Rock Hills annual Come-See-Me festival is just around the corner and chairman Brian Hovis is making two big promises for this years event an improved Mayors Frog Jump and nice weather.
A second line is being added to the festivals popular frog jump, an event that is one of Hovis first Come-See-Me memories. Born and raised in Rock Hill, Hovis remembers his time as a frog jumper as complete pandemonium with frogs jumping everywhere.
His promise of nice weather follows a string of storms that have forced organizers to cancel some events in past festivals. Come-See-Me begins April 3 and runs through April 12.
This will be a weather-free festival, Hovis proclaimed Thursday at the festivals annual kickoff breakfast.
The highlight of every kickoff breakfast is the unveiling of the festival logo. Vernon Grant, who created Rice Krispies celebrated gnomes, Snap, Crackle and Pop, was the president of the chamber of commerce when the festival made its debut in 1962. For the Come-See-Me festival, Grant created more than 30 different images of Glen the Frog.
This years logo has a banjo-strummin Glen amid a patch of tulips and mushrooms. It is the second time the festival has used this image. Banjo Glen made his debut in 1994.
Hovis said banjo Glen reflected his personality. I wanted something that was light, sophisticated and fun, he said. He also wanted the logo to have the colors of spring.
Other changes to the festival this year include a new route for the Blooming Garden Parade, which will start at 135 S. Oakland Ave. and travel south, turning right onto East Main Street and end at the parking lot at the corner of White Street and Dave Lyle Boulevard.
New activities are a half-marathon run April 5 at South Pointe High School. Runners can choose between a fun-run and 5K race.
The festival also honored seven people Thursday for their volunteerism in the community. Honored were:
• Brother David Boone of The Oratory. Boone has volunteered with the Dorothy Day soup kitchen, the Head Start program, served on the Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism board and was the former administrator for St. Marys Catholic Church. He has a been a longtime advocate for civil rights and equality in Rock Hill.
• Jennifer Lane Christopher, a student at Westminster Catawba Christian School. Christopher has volunteered at A Place for Hope, Cheer for Children, Rolling in Rock Hill and York Place. She is the acting president of the Rock Hill Youth Council.
• Lee Gardner, CEO of Family Trust Federal Credit Union. Gardner has been an investor and adviser on the Rock Hill School District Foundation and served on the Number One Question ... Is It Good for Children Coalition.
• Carol Harvey of Catawba Area Coalition for the Homeless. Harvey serves on the board of Family Promise, as an ambassador for Neighborhood Empowerment and is an active participant in Homeless Awareness Week.
• Amy Peeler, who volunteers at Tirzah Presbyterian Church, Operation Christmas Child and the Come-See-Me festival.
• Joyce Simpson, a founding member of the Youth Soccer Committee, has served as chair of the Rock Hill Tourism Commission, the City Accommodations Tax Committee, board member for the YMCA and Arts Council and the Come-See-Me festival.
• Peggy Williams has served the Boys and Girls Clubs of York County, the American Red Cross, Hospice and Community Care, the Arts Council and the Rock Hill school district, and the Palmetto School.
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066