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The Rice Festival just keeps growing every year

The 2013 Colleton County Rice Festival was the largest ever held since its beginning 38 years ago.

“We had an estimated total of 20,000 people who attended the festival over the entire weekend,” said Rice Festival President Jimmy “Bubba” Trippe Monday. “The Rice Festival was a complete success. On Friday, there was a huge crowd, and even more people attended the festival on Saturday. I’m tired. I’m just glad that it’s over for one more year.”

Trippe noted that event favorites included the Marvelous Mutts Frisbee and Dock Diving shows, the H. L. Hunley Civil War submersible replica, and a rice trunk, a wooden device used for letting water into and out of rice fields during the time when rice was a staple crop of Colleton County. He added that the crowd also enjoyed Hypnotist Ron Carter. “They said he put me under, but I don’t remember anything about it,” Trippe said. He added that more people than ever also watched Friday night’s fireworks display. “There were people everywhere for the fireworks, They were lined all up and down Jefferies Boulevard,” Trippe added that D.J. Cowboy Troy Smoak also provided music for the crowd for this event.

Trippe pointed out there were also more vendors and events during this year’s Rice Festival. “We had more arts and crafts booths than ever this year, and each vendor that I talked to indicated that sales were good. They sold a lot of stuff.” Trippe added that all of the food vendors also did well, and they plan to come back next year.

About 50 vehicles participated in this year’s Car Show held in the Belks parking lot on Bells Highway Saturday afternoon. He added that trophies were awarded to winning contestants, and many people got to look over some fine vintage and non-vintage automobiles and motorcycles.

Saturday night, Plane Jane took the stage at Colleton Preparatory after D.J. Debbie Price warmed up the large crowd beforehand. “At our dance, Plane Jane was just great. About 250 people attended the dance, and people wanted to stay at the dance, but we had to run everyone off at midnight.”

Trippe noted that many people also played in the Golf Tournament and Tennis Tournament on Sunday.

The Taste of Walterboro, held Tuesday, April 23, from 6-8 p.m. at the Colleton County Museum and Farmers Market, did much better than last year’s culinary event. Just over 400 paying customers attended, being served by close to 20 restaurants. “Some of the restaurants ran out of food before it was over, and employees had to go back and get more,” said Colleton Rice festival Secretary Charlotte Brinson.

Participating restaurants and caterers this year were Carmine’s Trattoria; Cliff’s Hot Dog Station; Domino’s Pizza; Captain D’s; Subway (both Walterboro locations); Zaxby’s; Bojangles’; Breland Hills Strawberry Farm (Ruffin); Jimmy Fitts’ Catering; Smalls’ Catering; Main Street Grille; A Soulful Taste; Time Out; Uni-Health Post Acute Care- Oakwood; Rizer Pork and Barbecue (Lodge); Fat Jack’s Grillin’ and Chillin’; and the Farm Bureau Insurance Ice Cream Truck.

Many people also attended the Dog Show, held at the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market Saturday, and winners were named after the judging process. The Senior Dog Class was won by Snoopy; The Puppy Class was won by Presley; the Purebred Class was won by Princess; and the Heinz 57 Class went to Sammie. All proceeds made from the show went to the betterment of animals within Colleton County.