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Arts Center to Host Artisan Market Nov. 8-9

The Anderson Arts Center is celebrating the change of seasons with an Autumn Artisan Market Nov. 8 beginning at 4 p.m. for a sip and shop event hosted with the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce. Admisssion is $5.

Unique vendors will offer a variety of items including handcrafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, body products, photography, fine food products and more.  

On Friday, Nov. 8, market doors open at 4 p.m. for a sip and shop evening hosted in conjunction with the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce. Admission is $5.

The market is open again on from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at 10 a.m. whne admission is free. Activities are schedule for children to allow parents can shop uninterrupted, and there will be gift basket drawings throughout the day.

Donations to support the programs and activities of the Anderson Arts Center will also be collected.

For more information, visit or call 864-222-2787.


Coastal Carolina Coach to Speak at TD Club

Coastal Carolina Head Football Coach and Offensive Coordinator Jamey Chadwell will be the guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Anderson Area Touchdown Club Friday. Chadwell was named head coach in January 2019.  He previously served as interim head coach. Chadwell has had coaching stints at Delta State, Charleston Southern, East Tennessee State and North Greenville University.  

The TD Club meets at the main branch of the Anderson County Library, and the food line begins at 11:30 a.m. The cost of lunch is $15.00 for visitors, and is catered by Mama Penns.

The weekly high school players and coaches to be honored on Friday will be announced on Thursday. 

For more information, call 864-934-2423 or 864-616-6471.


National Parks Director to Speak at Clemson Tuesday

CLEMSON — David Vela, newly named deputy director exercising the authority of the director of the National Park Service, will discuss how he plans to lead the park service into its second century at the 2019 George B. Hartzog Jr. Lecture this week in Clemson. The lecture will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Clemson University Institute for Parks presents the annual lecture and an accompanying awards program to showcase leading figures in the field of conservation. The lecture and awards program are named for George B. Hartzog Jr., the seventh director of the National Park Service.

Vela’s lecture will focus on developing a park service that focuses on people by sharing more inclusive stories from parks and telling the stories that haven’t been told about those who helped create our nation, engaging the next generation of the National Park Service workforce, and reaching a broader, more diverse American population, both as employees and visitors.

The National Park Service balances the conservation of the nation’s natural and cultural resources while also providing for their access and enjoyment. Vela leads an agency with more than 20,000 employees and a nearly $3 billion budget. The National Park Service is comprised of 419 national parks, which attract more than 300 million visitors every year and generate more than $30 billion in economic benefits across the nation.

Vela’s 29-year career has included experiences in both park and administrative leadership roles, having served as superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway after working as associate director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion in the Washington headquarters. He has received numerous awards for leadership and performance excellence over his career.


New Voting System Aims at Greater Ease, Security

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

New voting machines will be used in Anderson County's elections in November and Katy Smith, executive director of Anderson County Registration and Elections, wants everyone to know how the new system works.

The new securit measures include carts/cages that meet Office of Homeland Security requirements, and will be will be used at all polling locations ensuring that all of the required equipment and supplies arrive at the polling location intact, secure, and ready to use. 

Several Anderson County municipalities are holding elections this year. The City of Belton will choose a mayor, and Council Wards 2,4,6; The Town of Pelzer will choose two town Council members; The Town of Honea Path will select a Mayor, and members of Council Wards 2,4,6; The Town of West Pelzer will vote for Mayor and Council (2 seats); and The Town of Pendleton will vote for Council Wards 2,4. 


DT Grill to Open Downtown Tomorrow

Observer Reports

The DT Grill will open on Monday in the location of the former DT Taco, which recently closed after six months of operation.

The new restaurant will offer fish, shrimp & grits, a variety of burgers, fried chicken, country-fried steak, wings and salads.

The full content of the new menu is available here.


Salvation Army Needs Bell Ringers, Items for After School Program

Observer Reports

The Salvation Army of Anderson needs help from the community.

Currently, the ministry is asking for donations of travel size toiletries, afterschool snacks, paper towels and toilet paper. All donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army headquarters a 112 Tolly Street.

Volunteers to man the red kettles for holiday season are also being sought for November and December. Individuals and groups are welcome to join the minstry's biggest fundraiser by ringing bells at the kettles as Christmas approaches.

Call 864-225-7381 for more information.


Walmart Recalls Sausage Patties Nationwide

(Meredith) -- Select Great Value sausage patties sold at Walmart locations nationwide are being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.

The recall was issued Saturday for more than 6,000 pounds of frozen sausage patties.

The recalled products are:

  • 24.92-oz. packages containing "Great Value Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Patties" with use by date of 10/16/19 and lot code 1091971894
  • 24.92-oz. packages containing "Great Value Fully Cooked Original Breakfast Turkey Patties" with use by date of 10/24/19 and lot code 1171971897
  • 35.6-oz. packages containing "Family Size Great Value Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Patties" with use by date of 11/03/19 and lot code 1271972894 or use by date 11/05/19 and lot code 1291972894.

The affected products all bear the establishment number "EST. M2206T or P-2260T" printed on the package.

There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses related to this recall, according to the USDA.

Eating food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment, but some may need to be hospitalized.

Anyone who bought the recalled sausage patties should throw them away or return them for a full refund.


Anderson Bluegrass Festival to Feature Top Talent This Week

Anderson Observer

A who's who of bluegrass will visit Anderson later this month, for the 3rd Annual Anderson Bluegrass Festival, scheduled from Oct. 24-26 at the civic center.

The three-day event, sponsord by Adams Bluegrass, will run from noon-10 p.m. Oct.24-25, and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 26, and features the top artists in the field. 

On Oct. 24, bands include Tiger Town Roots, Deeper Shade of Blue, Cane Creek Bluegrass Band, Sons of the South, Sideline and Rhonda Vincent (Queen of Bluegrass) with her band The Rage.

The Oct. 25 lineup of talent features the King James Boys, Tugalo Holler, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Carolina Blue, The Grascals and Carson Peters and Iron Mountain. 

The Oct. 26 show brings Mike & Mary Robinson & Friends for a gospel jam and goes until 10:00 p.m. featuring The Marksmen, Larry & Karen Stancil, Backline, The Malpass Brothers. As a grand finale, Dailey & Vincent (Stars of the Grand Ole Opry) will perform one 90-minute show at 8:00 p.m.

VIP seating and general admission tickets are still available as 3-day passes or daily passes.  VIP is closer to the stage and is $5 more per ticket. 

Adult VIP, 3-Day passes are $95.00 ($50 for children 7-15); General Admission 3-day passes are $90.00; Adult VIP Daily passes are $45.00 ($25 for children 7-15) ; Adult General Admission Daily tickets are $40.00 ($20 for children 7-15).

Children under 7 are admitted free with parent holding ticket. 

For more information

Tickets can be ordered by phone at 706-864-7203 or online

Camping (no hook ups) is available for $20 per night.


GAMAC Performance to Honor Don Campbell

The Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium, Inc. (GAMAC) Chorale will celebrate 10 years under the direction of Dr. Don Campbell with a special performance "With One A-Chord," Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Boulevard Baptist Church.  Featuring a mix of styles and tunes handpicked by the 80-plus members of the chorale, this retrospective will also feature the GAMAC Children’s Chorus under the direction of Dr. Bob Heritage.

"With One A-Chord" will also open GAMAC’s 29th annual Masterworks concert series. The program will include a mix of classical, sacred, popular, Broadway, and comic tunes.  Selections will include “The Heavens Are Telling” from Haydn’s "The Creation," “Time In A Bottle” by Jim Croce, a comic tune titled “Old Horatius Had A Farm,” and selections from Broadway favorites such as "Cats" and "Camelot." Performances by the GAMAC Children’s Chorus of Cynthia Gray’s “Afternoon On A Hill” and “Hodie Christus Natus Est” by Children’s Chorus conductor Dr. Bob Heritage will also be featured.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.  To purchase tickets, please call the GAMAC office at (864) 231-6147 or visit for online.  Tickets will also be on sale at the door one hour prior to the performance. 


Anderson County Posts Record Low 1.7 Percent Jobless Rate

Observer Reports

Anderson County achieved a record-low unemployment rate of 1.7 percent in September 2019, according to local area unemployment statistic (LAUS) data released today by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW). 

“Anderson County’s status as a major regional economic development force can never again be called into question” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn.  “For more than a decade the Anderson County Council has supported policies meant to attract and sustain quality job opportunities for our citizens, and today’s milestone achievement gives us cause for celebration and gratitude—our community has been blessed.”

The September LAUS report shows that 2,975 more Anderson County residents are employed now than in September 2018.  The report also indicates that employment grew by 366 during the period from August to September of this year.  The total county labor force has grown by 2 percent over the last 12 months.

Statewide, unemployment fell to 2.9 in September. Nationally, the unemployment rate moved to 3.5 for September.

Strategy Plastics Brings 81 Jobs, $3.4M Investment to Anderson

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Strategy Plastics, LLC, a full-service plastic injection molding company, today announced plans to expand to Anderson County. The company’s more than $3.4 million investment is projected to create 81 new jobs. 

In addition to injection molding, Strategy Plastics, LLC also provides custom molding, engineering, project management, parts assembly, testing, dimensional analysis and off-shore tooling.

“We are very thankful for the confidence and trust that Strategy Plastics has placed in Anderson County for their next manufacturing operation," said Anderson County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson. "This, once again, is proof of the business friendly attitude of our community and solidifies the statement, ‘Anderson County is open for business.”

To allow for more growth, the company has relocated its operations into a larger facility located at 107 Twenty Nine Court in Williamston, S.C.

New operations are already online, and the company plans to continue expanding until fully staffed. Individuals looking to join the Strategy Plastics, LLC team should visit

“After completing extensive due diligence on several potential new locations for our operations, we chose Anderson County because of their quick response, support and everything the county had to offer for both our company and employees," said Chad Giles, owner of Strategy Plastics. "This transition is a testament to our hard-working team and loyal customers, and it will allow Strategy Plastics, LLC to continue to grow and achieve greater efficiency, along with diversify its current customer base. As a company that’s proud to hire locally, this transition will have a positive impact on the local economy. We thank our local and state partners for their continued support, and we look forward to joining the Anderson County business community."


Spot On British Silliness Lifts Market Theatre's "The 39 Steps"

By Paul Hyde/Anderson Observer

If you’re in the mood for a frothy comic melodrama, “The 39 Steps” at the Market Theatre is just the ticket.

British-style silliness and vaudevillian hijinks propel director Drew Whitley’s high-energy staging of this four-person play, which opened Friday. 

Matt Groves is Richard Hannay, a world-weary Canadian who, in search of some excitement, finds himself mixed up in international intrigue in England and Scotland.
Liza Hunter plays three roles (ranging from ingenue to femme fatale) and Matt Groves is Richard Hannay in the Market Theatre’s production of “The 39 Steps,” continuing through Sunday. (Photo: Escobar Photography)

Liza Hunter plays three characters while Jessie Davis and Savvy Thompson fill in dozens of other roles in this spy caper, which has been produced widely throughout the U.S. - including two fine stagings in Greenville in the past decade.

Underneath the giddy proceedings, there’s a story of an organization of spies trying to steal British military secrets. But don’t worry too much about the plot: Laughter is this play’s real raison d’etre.

The comedy’s episodic storyline closely tracks the script of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film noir of the same name, which in turn is based on a novel by John Buchan. Patrick Barlow adapted both the film and novel to come up with this stage version. (Both Hitchcock and Barlow improved upon Buchan’s rather tedious novel.)

Granted, you have to be in the right mood for this stylized and cheerfully over-the-top play, which includes amusing allusions to other Hitchcock classics such as “North by Northwest,” “The Birds,” “Rear Window” and “Vertigo.” Catch ’em if you can.

Much of the humor emerges from watching the Etch-A-Sketch clowns Davis and Thompson shift identities, often in the blink of an eye, with the quick change of a hat and accent. They’re cops one moment, secret agents or dotty women’s underwear salesmen the next. Usually, these two roles are played by men. Whitley’s casting of women was a bold and inspired choice. 

Whitley sets a breathless pace and stuffs the play with an abundance of comic bits. This staging succeeds best when it’s most flamboyant. One caveat: The scene changes slowed things down a little too much on opening night.

Groves plays Hannay as a young everyman - suave, confident and game for whatever fate may toss in his direction.

Hunter brings a winsome appeal to three vivid roles: the femme fatale Annabella, the wistful Glaswegian farm girl Margaret and the plucky ingenue Pamela.

Davis and Thompson take on more than a dozen roles with nimble comic versatility. My favorites include a pious Scottish clod with a thick brogue and the fact-spouting Mr. Memory. 

Cameron Woodson’s scenic design, which includes a marvelously nostalgic proscenium arch and set of footlights, is superb. 

This effervescent production of “The 39 Steps” continues at the Market Theatre through Sunday. For tickets, call 864-729-2999 or see the website

Paul Hyde, a longtime Upstate journalist, writes about the arts for the Anderson Observer. Follow Paul on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.


Rhonda Vincent and the Rage to Headline Anderson Festival