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The blooming of the gorgeous roses in Edisto Memorial Gardens calls for a big celebration, and that's exactly what's on tap with the arrival of the 48th annual Orangeburg Festival of Roses May 3-5.

Showcase Orangeburg: Singers, dancers present talents on Stevenson stage

Serving as the co-hosts of the free event are the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Orangeburg and the city's Department of Parks and Recreation.

The festival will be in full swing from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Showcase Orangeburg

Showcase Orangeburg has been the premier event for the Festival of Roses weekend since 1993.

Showcase is a variety show featuring the best of area singers and musicians. This year’s Showcase is scheduled for Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Auditorium.

Showcase Orangeburg tickets are available at the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center for $12.

Members can purchase tickets for $10. Boxes are available for $40, $50 and $60. Showcase is the Arts Center's major fundraiser each year.

Call 803-536-4074 for information.

Street dance

Put on your dancing shoes and grab your lawn chairs and meet at the Plaza downtown for an evening of family music and entertainment!

The annual street dance is scheduled for Friday, May 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

The event will feature RipTide.

The event is hosted by the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association and sponsored by the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities.

In case of inclement weather, the dance will be held at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds.

Seniors’ Day

Seniors will have their special day at the Orangeburg Festival of Roses on Friday, May 3.

Special activities will take place at the Garden Stage in the Azalea Garden for seniors throughout the day.

Seniors’ Day Bingo sponsored by Longwood Plantation will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Rose Festival Road Race

The 2019 Rose Festival Road Race will be held on Saturday, May 4.

This year’s activities include a 12K Run, 5K Run/Walk and a Kid’s Fun Run.

The race will begin at the Orangeburg Fine Arts Center.

Blackwater River Race

The race is on!

The annual Blackwater River Race will be held Saturday, May 4.

Pre-registration for the race is $20 per person.  Registration on race day is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at $25 per person. Registration is at the Shillings Bridge Road boat landing.

The race is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Orangeburg and Zeus Industrial Products Inc.

The race will begin at the Shillings Bridge Road Baughman's Boat Landing between U.S. Highway 178 (North Road) and S.C. Highway 4. The race will finish at U.S. Highway 301.

Airplane Rides and Exhibit

On Saturday and Sunday of the Orangeburg Festival of Roses, the New Hawthorne Aviators will be offering scenic air tours of Orangeburg.

The flights will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Originating from the Orangeburg Airport, they will fly north toward OCtech and the USA flag along I-26, then turn toward the west to the North Road business area and south for a view of the Rose Garden.

As per the previous years, donations of $20 for adults and $15 for children are requested. Special request flights and extended flying times are also available.

For only $75, a half-hour introductory flight lesson is available. Reservations for these introductory flights can be made by calling the airport at 803-534-5545.

Also, featured again this year for donations of $100 will be single-passenger rides in a vintage 1942 Navy Stearman.

The Stearman is powered by a Pratt and Whitney 450-horsepower radial engine. This open cockpit bi-wing aircraft is similar to the machines used to train 5000 French and American pilots in Orangeburg during World War II.

Tickets for the rides may be obtained from chapter representatives in the city booth at the Rose Garden or at the airport.

Proceeds from all donations help to defer the cost of the aviation scholarships that are awarded within the community.

The festival

Riverside Drive is the site for the arts and crafts show and sale. Many non-profit food vendors will also be set up on Riverside. In addition, handcrafted and specialty items will be on sale.

The Festival of Roses will feature entertainment on two stages. Special entertainment and activities are on tap for children of all ages.

The Kid's Area will be located behind Centennial Park in the Gardens. The area will feature inflatable attractions as well as food vendors catering to the child in everyone.

For more information or a vendor application, please visit the chamber website at www.orangeburgchamber.com or call 803-534-6821.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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