We just wrapped up the 35th Flag Day celebration in Greeleyville. What a wild ride it has been. Festivals usually fall into a familiar routine, and I guess Flag Day is no exception. We have bingo, street dances, rides, vendors, good food and the fellowship of a community.
I seem to look at Flag Day from a different perspective than most people. I live in town and have been to most of the Flag Days. This year, I met some out-of-towners who just happened onto the festival because of the Flag Day Parade. Some tourists were headed to the Beach and took a detour because of the parade. They ended up in downtown Greeleyville during the event.
They were stopped for just a little while. Well, of course, their kids had to go to the bathroom.
They got out of their car and went to the facilities. They were so close to the hot dog stand. They also saw the purleau, barbecue chicken and funnel cakes.
Once they started walking through the square, they tried out the food and started talking with the people around them.
Conversations with strangers can be like riding a horse without a bridle. You don’t know where you will end up. Most of the people at the Flag Day Festival are residents of Greeleyville or have lived in Greeleyville many years, or they used to live in Greeleyville many years ago and come back to visit during the festival.
This can lead to some incredible stories about the way the town was many years ago.
Many times, you are asked by strangers what happened to someone who lived in Greeleyville during the 1940s. I always tell them that I didn’t get here until the 1950s. Well, back to the people on the detour: They got into conversations with people that hadn’t lived in Greeleyville for many years.
After just a short time they found out that they had mutual friends throughout the state. Seems like everywhere you go, there is someone you know.
Such a small town having a festival intrigued my new detour friends. They had so much fun, they stayed three hours instead of having a little 15-minute delay. They left town to head to their vacation at the beach with new Greeleyville Flag Day T-shirts. They promised they would come next year on their way to the beach.
They usually vacation during Memorial Day weekend.
It will be a year before I find out if the folks from the upstate really had enough fun to come back for the 36th Flag Day.
Maybe next year we’ll have a story-telling time for people that used to live in Greeleyville and haven’t been in town for a long time. We can have different times for people to tell stories about how the town used to be. We can even have a time for strangers to make up stories about the towns they live in and compare it to Greeleyville or some other time.
We can also have a time for people to make suggestions on how the festival should be run.
Right after that, we can have a sign up sheet for all the new suggestions.
My detour friends have already asked for a bypass around the town.