Well, hello…winter?!

Seriously, it was spring a minute ago, wasn’t it?!  I wondered on Sunday if I had gone to sleep in March and somehow managed to wake up in November, but the absence of a long, white beard convinced me that I wasn’t Rip Van Winkle.  However, we need all this rain to turn the grass green and coax the flowers to full bloom, and by the time it warms up again (next week, supposedly), spring will be here in all its glory, and the pollen washed away so that people can begin enjoying outdoor activities.

In the meantime, there’s plenty to do indoors!  Here’s a sampling of things to get you out of the house and get your blood (and your brain) moving:

  • Belly dancing, karate, bridge, clogging and line dancing at the Sumter County Recreation Department (155 Haynsworth Street, call 803-436-2640)
  • Activities at the Sumter County Library, including weekly classes starting on April 19th at 5:30 p.m., and monthly poetry workshops (111 North Harvin Street, call 803-773-7273)
  • Second Saturday Art Program for Children ages 4-12 at the Sumter County Gallery of Art,  Pottery with Laura Cardello and Screen Printing with Frank McCauley (200 Hasel Street, call 803-775-0543)
  • Sumter’s House of Classics II featuring Duck Soup at the Sumter Opera House (21 North Main Street), April 1st at 7:30 p.m.  (And who doesn’t love the Marx Brothers?)

Most classes and programs are held in the evenings and are either free or at nominal cost.  So, whether you’re looking for something to do with yourself, or with those family members or friends who may drop in from out of town, there’s no need to sit at home.

With April coming on fast, the list of things to do will heat up just as quickly as the temperatures!  Just a few highlights:

  • The Sumter County Gallery of Art is presently hosting an Emerging Artist’s Series featuring the works of Amanda Cox and Michael Broadway at the Patriot Hall Gallery through May 6.  In the meantime, Joe Walters: A Mid-Career Retrospective and Anne Lemanski: Touch and Go will remain on display in the main gallery until April 22.  For more information, click here.
  • The Young Professionals of Sumter present their annual Chili Cook-Off and Beer Tasting at the Sumter County Museum on March 31.  Enjoy a night of live entertainment, more than 20 microbrews and all the chili you can hold!  Advance tickets are $30 ($40 at the door), and can be purchased at the Museum (803-775-0908).
  • Fire Ants baseball season is here at USC Sumter, with the next scheduled games against Coker College (March 29), and Spartanburg Methodist College (April 2-3).  Games begin at 1 p.m. at beautiful Riley Park, with $5 admission for adults and $2 for children.  Military discount available with ID!
  • Sports don’t stop in Sumter, and the Palmetto Tennis Center will host the One Day Adult Shoot-out on April 2.  This USTA/SC Level V event, presented by Nationwide Insurance, features doubles and mixed doubles, and lots of excitement!

Now, it’s just possible that you may be scratching your head and saying, “How come I don’t know about all of this stuff?”  Let me assure you, there are lots of ways to stay in the loop.  The Swan Lake Visitors Center produces an annual printed calendar that features all the major events, but new ones keep coming up all the time, so to help you stay on top of what’s happening, we also offer our new Facebook fan page and an online events calendar at http://www.sumtersc.gov/.  If you really want to know everything that’s going on in town, you can subscribe to our weekly e-mail events listing by contacting Susan Wild at swild@sumter-sc.com (Susan won’t mind—I promise!).  If Susan’s calendar doesn’t contain something that interests you, then you might need to consider getting a hobby…okay, I’m kidding, but let me sign off with one thing that is definitely not said in jest:

Anyone who says “There’s nothing to do in Sumter!” needs to get out more.  Really!

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