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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Be Prepared For Stormy Weather

Rolling thunderstorm (Cumulonimbus arcus)Image via WikipediaLooks like there is a high probability of a stormy day before it is all over.  The weather is saying this is a high risk day for severe storms, tornados and high wind damage throughout the mid west all the way over to the Carolinas.  The rain we can always use but damaging storms are never wanted or needed.  There have been areas that have already been hard hit with tornados and floods so early in the storm season.  It makes you realize that you MUST always be prepared for the owrst with mother nature to save lives.  This is a serious threat so please be watchful and take the appropriate measures to protect yourself, family and friends.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Freedom Weekend Aloft Entertainment.

Gin BlossomsCover of Gin BlossomsFreedom Weekend has announced their line up for this year: Joe Nichols, Steel Magnolia, Walker Hayes, Gin Blossoms, Tonic, The Wailers, Corey Smith - ALL are performing at Greenville Hospital System Freedom Weekend Aloft at Heritage Park, Simpsonville, SC May 27-30, 2011 Tickets on Sale at the BI-LO Center starting April 18
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Looking for some summer fun?

Greenville skyline at nightImage via WikipediaCheck out the Upcoming Events section of the blog for some summer fun in the Upstate of South Carolina.  I will try and list all of the events that I come across to help you plan your weekends with concerts, festivals and other activities.
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PRINCE to perform March 28, 2011

Image satellite USGS du Bi-Lo Center de Greenv...
PRINCE will make a concert appearance on March 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM here in Greenville, SC at the Bi-Lo Center.  This was a last minute annoucement and I would bet tickets will be gone FAST. Event number is 864-467-0008

The BI-LO Center is a state-of-the-art 15,000 seat sports and entertainment arena.  The entertainment industry has consistently recognized the BI-LO Center as one of the top 50 venues in the world.  GREENVILLE ARENA DISTRICT BOARD
The BI-LO Center is a Greenville Arena District managed facility. The Greenville Arena District Board is a political subdivision of the State of South Carolina. The nine members of the Board are nominated by County Council, and appointed by the Governor of South Carolina. Members’ three-year terms are served voluntarily, without compensation. Meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month, and the public is welcome to attend.
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Posted in Arts, Performance | Leave a comment

Feel Like A Show?

Peace Center at Night, Greenville, South Carol...
After living in Chicago for over 10 years the one thing I really missed down here in SC was Broadway shows and even those small little out of the way theater shows.  Well I can tell you that living here in the Upstate does not mean you have to miss out on anything.  There are plenty of places to go for a good Broadway style performance and small home grown theaters.  Here is a partial list of a few in this area. For a fuller list you can visit Upcountry South Carolina.
Bi-Lo Center
650 N. Academy St., Greenville, SC 29601
Phone: (864) 467-0008
Alternate Phone: (864) 241-3800
The BI-LO Center is a state-of-the-art 15,000 seat sports and entertainment arena. The entertainment industry has consistently recognized the BI-LO Center as one of the top 50 venues in the world.
Brooks Center for the Performing Arts
221-B Brooks Center, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634
Phone: (864) 656-7787
Clemson University’s premier performing arts center. presents the best in professional, community and student performances at affordable rates.
Chapman Cultural Center
200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306
Phone: (864) 542-2787
The Chapman Cultural Center is a three-building cultural campus bringing together the performing and visual arts, science and history in a variety of hands-on interactive exhibits, art and dance studios and an intimate 500 seat proscenium theater.
Civic Center of Anderson
3027 Mall Rd., Anderson, SC 29625
Phone: (864) 260-4800
This 37,000+-square foot state-of-the-art multi-use facility provides a Conference Center, Exhibition Hall, entertainment Arena, and much, much more!
149 S.Daniel Morgan Ave., Suite 2, Spartanburg, SC 29306
Phone: 864-582-0056
The front line of creative culture in downtown, offers more than 100 nights of art, culture and entertainment a year in the Showroom Gallery and Performance Hall.
Peace Center for the Performing Arts
300 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601
Phone: (864) 467-3000
Alternate Phone: 1-800-888-7768
Broadway, opera, pop stars and classical music … you’ll find it all at the Peace Center.
Performing Arts Center University of South Carolina – Upstate
800 University Way,, Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: (864) 503-5207
This 450-seat theater serves the community as well as the University of South Carolina Upstate.
Rainey Fine Arts Center of Anderson University
316 Boulevard St., Anderson, SC 29621
Phone: 864-231-2000
Alternate Phone: 800-542-3594
A comprehensive arts complex serving the performing and visual arts needs of the university and the Anderson community. With three performing venues, the Rainey Center presents university performances as well as community events such as GAMAC.
Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
385 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: (864) 582-8107
SC’s largest theater with 3,400 permanent seats. Excellent acoustics, computerized sound system and elegant surroundings make this a popular place for a variety of performances, from Broadway plays to ballets to country concerts.
Timmons Arena
3300 Poinsett Hwy., Greenville, SC 29613
Phone: (864) 294-3267
Located on the beautiful Furman University campus, Timmons Arena seats 5,000 for sporting events and 5,500 for concerts and other events. The facility serves as the home of the Furman basketball and volleyball teams.
Twichell Auditorium
580 E. Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29302
Phone: (864) 596-9725
Acclaimed for its outstanding acoustics, Twichell auditorium has hosted such famed artists as Tony Bennett, Chet Atkins, George Burns, Duke Ellington, Burl Ives, Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, and Marilyn Horne.
Walhalla Civic Auditorium
101 E. North Broad Street, Walhalla, SC 29691
Phone: 864-638-5277
Alternate Phone: 1-877-368-5318
A wide variety of performances ranging from Doc Watson to Glen Miller have graced our stage. Audiences have enjoyed the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and reminisced with the Taffetas and the Great American Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival.
William A. Floyd Amphitheatre
Anderson Sports & Entertainment Center, 3027 Mall Road, Anderson, SC 29625
Phone: (864) 260-4800
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Not All History Is A Proud History

Angry Mob Never Convicted After Beating, Shooting Willie Earle In 1947

Not all of the history of the Upstate is proud history but it is still history none the less.  I believe some things should not be forgotten as we can learn from the past and move forward in a more positive and productive way.  That is the case from the following story posted on the WYFF News 4 web page by
GREENVILLE, S.C. — History records list the 1947 lynching of Willie Earle as an unsolved murder.  Earle was arrested and jailed as a suspect in the murder of a white cab driver in February of that year.  A few days after being thrown in jail, an angry mob went there, took Earle out and beat and shot him to death on Bramlett Road.
Strom Thurmond was governor at the time and promised swift justice.  Twenty-eight cab drivers were quickly arrested and put on trial at the old Greenville County Courthouse in downtown Greenville. Historians wrote that the cab drivers signed confessions and even bragged about what they did.  After a two-week trial in front of an all white jury, the cab drivers were found not guilty and acquitted on all charges.  The lynching and court case have now become one of the most notorious crimes and controversial court decisions in the city’s history.
On Thursday, two historical markers will be unveiled in honor of Earle and speak of what many called the unjust treatment he received. The unveiling of the markers will take place at 10 a.m. at the downtown Hughes Library. Then the markers will be placed at the old Greenville County Courthouse on Main Street and the other on Bramlett Road.Organizers of the event said several members of Earle’s family will be at the ceremony, as will historians, lawmakers and pastors.
Sean Muserallo, WYFF News 4 Digital Reporter


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Gas Prices Rising in the Upstate

Gas prices have been going up and up and in some places have reached $3.00 a gallon.  Issues in the middle east and especially Libya have sent oil prices up 6% to $95.00 a barrel.  So how do you find the cheapest gas in your area?  Shop the area when out and about and you can use a great website called GasBuddy.com.  Want to save gas?  Plan your trips, keep your vehicle in good working order and tire pressure is a big help in saving gas.
WYFF News 4 came up with these area stations and prices as of this posting.
    Asheville, N.C.  
  • $3.07 @ Enmark, 825 Tunnel Rd
  • $3.08 @ Quality 901 New Leicester Hwy
  • $3.08 @ Enmark, 203 Merrimon Ave
  • $3.09 @ Citizens Fuel, 411 Merrimon Ave
  • $3.11 @ Ingles, 35 Tunnel Rd
Spartanburg, S.C.
  • $2.87 @ Hess ,1795 E Blackstock Rd & Old Georgia Rd
  • $2.89 @ 76 ,1796 E Blackstock Rd & Old Georgia Rd
  • $2.95 @ Sunoco, 1808 Asheville Hwy near Hearon Circle
  • $2.96 @ Kangaroo Express, 688 E Main St
  • $3.02 @ Kangaroo Express, 691 N Pine St
Greenville, SC
  • $2.91 @ CITGO, 1461 N Pleasantburg Dr
  • $2.94 @ Exxon, 1901 SC-187 S & Dobbins Bridge Rd
  • $2.95 @ WilcoHess, 2500 Poinsett Hwy
  • $2.95 @ RaceWay, 1116 Woodruff Road
  • $2.98 @ Kangaroo 1609 W. Blue Ridge Drive
Anderson, SC
  • $2.92 @ Stop-N-Go, 1475 SC-28 Bypass near Whitehall Rd
  • $2.93 @ RaceWay, 4606 Clemson Blvd & Interstate Blvd
  • $2.94 @ Exxon, 1901 SC-187 S & Dobbins Bridge Rd
  • $2.95 @ Spinx, 2206 N Main & Concord Ave
  • $2.95 @ CITGO, 1500 E Greenville St & Rantowles Rd
Update:  CNN just reported that oil prices have hit $100.00 a barrel at 1:00 PM EST today.
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Upstate Historic Attractions

Flag-map of South Carolina
Looking for some historic sites to visit in the Upstate now that the weather is getting nicer?  Well there are a lot of places that are close by and would make a nice day trip or you can visit several over a weekend with ease.  Below is a few of those places and you can see a larger list of places and things to do in the Upstate at Upstate South Carolina.

McBee Chapel

The chapel designed by Vardry McBee’s millwright, John Adams, is one of the few remaining octagonal churches in America and dates back to 1841. 1 mile south of SC Hwy. 291 on US 25, turn east on Fork Shoals Rd. in the town of Conestee.

Campbell’s Covered Bridge

The bridge was built in 1909 and is the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina. From US Hwy. 25 north of Travelers Rest, take State Rd. 414 through Tigerville. Turn right on Pleasant Hill Road, right on Campbell’s Bridge Road and travel approximately 1/4 mile to bridge.

Poinsett Bridge

The oldest bridge in SC, completed in 1820, is part of the original state road connecting Greenville to Asheville. It is one of the most significant historic structures in South Carolina. The bridge has been granted Heritage Trust Preserve status. From US Hwy. 25 N., 2 miles northwest of SC Hwy. 11, turn onto Old US Hwy. 25. Travel 3.2 miles and turn right onto Callahan Mountain Rd. Travel 2.2 miles and bridge is on left.

Suber’s Mill

2002 Suber Mill Rd.
Greer, SC 29650
(864) 877-5616
The mill, built circa 1908, still grinds corn using water power. Open M-F 8am-5pm. Grinds Tu and F 8:30-11:30am; Sa 8am-noon. No grinds Saturdays.
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GHS Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail

GHS Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail

Official logo of Greenville, South Carolina
If you are looking for a place that you can run, walk or bike that is close to home here in the Upstate then you need to check out the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  It is a wonderful trail and very easy to navigate.  It is well maintained and even patrolled by local law enforcement for safety and security of it’s users.  Check it out next time you want to get out.
Greenville Hospital System Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail is a 13.55 (Northern end – across from North Greenville Medical campus of the Greenville Hospital  System to  the Southern end at Greenville Tech in the City of Greenville) mile walking/biking trail that runs along the Reedy River connecting Travelers Rest with the City of Greenville.
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Simpsonville, SC

Simpsonville, SC

Greenville County, South Carolina
Simpsonville, SC is the small town with a big surprise.  With a population of around 15,000 you would think it was not much to get off of I-385 to see but you could be wrong.  One of the biggest and newest features to Simpsonville is the newly named Charter Communications Amphitheatre at Heritage Park.  This park and outdoor entertainment theater offer everything from picnic areas, walking paths, a baseball and softball complex and of course the amphitheater.  Concerts are a plenty during the summer months and throughout the spring and fall.  Heritage Park is also home to Freedom Weekend Aloft which takes place during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Simpsonville also boasts a multi-screen theater which includes a giant IMAX which is 3D capable.  So this spring and summer, or anytime, come on out to Heritage Park and enjoy the park and some of what Simpsonville has to offer the whole family.
There are many other surprises in Simpsonville as well.  Small community shops, great places to eat and friendly people.  You can walk down Main St. and shop the small stores or cross over the railroad track to the ice cream shop in the old train station.  A nice hometown feel without feeling out in the middle of nowhere.
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Springtime In February

Springtime In February

Governor's Rock - Table Rock, SC
Do we get spoiled by the beautiful weather that we are enjoying here in the Upstate or do we stay real about it and just enjoy it as long as it lasts?  Tough question, I know.  Personally I am ready for the warmer southern spring that I know is a few weeks down that weather road.  The next 10 days, for the moment, show above average temperature and very little precipitation.  I have even noticed some trees already budding, sure hope it’s not to early for them.  I’m in the enjoy it when you can get it mode for now.
Anyone else notice the number of people at work getting sick with colds and flu?  The Upstate seems to be having an increase in this occurrence.  I am out today with a terrible cold a slight fever trying to get rid of it so I don’t return to work a make everyone else I work with sick.  I guess it’s all part of this early spring.  Enjoy it but take care of your health as well so you are not just enjoying it from a bedroom window.

Blogging The Upstate

Map of South Carolina highlighting "The U...
Welcome to Blogging The Upstate.  This will be a blog dedicated to the life and times of what the Upstate of South Carolina have to offer from business, sports, schools, cities, higher education, agriculture and the people that comprise the Upstate.  Having NOT been born and raised in the South or the Upstate I have come to love the area, the people and the beautiful surrounding of this area of South Carolina.  I am hoping to help expand the local history, events and other activities that go on year round by using this blog as a guide.
Wikipedia describes the Upstate as follows:
The Upstate is the region in northwestern South Carolina, United States, also known as The Upcountry, which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the 10 counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. The region’s population was 1,220,542 at the 2000 Census. A July 1, 2009 United States Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 1,359,699. The Upstate is the fastest growing region in the state, and given its strategic position between Atlanta and Charlotte, future development and growth prospects are bright. After BMW’s initial investment, foreign companies especially from Germany have made a substantial presence in the Upstate, and several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the region. Greenville is the largest city in the region and the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg is the second largest city in the region. The third largest city in the region is Anderson.