Azalea Fest rocks


By Kasie Strickland - kstrickland@civitasmedia.com



With blue skies and gentle breezes, the weather couldn’t have been nicer for this year’s Azalea Festival.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

“I’m going to be in the news! I’m going to be in the news!” Kyle Kerr of Cub Scout pack 130 exclaimed. Yes, Kyle. You sure are.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Eight-year-old Sophia Knutson shows off her giraffe.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Bart Harris wowed onlookers with his pottery wheel, a practice known as “throwing clay.”


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Purple Unicorn Pottery is run but Lisa and Bart Harris out of Seneca.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Wanda Jolley brings her marionettes to life.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Martha Todd dressed for the occasion, as did her 9-year-old dog “Jacob.”


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Lillian Ballentine was surrounded by quilts, pillows and samplers in what she referred to as “just a little but of sewing.”


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

James Lynch out of Traveler’s Rest specializes in cabinetry, sculpture and jewelry. “When I found this piece of wood, it already looked like a duck. See his face? The rest came easy,” he said.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Among the many unique pieces of hand-made jewelry that were available were these necklaces made out of spent shell casings.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Larry Grey of The Knights of Columbus grilled a mean sausage …


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

For someone looking for good food, hearty music, unique crafts and one-of-a-kind pieces of art, this year’s Azalea Festival was the place to be.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

A bit farther down the vendor line, Cheryl McMahan was painting a bird on canvas. “I started off just doing this (painting) for fun. It relaxes me,” she said. “Now I teach classes. Girls night out? It’s so much fun.”


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

The infamous rock wall had fewer takers this year, but that didn’t stop this young man from climbing.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Besides the live demonstrations from local artisans, the dunking booth put on by the Pickens Police was probably one of the more popular attractions as people lined up for a chance to drop an officer in the frigid water.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Cotton candy and carnival rides are the staple for any good festival.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

One of the newer attractions this year was the mechanical bull, which was conquered in short order by several school-aged children who hung on one-handed as the bovine twisted and bucked beneath them.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

This reporter saw six children in a row ride the mechanical bull without being slung down onto the padding.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

PICKENS — For someone looking for good food, hearty music, unique crafts and one-of-a-kind pieces of art, this year’s Azalea Festival was the place to be.

Thousands of people from all across the Upstate turned up in historic downtown Pickens to take part in the annual celebration — and whether you just strolled the vendors’ tents or paid a buck for a chance to drop one of Pickens Police’s finest in the dunking booth, there was something for everyone.

Bart Harris wowed onlookers with his pottery wheel, a practice known as “throwing clay.”

“I’m just messing around, this clay can’t be fired again,” said Harris. “All this in here is scraps and trimmings from other pieces. Rather than pitch it, I’ll bring it out to festivals and stuff like this and get one more use out of it.”

Bart and his wife Lisa run Purple Unicorn Pottery out of Seneca.

“This (pottery) wheel isn’t balanced or anything. It’s my little one that I bring out to events like this. My big one — the one I really throw on — is huge. I can’t just load it up,” he said.

A bit farther down the vendor line, Cheryl McMahan was painting a bird on canvas.

“I started off just doing this (painting) for fun. It relaxes me,” she said. “Now I teach classes. Girls night out? It’s so much fun.”

Besides the live demonstrations from local artisans, the dunking booth put on by the Pickens Police Department was probably one of the more popular attractions as people lined up for a chance to drop an officer in the frigid water.

“I’ve already gotten dunked once today,” said one shivering officer. “And it was by this, like, 12-year-old girl. She lined up like a major league pitcher and I thought ‘Oh, no. I’m going in.’”

“You need a picture of him getting dunked?” laughed another officer in front of the tank as he lunged to push the dunking button.

“That’s cheating! You pay a dollar like everyone else!” the first officer yelled from the tank as he braced his arms so he wouldn’t fall back into the water.

One of the newer attractions this year was the mechanical bull, which was conquered in short order by several school-aged children who hung on one-handed as the bovine twisted and bucked beneath them.

This reporter saw six children in a row ride the beast without being slung down onto the padding.

Impressive. Very impressive indeed.

With blue skies and gentle breezes, the weather couldn’t have been nicer for this year’s Azalea Festival.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_008.jpgWith blue skies and gentle breezes, the weather couldn’t have been nicer for this year’s Azalea Festival. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

“I’m going to be in the news! I’m going to be in the news!” Kyle Kerr of Cub Scout pack 130 exclaimed. Yes, Kyle. You sure are.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_009.jpg“I’m going to be in the news! I’m going to be in the news!” Kyle Kerr of Cub Scout pack 130 exclaimed. Yes, Kyle. You sure are. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Eight-year-old Sophia Knutson shows off her giraffe.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_033.jpgEight-year-old Sophia Knutson shows off her giraffe. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Bart Harris wowed onlookers with his pottery wheel, a practice known as “throwing clay.”
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_057.jpgBart Harris wowed onlookers with his pottery wheel, a practice known as “throwing clay.” Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Purple Unicorn Pottery is run but Lisa and Bart Harris out of Seneca.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_075.jpgPurple Unicorn Pottery is run but Lisa and Bart Harris out of Seneca. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Wanda Jolley brings her marionettes to life.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_083.jpgWanda Jolley brings her marionettes to life. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Martha Todd dressed for the occasion, as did her 9-year-old dog “Jacob.”
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_099.jpgMartha Todd dressed for the occasion, as did her 9-year-old dog “Jacob.” Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Lillian Ballentine was surrounded by quilts, pillows and samplers in what she referred to as “just a little but of sewing.”
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_102.jpgLillian Ballentine was surrounded by quilts, pillows and samplers in what she referred to as “just a little but of sewing.” Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

James Lynch out of Traveler’s Rest specializes in cabinetry, sculpture and jewelry. “When I found this piece of wood, it already looked like a duck. See his face? The rest came easy,” he said.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_113.jpgJames Lynch out of Traveler’s Rest specializes in cabinetry, sculpture and jewelry. “When I found this piece of wood, it already looked like a duck. See his face? The rest came easy,” he said. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Among the many unique pieces of hand-made jewelry that were available were these necklaces made out of spent shell casings.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_114.jpgAmong the many unique pieces of hand-made jewelry that were available were these necklaces made out of spent shell casings. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Larry Grey of The Knights of Columbus grilled a mean sausage …
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_139.jpgLarry Grey of The Knights of Columbus grilled a mean sausage … Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

For someone looking for good food, hearty music, unique crafts and one-of-a-kind pieces of art, this year’s Azalea Festival was the place to be.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_140.jpgFor someone looking for good food, hearty music, unique crafts and one-of-a-kind pieces of art, this year’s Azalea Festival was the place to be. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

A bit farther down the vendor line, Cheryl McMahan was painting a bird on canvas. “I started off just doing this (painting) for fun. It relaxes me,” she said. “Now I teach classes. Girls night out? It’s so much fun.”
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_149.jpgA bit farther down the vendor line, Cheryl McMahan was painting a bird on canvas. “I started off just doing this (painting) for fun. It relaxes me,” she said. “Now I teach classes. Girls night out? It’s so much fun.” Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

The infamous rock wall had fewer takers this year, but that didn’t stop this young man from climbing.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_183.jpgThe infamous rock wall had fewer takers this year, but that didn’t stop this young man from climbing. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Besides the live demonstrations from local artisans, the dunking booth put on by the Pickens Police was probably one of the more popular attractions as people lined up for a chance to drop an officer in the frigid water.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_207.jpgBesides the live demonstrations from local artisans, the dunking booth put on by the Pickens Police was probably one of the more popular attractions as people lined up for a chance to drop an officer in the frigid water. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Cotton candy and carnival rides are the staple for any good festival.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_226.jpgCotton candy and carnival rides are the staple for any good festival. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

One of the newer attractions this year was the mechanical bull, which was conquered in short order by several school-aged children who hung on one-handed as the bovine twisted and bucked beneath them.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_236.jpgOne of the newer attractions this year was the mechanical bull, which was conquered in short order by several school-aged children who hung on one-handed as the bovine twisted and bucked beneath them. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

This reporter saw six children in a row ride the mechanical bull without being slung down onto the padding.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_266.jpgThis reporter saw six children in a row ride the mechanical bull without being slung down onto the padding. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

By Kasie Strickland

kstrickland@civitasmedia.com

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

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