By Annie Rigby
The Loris Chamber of Commerce yearly festival celebrated its 41st year on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This year’s festival was smaller in vendors with a limitation of 7,000 attendees to visit; tickets were sold this year to be able to keep a count of visitors and to follow the South Carolina Department of Commerce, CDC and DHEC guidelines. A total count of 4,000 visited the festival; gate-keepers kept a count of visitors paying cash or showing their ticket providing a pink wristband to wear as they walk around the festival. Yellow face masks were provided to guests. Four gates were set up with orange plastic fencing around the parameter of the festival.
It was a warm and windy day made it comfortable for visitors to visit the vendors, sample the chicken bog and join in the fun at the kid’s area. Samantha Norris said, “I think this year’s Bog-Off Festival was a huge success;” she continued, “I want to thank all of our sponsors, visitors, vendors, directors, volunteers and city of Loris council members and employees. It was a beautiful day in Loris.”
Bands played on the main stage, vendors brought their wares, food vendors had plenty of food, the car show, chicken clucking contest, Mountain Dew guzzlin’ contest and Jamestown Chef’s cooked up plenty of their famous chicken bog served with green beans and a roll.
Trey Calloway is a singer/songwriter originally from the small town Lucia, N.C. and moved to Cornelius, N.C. at the age of 13. His father is a preacher and Calloway grew up singing in church and was a seasoned performer by the tender age of 10. He visits our area often scheduled to play his music in North Myrtle Beach, Little River and Cherry Grove. His musical style is mostly country with a dose of southern rock and blues. At the age of 37 he continues to chase his dream to write and sing. Chocolate Chip & Company plays contemporary music from 60’s to present; they jazzed up the crowd from 3 to 5 p.m. closing the festival with their music.
The winners of the chicken bog contest were first place winner Julianne Mason (#1), runner up Clayton Altman (#6) and People’s Choice winner Chris Conner (#10). Mason stated that she was surprised and excited when she heard her name as the winner. She said, “This is my third year entering the chicken bog cook-off;” she continued, “I guess the third time is the charm. I suppose I need to enter again next year to defend my title.” She said her secret is in the sauce, the base for her chicken bog, which she does not reveal. The chicken clucking contestants produced squawking like a chicken with some animation as they present their best cluck; Laurie Rutrough and Lola Roper are the top winners in their age categories. The Mountain Dew Guzzlin’ contestants drained the bottles dry as fast as they could to win; trophy winners were Desmond Vereen (12) and adult Travis Jackson.
Platinum sponsors for this year’s festival were HTC, Horry County Government, Visit Myrtle Beach, City of Loris, Loris Chamber of Commerce, WPDE-15, Gator 107.9. Gold sponsors were Attorney Maria Elias-Williams, Carolina Food Service of Loris, Jordan Waste, Loris Drug Store, Pepsi-Cola, United Community Bank, The Loris Scene, The Loris Times, Moon Vine and Bell & Bell Buick, GMS, Trucks. Bronze sponsors 5 Star Farms, Coastal Contract Services Crossway Church, Kona Ice and WLSC Tiger Radio. Friends of the Festival sponsor Beach Business Solutions, LLC.
The Loris Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Executive Director, and volunteers spent many hours preparing for the 2020 Loris 41st Annual Loris Bog-Off Festival with committee meetings, board meetings and difficult decisions had to be made to have the festival during a time of questions, understanding the rules and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These are unprecedented times, to have a festival that generally brings in 35,000 people to walk through the festival, visit vendors and shop local stores to a limited crowd along with charging a $5 and $2 entrance fee to attend the festival. The hard work from chamber, volunteers and those working the festival deserve a graceful thank you for preparing and handling the festival; thank you.