UNION — Those involved with the Uniquely Union Festival say this year’s event was the most successful festival to date.
“We definitely had the largest crowd ever,” said festival committee member Jami Trammell. “It was beyond a success. We were all ecstatic!”
Trammell said there were more out-of-town visitors than ever before, travelling from as far away as New York.
Trammell also mentioned that committee members were very happy with the festival’s move to the downtown area. She said she thought the location provided great exposure for USC Union, and she heard numerous compliments regarding the university campus. She said the festival was also good for downtown merchants, from whom she also received positive feedback.
The Kids Zone with rides and inflatables on Main Street was also a hit, as well as food vendors and merchandise vendors along Mountain Street.
“One of the food vendors who sold crepes said she sold more here than at any other festival she has been to,” Trammell said.
Trammell said each of the performers was a hit, and she pointed out that there were nearly 2,000 people in attendance for Elvis impersonator Rick Alviti’s performance Friday evening.
“He had those people eating out of the palm of his hand,” Trammell said. “He certainly knew how to work the crowd. He even stood up in Barbara Rippy’s chair while he was singing.”
The annual Uniquely Union BBQ contest also proved to be a hit, with the overall winner being a team known as the Ultimate Tailgaters, which is led by Chris Fulmer of Aiken. The People’s Choice Award — decided by votes from those who sampled bbq from various teams — went to the Riverside Smoke team, led by Scott Gibbs. The Mayor’s Cup award — awarded to the team of Union residents with the highest overall score — went to Jason Lemons of Lemonhead Q.
The overall top 10 teams were as follows:
- Ultimate Tailgaters
- Swig N Pig
- On the Spot
- Divine Smoke
- Lang BBQ
- Lemonhead Q
- St. Louis Pit Que
- Berry Patch
- Big Red’s BBQ
Another feature of the festival was its annual car show. The results of the show are as follows:
2013 Uniquely Union Car Show Top 25
- Ford — 1940 — Keith Burbage
- Camaro — 2010 — Joey Nations
- Ford — 1940 — Don Sisk
- Ford — 1950 — Wayne Garrison
- Camaro — 1967 — Tim DeHart
- Camaro — 1969 — Ray Vinson
- T-Bird — 1956 — Allen Dobbs
- Challenger — 2010 — David Cater
- Saturn — 2007 — James Crystal
- Mustang — 1966 — Roger Martin
- Mustang — 1969 — Randy Ledford
- Ford — 1931 — Paul Greer
- Chevelle — 1967 — Ranse Miller
- Mustang — 1969 — Billy Ledford
- Ford/Galaxy — 1963 — Ron Adams
- Corvette — 1965 — Stan Gallman
- Pontiac — 1966 — Terry Garrett
- Mustang — 1965 — David Brewington
- Mustang — 1969 — Randy Ledford
- Camaro — 1967 — Larry Blanchard
- Chevy — 1957 — Leon Davis
- Challenger — 2007 — Kristen Brown
- Corvette — 1990 — Rick LeJerone
- Chevrolet — 1984 — Zachary Tollison
- Ford — 1932 — Terry Ivey
The Union County Chamber of Commerce assisted with some of the logistics and planning for the car show and chamber executive director Torance Inman said he was very pleased with the entire festival.
“Both days were outstanding,” Inman said Monday. “The participants, the layouts, the entertainers just made for a great weekend.
“My hat’s off to the committee, they did a lot of planning, a lot of hard work, a lot of organizing and they got a great baseline to work off of,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what they do next year.”
Trammell explained that none of the festival’s success would have been possible without the sponsors.
The presenting sponsor was the City of Union.
Platinum sponsors were BMW, Belk and Bi-Lo.
Gold sponsors were Lockhart Power, Gestamp, Timken, Quality Inn, Union County, Sam’s Club, Founders Federal Credit Union, The Union Daily Times and WBCU.
Bronze sponsors were Dollar General, News Channel 7, Blue Ridge Hospice, Wells Fargo, and Frank Hart’s Allstate.
Friends of the festival were Subway and Wal-Mart. Trophy patrons were United Wood Treating Co. and Arthur State Bank.