The 2019 Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee got off to a great start on Friday night as an estimated 8,000 people enjoyed the rides and music entertainment of Thompson Square and Mark Chesnutt. Saturday morning greeted us with sunshine and crowded streets as our community and guests enjoyed the over 150 craft vendors, 26 food vendors and live entertainment on three stages. Shout out to First Baptist Church for adding stage 3 and carnival games to the 2019 festival. Rain showers at the end of the day may have lightened the Saturday night crowd for the Spin Doctors and Whiskey Run but not the spirit as those in attendance were treated to great music.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors who helped make the entertainment on the main stage free of charge to our community and visitors. Our community festival keeps growing and getting better every year, but his would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Please continue to support our sponsors as they make our event possible: University Health Care System, WRDW/WAGT 12/26, iHeart Media, South State Bank, R.D. Brown Contractors, Benesch, Bridgestone, Crowne Plaza, The Hammond's Ferry Foundation, Augusta Chiller, Augusta GreenJackets, Augusta Coca-Cola, Cherry Bekaert, Communigraphics, Friends with Benefits, AB Beverage, Phillip Hawkins Motor Company, EZGO, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the city of North Augusta.

Last big shout out to our departing city administrator, Todd Glover. In a meeting with Todd shortly after he became city administrator of North Augusta, Todd and I were reviewing the Parks, Recreation and Tourism events and got to the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee. We exchanged ideas about the festival and then Todd looked me in the eye and said “Go big or go home!” That has been the theme for the fall festival since his arrival and Todd has worked side by side with city employees and volunteers from the planning committee to the setup and the finish of each Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee.

This coming Saturday we celebrate the conclusion of our 2019 Youth Football program with the 39th Annual Rotary Bowl. This year’s event will be played at North Augusta High School with the first game of the day scheduled for 9 a.m. and the final game of the day scheduled for 4:40 p.m. There will be lots of exciting football action in this single elimination format and the day includes a cheerleading exhibition from 1:40 p.m. until 3:20 p.m. plus our 5- and 6-year-old flag football exhibition. The Jackets Nest at North Augusta High School will provide a great venue for the young people as they get to experience the sports turf field, the chance to run through the giant inflatable NA and the opportunity to see themselves on the video board in the end zone. Our youth football program consists of youngsters ages 5-12. There are 269 football players and 170 cheerleaders in this year’s program. Come on out and support our young people as all profits from this event go to fund Rotary Club scholarships for North Augusta High School and Fox Creek High School seniors heading to college.

With our fall sport activities winding down, it’s time to look ahead to the upcoming youth basketball program. Registration for youth basketball is now in progress and runs through Nov. 20. You may register at the Riverview Park Activities Center or use our online registration at northaugusta.net. Leagues are available for children ages 4-18 and include recreation leagues and competitive leagues.