Festival commemorating Revolutionary War begins in Gaffney

GAFFNEY, SC (WSPA/Press release)- The SC Humanities Festival is coming to Gaffney this week. It celebrates the area’s Revolutionary War history and commemorates the Overmountain Men march to Kings Mountain.

The 2017 South Carolina Humanities Festival will begin on Thursday, October 5th at the Cherokee County History Museum for living encampment demonstrations from 10am-4pm – continuing Thursday evening from 7pm-9pm and Friday, October 6th from 10am-4pm. The City of Gaffney has partnered with the Cherokee County History and Arts Museum, Cherokee County History and Preservation Society, the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, and others to provide demonstrations of living history and Life in the Days of Colonial Living. There will be more than fifteen stations set up featuring demonstrations of weaving, toys and games, colonial weapons, clothing, redcoats, music, and other colonial period and revolutionary war displays.

Also, on Thursday from 4pm-6pm, the Cherokee Alliance of Visual Artists (CAVA) has partnered with the City of Gaffney to host the festival reception. More than 300 invitations have been sent, including to representatives of five families that will be hanging their respective ancestor’s local history in the Revolutionary War Exhibition Hall of the Gaffney Visitors Center and Art Gallery. Sons of Liberty (three brothers who are award-winning fiddlers) will provide musical entertainment. Also, artist Thomas Kelly Pauley will speak of his exhibit on display in the gallery, Faces of the Revolution. The Visitors Center staff worked with Mr. Pauley to provide information for each of his twenty-eight portraits, particularly where the subject could be connected to the present-day Gaffney area, to the State of South Carolina and to the region. Mr. Pauley is from Rock Hill, South Carolina. A number of his works contributed to the SC ETV production The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. This series of videos, the first nine mini-documentaries, was produced in 2016 – three of the nine being The Battle of Kings Mountain, the Battle of Cowpens, and the story of the Overmountain Men.

Spartanburg author Sheila Ingle will be in the lobby of the Gaffney Visitors Center with her book Courageous Kate. A fictional biography for young adults, Courageous Kate: A Daughter of the American Revolution is the compelling account of a heroine and a young mother who rode out from her Carolina backcountry home to warn Patriot militias of enemies on the move. Kate Moore Barry served as a scout and a spy and is credited with helping Gen. Daniel Morgan defeat the British at the Battle of Cowpens, a turning point in the war for independence. Mrs. Ingle weaves together history, folklore and fiction to create a memorable story about three generations of Scots-Irish settlers who built a life in the wilderness of the South Carolina Upcountry during the 1700s.

Wrapping up the two hours of festivities in the Visitors Center will be Marc Anthony (with the South Carolina Sons of the American Revolution) presenting History of the Flags. The Overmountain men will lead this year’s March on Main. Led by a drummer and fifer, they will depart the Visitors Center at 6:15 to march to the cabin, where reenactor Richard Luce will tell the story “The War Comes to the South.” Upon conclusion of the story, a wreath will be laid on Col. James Williams grave (approximately 6:45pm).

The City will then join event partners at the Cherokee County History and Arts Museum, where the Cherokee County Historical and Preservation Society (CHAPS) will host A Night at the Museum. During this event (7pm-9pm), living history encampments will be on the grounds (free to the public), Sons of Liberty (free to the public) will provide music from the pavilion, and CHAPS will host their annual fundraiser, In the Spirit of the Revolution, a guided ghost walk/tour on the grounds with stories of local revolutionary spirits. (reservations and tickets are required for this event)

At 6pm, the city will join partners of the National Park Service, at Cowpens for the annual Night Before Kings Mountain outdoor drama. Then on Saturday, festivities will move to Kings Mountain for the celebration of its 237th anniversary.