CONWAY Matt Johnson figures he and his 1929 John Deere Hit ‘n Miss Ice Cream Churn will power through 60 gallons to 70 gallons of ice cream at the Conway Riverfest Saturday, and since it’s Conway, most of the ice cream will be strawberry.
Johnson said he and his churn go to more than 20 festivals each year, and each location has its favorite flavor. In Conway, where he’s had a booth for five or six years, the favorite is strawberry.
His Nannie’s Homemade Ice Cream booth will be in the children’s area of Riverfest, and he will be among about 100 vendors seeking to entice tens of thousands of attendees to part with a little cash.
The children’s area will feature favorites such as inflatable rides, sack races, a trackless train, a bubble gum blowing contest and the jello jump, a hit with the kids.
Johnson said those seeking him out will probably have the best chance by just listening. His churn - remember, it’s a Hit ‘n Miss - only ignites about every eighth time the piston drops, he said, so it goes “BANG! ch-ch-ch-ch.”
Kelli James, executive vice president of the Conway Chamber of Commerce which sponsors Riverfest, said this year the fun will start on Friday evening and go through Saturday night. The band True Soul will perform from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday in Riverfront Park to kick off Riverfest. At 9 p.m., a parade of illuminated, patriotic themed boats will float down the Waccamaw River.
Since Friday is a new day for Riverfest, James said, “We wanted to add as much as possible to it.”
James said a group of private individuals started Riverfest in the 1980s as a Fourth of July celebration at Coastal Mall. The Chamber took it over and moved it to the river.
The fun Saturday will be centered around the old Horry County Courthouse until 7 p.m. Two stages will showcase live music and the kids area will be sort of in between them. The vendors will be on the closed streets around the courthouse.
At 7 p.m., James said, most of the courthouse action will stop -- except for a movie on the lawn -- the streets will reopen and those not already at Riverfront Park likely will amble down. From 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., there will be two bands and country music star Ty Herndon on the Riverfront stage.
At 10 p.m., there will be a fireworks show.
James said the Chamber begins planning for the fun around December or January and needs literally hundreds of volunteers to help carry it off.
A new day
City Council meetings on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month have been a staple of City Hall life for as long as anyone can remember.
That likely will change at Monday’s meeting, when the Council is expected to pass the second reading of an ordinance that resets the meeting days to the 1st and 3rd Mondays.
The change is being made to assure that the Council’s representative on the board of the Waccamaw Council of Governments can attend its monthly meetings on the 2nd Monday. Currently, Councilwoman Jean Timbes is Conway’s COG board member, and she’s had to miss some 2nd Tuesday Council action to accommodate the schedule.
The COG meetings are important because the agency annually filters millions of dollars of federal money to governments in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties.
Conway Council members want their representative at COG meetings to alert the city of federal funds it may be able to get.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.