A map posted on the Sheriff’s JeepFest Facebook page caught our eye. It had pins that showed the location JeepFest participants traveled from – and it was impressive. A lion’s share of travelers were from Georgia, but a ton made the trip from Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Maine, New York and even Washington state.
While giving tours at the Old Jail Friday night, our editor talked to a vendor who had come from California for the weekend and a family from Pennsylvania.
The family said they had found two or three Jeep events/attractions in the south and were making this a true vacation throughout the area with JeepFest in Jasper being a big part of the draw.
That is what real tourism looks like – people traveling from far and wide to our little county for a weekend of fun, setting up RVs, renting hotels, eating at our restaurants, shopping at our stores. We know some locals could go without the traffic an influx of thousands of Jeeps create, but we think the delays are more than worth it.
We’re proud that JeepFest has become woven into the fabric of our community over the last 10 years, and we’re grateful for the countless hours of work the organizers and their volunteers do to organize it.
We love to see Pickens residents, business owners, and volunteers get excited about something that does so much for a good cause – and also puts our little town on the map. Businesses put out banners to welcome Jeepers and hold special events of their own, and there is a general sense of excitement in the air that only comes this time of year. It really is exciting.
Some people were critical that the Sheriff’s Foundation would host the event with an uptick of COVID-19 cases, but we agree the show needed to go on. It is held outside, and people are free to make the decision to come or not come depending on their comfort level. The same went for businesses who could take safety precautions as they saw fit. With 2,500 registered Jeepers here this year, plus an untold number spectating for free, the event was as big as ever.
Let’s celebrate another great JeepFest event. We can’t wait to see how this event continues to grow and impact our community in the future.
Attend 9/11 ceremony to remember lives lost
It was 20 years ago that nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, an attack on American soil. The nation was gripped in disbelief and terror as they watched two commercial airliners crash into the Twin Towers, then watched live as those towers collapse. In Washington D.C., a third commercial plane crashed into the Pentagon and another in a Pennsylvania field.
The tragedy created a powerful sense of national unity, which ceremonies like the one to be held in Pickens County recreate on a small but personal scale.
We realize September 11th has been named Patriot Day be we’ll stick with “9/11,” which is burned into our collective psyche after 20 years. When Americans hear 9/11, it evokes an emotional response – people remember where they were at; they remember how they felt; they think about how it changed our country forever.
Yes, we all know immediately what “9/11” means. (This also keeps us from getting the day confused with Patriot’s Day with an “s,” which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord near Boston in 1775.)
We encourage everyone to attend the local 9/11 20th anniversary ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park and honor the victims and the families of those victims. The event is being organized by local veterans groups that day. It begins at 11:30 a.m.
The Progress thanks the Marine Corps League Det. #1280, American Legion Post #149, and the Disabled American Veterans, for organizing the event and making it possible for us to come together in solidarity as a nation.