Calhoun County will celebrate a familiar harbinger of spring with its Purple Martin Festival April 19-21.

The festival began in the county in 1973 and has continued to bring people of all ages together with food, fellowship and fun.

This year’s festivities include community bingo that will held at 3 p.m. Friday in the building next to town hall, located at 606 F R Huff Dr. in St Matthews.

Friday’s events will conclude with a street dance from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in the town hall parking lot.

Food trucks will also be on hand at the street dance, along with a voter registration booth.

“We are so excited. Our seniors had such a wonderful time with the bingo event. They’re looking forward to it again this year. Then we have the street dance. We just do it as a form of togetherness for our community,” St. Matthews Mayor Helen Carson said.

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“We’re all embracing our Purple Martin Festival. It’s just something to kind of kick it in gear,” she said.

Saturday’s events will kick off with a 10 a.m. parade going down Bridge Street in St. Matthews. The festival will then be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Calhoun County Courthouse grounds.

Registration for a car show presented by South Carolina Motorplex will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. There is a $10 entry fee for the show, which will include the following car classes: antique (1930s’ and earlier); vintage (1931-1964); classic (1965-1985); modern (1985 to current), and people’s choice. Judging will begin at 1 p.m., with awards to be presented at 2 p.m. Individuals can email to pre-register.

Calhoun Community Development Coordinator Cindy Haigler said Saturday’s festival will also include 105 vendors, including 30 food vendors, free carnival rides, a bounce slide and a mechanical bull.

“We’re actually going to have an adult Ferris wheel this year. We’ll see how that goes,” Haigler said.

She thanked the festival’s sponsors and said the festival is just one way to create fun things for the entire community to participate in.

“We’re just trying to bring the community together and just have some more events here in the community,” Haigler said.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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