Thursday Is Camden and Kershaw County’s Big Day

N. P. Gettys Farmer-Mayor Will Preside

Camden, October 7. – Camden and Kershaw county’s day of days will step into the spotlight Thursday, when the second annual cotton festival, originated last year through the efforts of the Camden chamber of commerce, is held.

There is every indication that the 1939 festival will overshadow the maiden effort of a year ago, in that the preparations are being carried out on a more elaborate scale, especially in regard to the mammoth parade and the exquisite coronation ball.

The executive committee, headed by Henry G. Garrison, banker and agriculturist, is meeting with fine cooperation from the city and county administrative groups, from civic and service organizations and from the buisness men.

With the Charleston Police band pouring forth the strains of “Happy Days Are Here Again” at 10 o’clock in the morning in front of the Camden city hall, Mayor F. N. McCorkle will formally turn the reins of government over to Farmer-Mayor N. P. Gettys, a leader of the Kershaw county farmer group. As Farmer-Mayor Gettys takes over the city government, he will have six farmer-councilmen with him, they being: L. P. Rose of Blaney, W. A. Boykin of Boykin, R. C. Jones of Liberty Hill, J. W. Sowell of Kershaw, M. G. King of Bethune and J. B. McCoy of near Camden. D. G. McLeod of Blaney will step into the shoes of the chief of police.

King Cotton has already announced he is abdicating his throne in order that Queen Cotton may preside over the festivities. As to who Queen Cotton will be is a mystery which will not be cleared until the gorgeous float carrying the queen and her court sweeps down the avenues in the big parade. There are seven of Camden’s fairest girls seeking the honor of being queen. Form the list of seven one will be named for the highest honor of the day. The remaining six will constitute the ladies-in-waiting for the queen.

The young ladies who have been named by civic and service organizations as candidates for the queenship are the Mises Helen Wall, Wilhelmina Strak, Emily Zemp, Jane Trantham, Martha Gettys. Marjory Salmond and Barbara Zemp.

The mantle and crown to be worn by the queen is on display in the window of the Fashion shop, corner DeKalb and Broad streets. The queen’s gown is being designed by Mrs. J. Blackwell and Miss Sara Steadman and the actual work of making it will be done by the NYA girls.

The committee having in charge the float program has announced that instead of having an industrial float division, there will be a division for rural community floats. Under the miscellaneous division will be floats of comic, unusual and unique design. Organization floats will appear in another division and agricultural floats in a fourth division. At the executive committee meeting last week fully 16 to 20 floats were reported as being planned. All organizations sponsoring floats must report entries to Mrs. John Mullen, committee chairman, before the parade.

The judges of the floats in the parade will be: John Whitaker, Jr., the Rev. A. D. McArn, Maj. Moultrie Brailsford, Mrs. Maxine Nettles and Mrs. Alice C. Mayre.

The judges of the cotton entries will be: Thomas Ancrum, Boykin Rhame and W. E. Stevenson. The committee in charge of the reception of distinguished visitors will be headed by Bolivar Boykin and will include Austin Sheeheen and R. M. Kennedy, 3rd.

Distinguished guest, with Adjutant General James Dozier as guest speaker will be dined at the Camden Hotel at 1 o’clock, with Chairman H. G. Garrison opening the post prandial program by introducing Senator M. M. Johnson, toastmaster for the occasion. Mayor F. N. McCorkle will deliver the welcome from the city and the response will be made by Farmer-Mayor N. P. Gettys.

Three bands will be in Camden for the festival. They are the Charleston Police band, the University of South Carolina band and the Lancaster high school band.

Interesting features of the parade will be the appearance of the Hartsville and Camden National Guard units.

Camden has already taken on a gala appearance for the festival and county fair, which is held all week. Flags and bunting are everywhere in evidence the city contracting with the J. E. Roberts and Son company of Charlotte to decorate all light standards and place streamers of bunting overhead, and also build the float for the queen and her court.

Band concerts by the Charleston band and the University of South Carolina band will begin at 10 o’clock. Following the induction of the farmer-mayor and council into office, the program of sports and contests under the direction of Donald Morrison will be started in Hampton park. A public address system will be installed to enable the crowd to hear the hog calling and husband calling contests and to announce events.

At 1 o’clock the guest dinner will be served at the Camden hotel. The parade will begin to organize at 2 o’clock and will move at 3. A group of eight to ten planes will wing their way from the airport to hover over the city at 3 o’clock. As the parade reaches the business district the planes will swing into formation and fly over the streets, scattering a snowfall of confetti over the crowds.

The parade will march from Hampton park west on DeKalb to Broad and thence south on Broad street to the fair grounds where the Kershaw County fair is in progress. The parade will reach the grounds in time for the annual dog show.

The festival committee has arranged with the state and city police to clear the streets in the line of march of parked cars. In this connection all merchants and professional men are being asked to refrain from parking their cars in the business area during the day.

The state highway department will have a safety first float, 30 squad cars and 20 motorcycle cars in the parade, all to be decorated.

Members of the Hartsville military group, together with the Charleston and South Carolina bands, will be given dinner at the Camden restaurants.

The coronation ball will start at 9 p.m. and continue until 1 a.m. the coronation of the queen will take place at 9:30 o’clock. A throne will be erected at one end of the high school gymnasium, while at the other end, a well-know ten-piece orchestra under the direction of Vinvent Eiserman, will play. A general invitation has been extended to the public to attend the ball. The balconies will be reserved for spectators.

A feature of the parade which is attracting much attention is the cash awards to be given to the three best entries of harnessed mules. Prizes are also to be given in the cotton competition.

Substantial cash awards will be given winner of the several float divisions while cash will also be awarded winners of the various contests and sports events.

Word has been received from Congressman J. P. Richards that he will make an effort to hurry down from Washington to be present a part of the day. President McKissick, Dean Chase and Dean Olson of the state university have sent in their acceptances, as have Mayor Owens of Columbia. Assemblymen Estridge and Clyburn, Senator Jeff Bates of Columbia, Mayor Creech of Sumter. Ben Sawyer, state highway commissioner, Col. Bill Glenn and others.

It was announced by the executive committee that rain or shine the coronation ball will take place Thursday night. In case of inclement weather Thursday the festival contest will be postponed to Friday.

October 8, 1939  State (published as The State) 
 Columbia, South Carolina
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