Dan Pool’s article in the Progress entitled “The ebb and flow of fundraising events in Pickens County” speaks volumes. Our community needs more workers and fewer thinkers for one thing. The only comment I would make is the reference to the “demise” of ArtFest because of a failure to gain a foothold. ArtFest had a foothold the first year. Through generous sponsorships, we were on solid financial footing. The artists loved it and our return percentage of artists was very high. Last spring was the third year we didn’t have it, and I still got unsolicited calls from artists wanting to participate who heard about it from other artists. It died on Sunday morning of the last year when two of my neighbors and I were the only ones not too busy to empty the trash. The volunteers we had were outstanding, but just a handful working way too hard. Without them the entire effort would never have gotten started. It’s not about apples or moonshine or bears in a square, it’s about economic development. I suppose you can have a greased pig race, or a contest to see who can eat a live chicken and drink a quart of motor oil, but people from Atlanta are not going to spend money to see that. Most of our sales came from out of town. That was our purpose, but those folks go somewhere else to spend money now.
I will tip my hat to JeepFest. It doesn’t have to be about art either, but it needs hands-on labor, and it needs to create revenue for the entire county, not just one interest group. In order to develop anything for the long term we have to feed the economic engine instead of putting Band-Aids on it.
Interest rates are down. People are back buying real estate. Unemployment is great at only six percent. Beautiful fall weather is in the near future. Foreclosures are losing their strangle grip on our economy and The Donald, stomach him or not, is entertaining us every night on TV.
So do we have a problem? Yes! Kudzu! It is eating Pickens County!
What is the solution?
Congratulations to the 40 individuals who have formed the Pickens Community Service Club. Thank goodness there are those who want to stand for what’s good. Serving others is what a service club should be all about.
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