In its 34th year, the Clarendon County Striped Bass Festival is “THE BIGGEST.” The Festival is a celebration of spring, a tribute to the beauty of our county, and a special salute to the Striped Bass, which put the Santee Cooper Lakes–Marion and Moultrie–and Clarendon County on the fishing map of the world.
The Striped Bass Festival is a fitting, fun way to bring together the citizens of our county and the many great visitors who attend each year.
Each April in Clarendon County, Mother Nature puts on a show that's hard to beat. Azalea, wisteria, iris, tulips, geranium, roses, gladiola and more are in full bloom, making Clarendon County a visual treasure.
The Striped Bass Festival, sponsored by McDonald’s, complemented the natural beauty of our area with fishing and cornhole tournaments, dances, pageant, a parade, boating events and a host of other activities.
The 2013 Striped Bass Festival Pageant was held on Saturday, April 13th, at Weldon Auditorium with 72 ladies from Clarendon County competing for one of the eight titles. Clarendon School District 1’s Tap Dancing Eagles provided entertainment under the direction of Rena Walton. Photographs and list of the winners are listed here.
The Goat Island Boat Club sponsored the Poker Run at the John C. Land, III Fishing Facility on Saturday, April 20th beginning at 9:00 a.m. The weather was a bit cooler than normal, but that did not stop the crowd. Several hundred participated and enjoyed the festivities with the band Distant Couzins who performed throughout the day. The first place prize of $300 was awarded to Ronnie Cox. Second place ($200) winner was Bobby Raymond and third place ($100) winner was Travis Feagin.
The festival weekend kicked off on Friday, April 26, 2013, with a welcome from Event Chair, Ryan Way as well as remarks from Senator Kevin Johnson, Mayor Julia Nelson and County Council Chair Dwight Stewart. The Goat Island Boat Club awarded two scholarships to a deserving high school senior or college student. This year the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship was awarded to Ellen Catharine Hall, of Berkeley High School in Moncks Corner and a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Kelly Lynn Pacheco, of Calhoun County High School in St. Matthews. The street dance featuring the band Almost McGraw, a tribute band to Tim McGraw was a hit. Several vendors were in the area with children's games, carnival rides and food.
The “Super Saturday” began with a 100+ entry “Home Town” parade at 10:00 a.m. traveling down Brooks Street and Boyce Street. After the parade, everyone moved around the Clarendon County Courthouse square to purchase items, consume festival food and receive information about different organizations throughout the county from vendors. Carnival ride, children’s games and Wildlife Wonders Shows were available throughout the day for entertainment.
The City of Manning Fire Department had their doors open for everyone to view the artwork submitted into the Striped Bass Festival Student Art Show. The masterpieces on display were from children in all schools in Clarendon County.
During the festivities in downtown Manning, the Santee Cooper Open Team Tournament was taking place at the John C. Land, III Sport Fishing Facility. 91 boats headed out on Lake Marion at “safelight” and fished until 3:00 p.m. when the weigh-in occurred to see who would take home the $5,000 prize and bragging rights as winner of the 2013 Santee Cooper Open Team Tournament. The top 20 teams took home prize money and brought in anywhere from 20.38lbs – 34.80lbs of bass. The overall winners were Mark Hudson and Gary Elsey from Moncks Corner, SC. For a complete listing of winners, including Big Fish and Youth Division, please click here.
We hope you all enjoyed the festival this year and if you missed it, please make plans to attend the 35th Annual Striped Bass Festival next April. It is sure to be an event you will not forget!
For additional information, please contact the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce at 803-435-4405 or 1-800-731-LAKE (5253).