account of the Civil War years in her extensive and vividly descriptive diary. A Diary From Dixie was first published in 1905 and has since undergone several editions. The house, which was spared the burning that destroyed homes just one block away, is steeped in history. Mary’s husband was United States Senator James Chesnut Jr., while her father, Stephen Decatur Miller, was former governor of South Carolina. James became an aid to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who gave his last speech to Columbia from the porch of their cottage in October 1864.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 2.00.29 PMThe cottage was built in circa 1850 and was Mary’s home off and on just toward the end of the war. Even though much of the south struggled during Reconstruction, Mary’s home was a residence until the 1960s when it was converted into offices for a physician. Diane and Gale Garrett purchased the cottage and turned it into a bed and breakfast in 1991. Diane passed in 1996, but Gale still owns the property; he remarried and assists his wife, Sherwood, on a regular basis.

More than 150 years later, the Chesnut Cottage is on the National Registry of Historic Places and still welcomes politicians as well as everyday citizens and history buffs alike. In fact, Gale says guests expect antebellum and Civil War history as part of their experience. Century-plus-old bottles and jugs found in the dirt around the property are on display as is a 19th century drawing/map of downtown Columbia. About half the guests are staycation locals, but the cottage has also drawn some from as far away as Australia, China, Europe, and South America. Plus, there are plenty of local and out-of-town regulars. Spring and fall see the most activity.

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Guests enjoy a hearty breakfast in their rooms or in the home’s dining area.

As a bed and breakfast, the cottage provides five rooms decorated in antebellum period antiques. Three are named for the historic figures that once graced the cottage’s interiors: Mary Boykin Chesnut Room, General James Chesnut Room, and President Jefferson Davis Room. The other two rooms are named the Carriage House Bridal Suite and the Carriage House Suite. Even though the home is replete with Civil War artifacts and a library, there are plenty of modern amenities to enable guests to rest comfortably. Some include luxurious linens and robes, private baths with whirlpool tubs, and ample breakfasts either in the room or in the home’s dining room in the company of other guests. There is also high speed internet access and televisions in each room. Prices for rooms range from $159 to $179.

The Chesnuts did not have any children, but children and pets are allowed at the Chesnut Cottage Bed and Breakfast “if well behaved”.

Within walking distance of the cottage, guests have access to dozens of restaurants, cooking classes at Let’s Cook Culinary Studio, distinct shops such as The Mast Farm General Store and NEST, and even the Columbia Art Museum. Plus, on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. is the increasingly popular Soda City Market on Main Street.

Says Gale, “Very few people take time to be tourists in their own town … take time to see the Capitol and area plantations.” For exercise and weather permitting, there is the popular Riverwalk and the Riverbanks Zoo.

                Location: 1718 Hampton Street in Columbia

                Phone Number: 803-256-1718

               Website: http://www.chesnutcottage.com.

Serene Whispering Willows

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Whispering Willows Bed & Breakfast is a place of quiet and calm.

The peace that pervades this property, just two miles off Hwy 77 at the Ridgeway exit – 29 miles outside Columbia – is evident in the natural pastures and pine groves that line the half-mile driveway to the inn. Situated on a knoll overlooking a hardwood forest where there is a winding trail along a slow-moving stream, is a relatively new home planned specifically as a place of refuge. According to Grace Prichard, who is innkeeper with her husband Bob, the comment most often given about the home is that it is “castle-like”.

The Prichards have been contemplating a sort of respite center for the entirety of their 40-year marriage. Soon after marriage, although they were living on the cliché shoestring, they received a missionary couple whom they welcomed in and proceeded to serve a completely made-from-scratch peach pie. Grace says the experience of enjoying food and fellowship in their tight, but cozy home, instilled in them a desire for ministry through hospitality. In many ways, over the years of him working as a microbiologist and her as a teacher at a Ben Lippen School, as well as raising and parenting four children, Grace and Bob ran an unofficial bed and breakfast.

Then they stayed at a real bed and breakfast in 2003 in the mountains for an anniversary weekend. The ambiance and soothing music provided a serene respite for the couple. They knew they wanted to provide the same for guests in their own bed and breakfast one day. They found 23 acres of land in Fairfield County, just a few miles from Ridgeway’s idyllic and historic main street – with the “famous” Laura’s Tea Room and a hardware store that takes visitors back 100 years as they enter. They spent many months clearing land and building what would serve as home for them, gathering place for their children and families, and rejuvenating getaway for anyone in need of rest and solitude.

Called Whispering Willows – and it is, indeed, a place of quiet and calm – there are five rooms: The Remnant, The Blessing, The Sparrow, The Refuge, and The Radiant. Or, guests can rent the whole house. A substantial made-from-scratch breakfast is served at a guest-selected time in the room, or guests can sit in the sunlit dining room or on the wide decks, weather permitting.

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Guests eat a made-from-scratch breakfast in the sunlit dining room or the decks.

Grace explains why she chose Whispering Willows: “I had always loved weeping willow trees, as they seemed to be reaching out and down for all, carefully desiring to embrace those weary ones sitting under their branches. I was also mindful of the fact that God often uses a gentle whisper to touch hearts…Thus, the name Whispering Willows was born.”

For those truly desiring out-of-town serenity without having to travel far, Whispering Willows is a place of reflection and renewal, points out Grace. She explains that it is more ministry than business.  The couple has to charge to maintain the property, but prices are kept low, from $75-$120, to allow most anyone to enjoy and recharge. Plus, there are no distractions, such as Wi-Fi or televisions. There is also no smoking or alcohol permitted; however, guests talk, read, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, sleep, write, and walk the trails that meander along a stream, through woods, and along pastures.

For dinner, there are a few local spots, including Old Town Hall Restaurant and Pub and Windmill. Shops attract customers from as far away as Charlotte due to the fact that downtown Ridgeway was the site of a historic depot and is on the route of the old Charlotte highway before Interstate 77 was constructed.

                Location: 2402 East Peach Road in Ridgeway

                Phone Number: 803-608-3280

                Website: http://www.whisperingwillowsbandb.com

SIDEBAR: Where Else?

To learn more about other bed and breakfast inns in the Columbia metropolitan and surrounding areas, visit www.tripadvisor.com as well as other hospitality sites. Each is distinct regarding number of rooms, pricing, services, and ambiance. Some also offer full-house and/or grounds’ rental for special events.

Lighten Up!

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Visit Spartanburg before next March for an interactive art experience

By Deena C. Bouknight

Since it is often difficult to attract non-artsy types inside museums, the Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM) came up with a unique way to bring art literally street level for anyone to enjoy. Lighten Up Spartanburg! involves 28 giant fiberglass light bulbs that were distributed to 36 artists as a blank canvas, so to speak, so they could spend three months transforming them into distinct works of art. Since the unveiling of the light bulb art in downtown Spartanburg, tens of thousands have had a chance to view the art – if not in person then on the museum’s free, easy-to-use tour app, which offers an interactive GPS location map as well as audio recording of each artists explaining the meaning and inspiration of each giant light bulb art.

Mat Duncan, curator of collections at SAM, explained why it was important to offer this art to the public: “We looked around Spartanburg and felt local artists, artists from the Southeast, were conspicuously absent from public spaces. There was plenty of public art, but it had all been done by people from New York, Europe, and so on. We conceived of Lighten Up Spartanburg! as a way for our local artists’ voices to be heard.  And now that they’re in the interactive tour app, that’s literal as well as figurative.”

The project is sponsored by local businesses, and Mat, as well as others, is hopeful that this project will help put the Southeast on the map regarding quality, creative art forms.

So far, more than 60 percent of users of the art app have been from South Carolina. The other significant interest has come from North Carolina and Georgia, yet there have been users in California, New York, and other states. Since Spartanburg is just off Interstate 26, stopping off to see the light bulbs is doable for many traveling up and down the highway.

The interactive tour app is available at artbulbs.oncell.com. On the app, glimpse everything from the light bulb that looks like a giant cactus, by artist Kathy Wofford, to one called “I Breathe” by artist Denise Torrance, who considers her light bulb art a colorful silk mosaic expression of womanhood. There is a light bulb made to resemble a hot air balloon, while another features a pastoral mountain scene within. Each is unique; on display is a myriad of different mediums.

carey_edited-18Lighten Up Spartanburg! ends March 1, 2018. Until then, take a phone or tablet to Spartanburg and find and learn about artistic expressions in outdoor light bulb art that span from the serious to whimsical. Plus, enjoy getting to know the city as there are installations in City Center, Downtown, and Greater Spartanburg.

For more information, visit spartanburgartmuseum.org/publicart.

 

 

Colla Voce to Perform “Homing” by Celebrated Composer J.A.C. Redford

By Delia Corrigan

“This is the house of your long-exiled soul.” – Homing by J.A.C. Redford   

J.A.C. Redford is a renowned composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor of music.

Later this summer Columbians will have a rare opportunity to hear Homing, J.A.C. Redford’s newest oratorio. This is largely due to the personal and professional friendship J.A.C. Redford has with Dr. Larry Wyatt, conductor of Colla Voce.

One may think one is not familiar with Redford’s work, but that is probably not the case. J.A.C. Redford is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor of music ranging from concert, chamber and orchestral, to film, television, and theatre. His music has been featured on programs at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, and around the world. Redford has written the scores for more than three dozen feature films, TV movies, and miniseries, and he has composed the music for nearly 500 episodes of series television, such as Coach and St. Elsewhere, for which he received two Emmy nominations. Collaborating with other artists, J.A.C. Redmond has been involved in widely popular projects such as The Little Mermaid, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Perfect Storm, Avatar, The Help, Skyfall, and others.

J.A.C. Redford explores a theme in literature that he terms “crossing over” literature. He says, “By that I mean prose or poetry that imagines the experience of transition from this life to the next, or that renders more porous the borders between the material world and the world of spirit.” He considers the text of Homing to be responsive poetry to various literary passages that are meaningful to him. These passages may come from authors as varied as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Charles Williams, Dante, George Herbert, and King David. The text and the score of Homing, both written by Redford, explore the human longing, sometimes subtle yet on other occasions sharp, for “home.”

Under the direction of Dr. Larry Wyatt, Colla Voce will perform Homing. Colla Voce is Columbia’s community chamber choir of professional musicians. Mark your calendars for a cool indoor afternoon activity that will stir your heart and mind.

Date: July 30, 2017

Time: 4 p.m.

Location: The Anglican Cathedral Church of the Epiphany. 2512 North Beltline Blvd.

Ticket Price: $10 – purchased in advance. $15 – purchased at the door.

Please call 803-777-5369 to purchase advance tickets.

One for the Money, Two for the Show…

Three to Make Ready, and Four to Go!

Celebrating the 2017 Carolina Cup

By Margaret Clay; Photography by Emily Clay and Stevens Coleman

Bright sunshine, cool breezes, delicious food, refreshing drinks, colorful dresses, dashing bowties and large, floppy hats were all hallmarks of this year’s Carolina Cup at the Camden Springdale Race Course on April 1st. Drawing a crowd of more than 70,000 from around the region for a debonair day at the races, the Carolina Cup was yet again an exciting and successful event for the state of South Carolina, officially kicking off Spring.

Since the Cup is the first race of the steeplechase season, it is often a gamble as to how many horses are already in shape and fit to race; however, with this year’s unseasonably warm winter, the horses stabled in the northeastern states had ample opportunity to train and thus made for a strong showing at this year’s Carolina Cup.

The Columbia Metropolitan Magazine Turf Club Tent, catered by Aberdeen Catery.

We at Columbia Metropolitan were honored to be the Turf Club Tent sponsor at this year’s event. Our tent looked out on the race course where we watched the horses sprint to the finish line. The first of the six races had a 12:30 post time, and we enjoyed watching the shiny, impressive equines parade by from the inner view of the paddock as the horses warmed up, jockeys mounted and racegoers made guesses as to who to put their theoretical money on. Each race was about 30 to 45 minutes apart and was announced by the energetic trumpeting of the race’s start, at which point we made our way to box seats in the grandstand, or we enjoyed watching the race from our tables in the Turf Club. Both locations offered appealing and unique views of the races. In the between time, we feasted on the delicious food and drinks courtesy of Jack Brantley’s Aberdeen Catery.

The view from the inside of the paddock afforded wonderful views of both horse and jockey prior to the races.

 

Jack Brantley’s signature fine china and sterling silver gives the Turf Club an extra element of posh.

We were in good company in the Turf Club and enjoyed the day with many good friends!

Helen Laffitte, Governor Henry McMaster, Beth McMaster and Will McMaster
Bill McMaster, First Lady Peggy McMaster and Adelaide McMaster
Sharon Bryant, Steve Bryant
John Wofford, Beth Wofford
Jim DuPlessis, Elizabeth Wyman, V.V. Kornegay

We also participated in the Post & Paddock Shoppes where racegoers could purchase T-shirts and subscriptions from our booth manned by Hundley and Stevens Coleman.

CMM presented the winning ribbon and cups, as well as a bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon engraved with race’s name, in the winner’s circle of the second race, “Sport of Kings Maiden Hurdle,” to jockey Bernard Dalton and trainer Nancy Ruch for winning horse Maximum Horsepower. This race has a purse of $30,000.

Bernard Dalton, Margaret Clay
Bernard Dalton, Margaret Clay, Henry Clay, Nancy Ruch and Emily Clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more about the rich history of the Carolina Cup, read our article from the March issue, “The Social Event of the Season.”