The Hell Hole Swamp Festival is taking place this Friday and Saturday (May 7 ,8) in Jamestown, South Carolina, a little town near Pickens in the Upstate.
Now in its 39th year, Jamestown Administrator Chris Pipkin says the Hell Hole Swamp Festival is working to maintain its traditional image of beauty pageants, cook-offs, a parade and talent show, even arm wrestling and… the children’s spitting contest. Spitting contest?
You know, it used to be a tobacco spittin’ contest. Adults used to do it. And, usually our politicians used to be the winners of it. But, it kind of dwindled down, because tobacco’s nasty.
Pipkin says the children use chocolate, instead of tobacco …”because tobacco’s nasty.”
The festival is largely a fundraiser for community programs and projects, one being the maintenance of a monument that memorializes local men who were killed in Iraq.
So aren’t we all just a little bit curious as to where the name for “Hell Hole Swamp” came from? Pipkin has heard a few stories, but the one she likes best is that Francis Marion named it when he came through during the Revolutionary War.
History says that when Francis Marion was coming through, he was here and said, “Boy this is a hell of a hole.” But, he didn’t say “boy,” though.
The festival will offer rides, games, arts and crafts exhibits, food concessions, music and much more, concluding with fireworks at dusk.
Now about the beauty pageant, “Miss Hell Hole Swamp Festival Beauty Queen.” Hmmm. I guess when it comes to beauty pageant resumes, a win’s a win.
(Listen to Susan’s report, mp3 :55) Listen to Susan’s report mp3 :55