Grand Marshal is former Apollo Astronaut Charles Duke; Scholarship Winner is Ben Jolly
May 6, the Johnston, SC, Peach Blossom Festival will showcase great entertainment, arts and crafts, food concessions, a parade, an area for children, a cruise-in, and much more. The popular Festival is now in its 39th year.
The parade Grand Marshal this year is Charles Duke, a former astronaut who walked on the moon 51 years ago.
The 87-year-old is one of only four living astronauts who have walked on the moon.
Charles lived in Johnston during 1943-44 before moving to Florida and later to Lancaster, SC, where Charles and his twin, Bill, were raised.
As an adult, Charles decided to follow his father into the military and went to the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a U.S. Air Force officer.
He is an American former astronaut, U.S. Air Force officer, and a test pilot. As lunar module pilot of Apollo 16 in 1972, he became the tenth and youngest person to walk on the moon at age 36.
A public reception for Charles Duke will be held at 1 p.m. at the Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce Office in downtown Johnston.
Robert Herlong Scholarship
This year, the Robert H. Herlong Scholarship Award winner is Ben Jolly.
Ben is active in the community and in his church, Edgefield First Baptist Church (EFBC).
Ben is actively involved in EFBC’s furniture and clothing ministry, the Blessed Bedzzz program, Men’s Ministry, the Baptist Association’s Churches Changing Communities 365, and vacation bible school.
Part of the furniture and clothing ministries allows him to help sort and hang donated clothing, as well as deliver clothes. He is actively involved in picking up donated furniture, organizing it in the warehouse, and delivering/setting it up in recipients’ homes.
Blessed Bedzzz is a new program with the goal of every child in Edgefield County having his/her own bed. Each recipient gets a new twin mattress, frame, pillow, and Bible.
The Men’s Ministry constructs ramps for the elderly, sick, and handicapped, and all materials and labor are free of charge.
The Strom Thurmond High School baseball and sports medicine programs also provide him with volunteer opportunities through baseball camps and weekly visits to special needs classes at JET and Strom Thurmond.
The Festival begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, when crafters and food vendors open and entertainment begins. The parade is held at 10:30 a.m. A Cruise In will bring in many vehicles for participants to enjoy. The cars will be available for viewing after the parade through about 3 p.m. in the parking lot of All About Performance (formerly Jim Satcher Motors).
All events are held in historic downtown Johnston.
The Johnston Peach Blossom Festival Premier Sponsor is AT&T.
Other Corporate Sponsors are Edgefield County Health Care, J.W. Yonce and Sons, Spanky’s Service Center/Ridge Auto Parts and Supply, US Fibers, Dominion Energy, Bridgestone, Herlong Ford, KJs Market, SRP Federal Credit Union, Creative Catering and First Citizens Bank, Johnston.
This year’s Johnston Peach Blossom Festival Entertainment Sponsors are Dr. Hugh Morgan Family Practice, Moorecraft Cabinets, Trantech Radiator Products, Pendarvis Chevrolet, Titan Farms, Generac, and Tidwell Jewelers.
Thousands of patrons descended on Johnston each year to enjoy the day set aside to honor the peach industry, which has been so important in the development of the area. Each year, the Town goes all out with the Festival to remind citizens about the peach industry and to open its arms to visitors.