Hitchcock Woods: Our treasure

Hitchcock Woods is among the largest urban forests in the nation, with about 2,100 acres of forestland resources. With 70 miles of sandy trails, access to the stunning variety of our ecosystem is there for the viewing.

Once owned and enjoyed by Louise and Thomas Hitchcock, this longleaf pine forest has retained its natural character and cultural heritage. Thanks to donor support, residents and our visitors are invited to enjoy this treasure at no charge, whether we are equestrians, hikers, dog walkers or joggers. Hitchcock Woods is open to the public from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.

On Sept. 26-27, a new annual event, Festival of the Woods, will be held. There will be a ticketed dinner on Friday. The Saturday plans include tours, exhibits and family activities.

Dr. Harry Shealy, chairman of the Board of Trustees, has tapped Dr. Ken Perrine to be honorary chair of this exciting new event.

Wife Nancy and Dr. Ken have long supported The Woods. Over the years, Ken has created a book of wildflower photos, an easy-to-use app (android and iPhone versions), and articles for numerous publications. Learn more at www.hitchcockwoods.org/enjoy/calendar_of_events.

A-Style Wings get raves

I have it on good authority that the new A-Style Wings place, at 1860 Richland Ave. W., next to Knights Inn, is worth a try. On Aug. 15, there was even a special event for kids heading back to school. Looks like community spirit abounds. Always glad to see a vacant location be utilized again. Wings, waffles, chicken, tenders, burgers, shrimp, fish and sandwiches are offered.

Artists of Cedar Creek exhibition downtown

Over a dozen resident artists of the Cedar Creek community will exhibit their work from Sept. 8-27 at the Aiken Center for the Arts, 122 Laurens St. S.W. Works will include paintings, drawings, mixed media, pastels, photography, wood carvings, pottery and jewelry.

An artist reception will be provided by Cedar Creek Living magazine and its sponsors and is open to the public. This celebration takes place on Sept. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call artist Susan Pickett at 803-644-0923.

Coming up first at the Aiken Center for the Arts are Guild Gallery artists Anne Rauton Smith and Judy Adamick. They will have a reception on Sept. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Their work will be featured Sept. 2-26. One can see both exhibitions throughout most of September, while enjoying the delightful gifts offered at the gift shop up front.

‘Music Man’ will be no trouble in this city

Brad King is such an Aiken favorite performer. I cannot wait to hear him race through the words Harold Hill must sing describing “Trouble in River City”! The show will be held at the URS Center for Performing Arts, 126 Newberry St. S.W., on Sept. 5-14. Lisa Tharp Bernard is perfect as Marian the Librarian. Having a live orchestra to play those familiar toe-tappers by composer Meredith Wilson makes this a must-have ticket. Visit www.aikencommunity-playhouse.us or call 803-648-1438 for specifics.

4D theater at S.C. State Museum

When traveling to Columbia, consider a stop at the S.C. State Museum. One of the largest planetariums in the Southeast has opened there, revitalized and offering the latest technology. This museum is at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia. I knew there was a California Dreamin’ near the train station off Gervais St. Now, this is another strong reason to head there, when making a weekend outing of attending a Gamecocks’ football game.

Mid-Day Lions have September event

To support their scholarship fund, The Aiken Mid-Day Lions will hold their Annual Wine Tasting (water, soft drinks and beer are also available) at Banksia, the Aiken County Historical Museum on Sept. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and can be obtained by calling Lion Pat Friday at 803-648-8258 or Lion Ellen Heim at 803-648-9141 or ordered by email at AikenMidDayLions@gmail.com. The event will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres, music and a silent auction. Last year’s event allowed the Aiken Mid-Day Lions to give four $1,000 scholarships to graduation high school seniors, $2,000 each to a USC Aiken student and to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind and to award two past high school scholarship recipients with $750 each toward next year’s college expenses.

ALS bucket brigades

Of all the ice dunking videos these past couple of weeks, my favorite was that of Kermit the Frog! You can find it online. It was a tradition in our home for years when my family was young to stay up on Labor Day Weekend if possible, watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon for MDA. Money was earmarked for ALS as part of the fundraising. In the Midwest, school started right after Labor Day. Still does in many locations.

Yappy Hour

The name made me smile! SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, is hosting an event Sept. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music, a cash bar, and open dog park. Visit www.letlovelive.org for more details.

Midge Rothrock has degrees in communications and an MBA and writes each month in the Aiken Standard’s Mature Times. Send story ideas for “A Smidge with Midge” to Rothrock at smidge@atlanticbb.net.