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A small crowd gathered at the stage to listen to performers sing and to music sponsored by Banana Jack Murphey.

Heritage Festival draws light crowds

The Loris Heritage Festival began at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, with vendors setting up and the young entrepreneurs set up their pop-up shops in front of Timeless Memories, Harrelson’s Clothing Store and Railroad & Main hair salon. 

The Loris Chamber of Commerce discovered that the previous events and dates coincided with other festivals in the surrounding areas and chose to change the event to the first Saturday in June and to rename the festival The Loris Heritage Festival.  In 2013 the chamber had sponsors for the Loris in Bloom Festival bringing in vendors selling many springtime items and had the Loris High School Future Farmers of America selling plants, flowers and vegetables, homemade swings for back yard enjoyment and much more.

  The festival again was renamed to The Loris Spring Festival Expo in 2016 and scheduled for the last weekend in April.  Considering their options, with the first priority, it was time for another to change the name of the festival.  The Loris Heritage Festival was created to give residents pride in sharing the history of the city with visitors and guests.   The next item on the agenda was to change the date not to conflict with other area events scheduled at the end of April. Choosing Saturday, June 1, was a great way to kick off the summer.

Though this festival was not expected to be as large as the Loris Bog-Off that is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26, The Heritage Festival overlapped with the Sun Fun Festival in Myrtle Beach.  The crowd was low for the first Loris Heritage Festival. Next year as it is advertised more a larger crowd could come explore Loris and the vendors selling their wares.

The festival featured live entertainment, vendors, a kid’s area, car cruise-in, axe throwing and much more.  Sarah Carroll, Miss Loris Bog-Off Teen, provided early morning music with her gifted voice.  Eighteen youth signed with the chamber for The Young Entrepreneurs Business Fair giving the youth the instructions to establish their own businesses with their pop-up shops which included Pupper Fluff Pastry Cat & Dog Treats, Share a Smile Friendship Company selling rainbow wrist bands and friendship boxes, Pretty Perfect Potatoes which included baked potatoes with meats, cheese and all the fixin’s, Great Brand Cookies, Fun and Done, True Vine Crafts, Palmetto Pet Pals selling cat and dog treats, bandanas for dogs and bowties and bows, Golden Glories Treats, Cutie’s Bakery, Kaitlyn’s Glitz & Glam Boutique, Simply Smoothie, Southern Sisters Cookies, R & G Art Wonders and more. 

The chamber worked with the youth to learn how to open a business, name their business and work the books to keep account of the profit and loss.  Samantha Norris said, “The chamber gave each participant a certificate, congratulations on their new business with the business name and the names of the business owners.”  This was a great learning experience for the youth from age seven to 18. The chamber commends them for their hard work, creating a logo, a menu or list of items they sold which gave each of the youth the promise of one day, if not now, to own their own businesses.

Thirty arts and craft vendors were at the festival; vendors included homemade lemonade, chicken bog, boiled peanuts and drinks, Italian Ice, funnel cakes, homemade pork skins, wood crafts and boutiques.  Joyce Graham with The Loris Historical Society shared the history of Loris and promoted their membership drive.  Vendors sold wreaths, signs and jewelry.  A kid’s area with rides, bouncy houses and pony rides at Casey Street was set up. Southern Crest Apiaries sold their local honey.

A popular event for the children was The Horry County Fire and Rescue had their engine at the festival allowing children to climb on board and see what it is like to sit in a fire truck.  HTC brought one of their trucks for exploring.

Also, a cruise-in car show promoted antique vehicles showing the clean interiors and the motors for visitors to view.  This event is not like the car show at the Bog-Off. There are no trophies or winners announced. Owners of the vehicles wanted to show off their cars.

The crowds were low, but the chamber holds hope for next year’s Heritage Festival to bring in a larger crowd and more vendors. 

The Loris Chamber of Commerce made a great effort promoting the festival and providing as many different arts, crafts, boutiques and food to purchase.  They are looking forward to next year’s Loris Heritage Festival 2020.

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