Squealin’ on the Square celebrated its 21st birthday over the weekend. A great time was had by all. And even though Hurricane Ian delayed the fun, the festival was able to shine as it has in years past.
“The weekend was perfect weather for festival goers and with all the activities around we were interested to see how the turnout would be. We were completely surprised by how well the attendance was!! Friday seemed to be a larger crowd than normal and Saturday was a little more typical with crowds coming in waves throughout the day. All of our BBQ vendors sold out before the event was over, several by 7:00 pm,” said Jonathan Irick, MSARP, Executive Director, Main Street Laurens. “Everyone seemed to have a good time with no major issues. We really appreciate all of our sponsors, especially PRTC who has been with us since the beginning, for all of their support. I also want to give a shout out to the City of Laurens, the City Police, Fire and Sanitation crews and Laurens County EMS for keeping the event safe, clean and fun for everyone.”
The festival hosted some new elements this year including the “Mayor’s Choice” award with Laurens County Cruisers, and a “People’s Choice Award” was awarded to one of the participating BBQ vendors. This year, the first annual People’s Choice Award was given to Tom Ashley of Lakeside BBQ. The Mayor, who helped create the trophy, was on hand to present it to its first recipient. Likewise, the Mayor’s Choice award was given to Kevin McGlohon of Laurens County for his 1948 Rocket 88 Oldsmobile.
City of Laurens First Responders also enjoyed meeting the youngest residents while festival goers, young and old, were able to enjoy delicious bbq, hear great live music, and take plenty of selfies in front of a large festival light display.
“It warmed my heart to see many of our Laurens residents enjoying the festival,” said Mayor Senn. “Squealin’ is such a Laurens institution, we were determined that last week’s rain delay would not stop our city from having fun! We enjoyed some new features this year, but it was good to see so many familiar faces.”
In addition to his ‘ceremonial’ duties, Mayor Senn helped sell beverages with other volunteers from Main Street Laurens. “An event like this is all-hands-on-deck,” said Senn. “Main Street Laurens works throughout the year to prepare for this special event, and our City staff always enjoys adding to that effort. But, it takes so many people who give of their time and talents to pull off a festival of this size, and we can’t thank them enough.”
On behalf of the entire City of Laurens, the Mayor would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all volunteers, sponsors, and staff for working so hard to create events Laurens residents can enjoy.
Click on the images below to check out the fun on Saturday.