Monthly Archives: October 2018

Packed House


Annie-Moses-BandIconic music from the ’70s, along with a Christmas show, will fill up your senses at the Jabez. 

From tribute artists to Christmas tunes, the Hardin Performing Arts Center will be stayin’ alive with music this month when a quartet of musical groups comes to Evans. 

The first of the four – Bee Gees Gold, The Tribute – is scheduled for Friday, November 2. With the detailed vocal stylings of John Acosta (Barry), Daryl Borges (Robin) and Jeff Celentano (Maurice) as the brothers Gibb, the trio will recreate the look and sound of the Bee Gees with hits like “Massachusetts,” “I Started a Joke,” “Stayin’ Alive” and “You Should Be Dancing.” Tickets are $39.50. 

The John Denver Musical Tribute with Ted Vigel is slated for Friday, November 9. Vigel won a celebrity look-alike contest in 2007 when he appeared as Denver, and afterward started planning a tribute show to the music icon. From 2010 to 2014, he toured with Denver’s lead guitar player, the late Steve Weisberg. “It was like working with John again,” Weisberg said at the time. Tickets are $39.50.

Live and Let Die, a Tribute to Paul McCartney featuring Tony Kishman will take place Friday, November 16. Kishman starred in the national and international tours of Broadway’s smash hit, “Beatlemania,” for years, and he also performs in the International Symphonic Beatles production, “Classical Mystery Tour.” Tickets are $44.50.

Finally, the Annie Moses Band will perform a blend of folk and classical music in its Christmas-themed show Wednesday, November 28. The band, made up of musicians from the same family, call their style “chamber pop,” a blend of classical, jazz and pop, mixed with some good, old-fashioned country. Tickets are $49. 

All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center. Dinner reservations also can be made for a meal at the center before each show. For more information or to order tickets, visit or call (706) 726-0366.

2018 County Fair Schedule


Candy-applesThe Columbia County Fair kicks off November 1 with new attractions that include Jurassic Kingdom, Banana Derby and ZEGA the Robot. Proceeds benefit area charities and provide scholarships to seniors from each Columbia County public high school. For more information, visit

Thursday, November 1
Hours: 4-11 p.m.

Admission: $7; free admission 4-4:45 p.m.

Unlimited Rides: $20

FFA Judging: 6 p.m.

Musical Entertainment: Elvis tribute artist Jason Sikes – 7 p.m.

Friday, November 2
Hours: 5 p.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20 from 9 p.m.-midnight

Musical Entertainment: Love & the Outcome

Senior Night: $5 admission for adults 55 and older with ID card

Saturday, November 3
Hours: 11 a.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: Buy unlimited ride stamp 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for $30 and use it all day

Free Ride Special: All rides free 11 a.m.-noon

Musical Entertainment: Tony Howard’s Motown Review – 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 4
Hours: 1 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7; $2 off with church bulletin

Unlimited Rides: $20

Musical Entertainment: Little Roy and Lizzie, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Monday, November 5
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Demolition Derby: 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 6
Hours: 4 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7 or free admission with 8 cans for the food bank

Unlimited Rides: $15 if purchased 4-4:30 p.m.; $20 after 4:30 p.m.

Musical Entertainment: Dayz to Come – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 7
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Musical Entertainment: Mr. Haney

UGA Georgettes Dance Team: 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 8
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Musical Entertainment: Bethany & the Southside Boys – 7 p.m.

Friday, November 9
Hours: 5 p.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20 from 9 p.m.-midnight

Demolition Derby: 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 10
Hours: 11 a.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Free Ride Special: All rides free 11 a.m.-noon

Unlimited Rides: Buy unlimited ride pass between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for $30 and use it all day

Musical Entertainment: Mayhem on a Monday

Chainsaw Carving Auction: 9 p.m. 

Sunday, November 11
Hours: 1-11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Military Appreciation Night: $4 admission with military ID

Beatles Vs. Stones


beatles vs stonesThe boys next door take on the bad boys of rock in a musical showdown for stage superiority.

The debate between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has raged ever since the two groups first crossed paths on the charts 54 years ago. Back in the day, the Beatles were regarded as the mop-topped boys next door while the Stones were the bad boys of rock. Pop versus rock. 

To settle which band reigns supreme once and for all, maybe, two tribute bands – Abbey Road and Satisfaction – will put on a musical showdown.

“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” says Chris Legrand, who plays Mick Jagger. “Now, music aficionados can watch this debate play out on stage.”

The show, which has been touring since 2011, is part of a 110-stop tour of the United States, Australia and Canada. The production includes some of the more popular songs from the two rock pioneers and covers the scope of their musical careers. However, the set list for Satisfaction usually includes Rolling Stones songs up to the 1980s. 

“They certainly have more pop songs, but we’re a really great live show. The fans are in for an incredible night of music,” says LeGrand.

During the two-hour show, the bands perform three sets each, ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well.

“Without Beatlemania, the Stones might still be a cover band in London,” said Chris Overall, who plays Paul. “There’s no question that the Beatles set the standard. It’s just a fun time and a cool back-and-forth, nonstop show.” 

Legrand agrees. “We’re going to bring it all,” he says. “It’s going to be an evening of high-energy music.”

If You Go:
What: Beatles Vs. Stones, a Musical Showdown

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 10

Where: Imperial Theatre

How Much: $25 – $65

More Info: (706) 722-8341 or

Works of Art


ChalkArtist2Artisans and entertainers take center stage at Art in the Park Fall Fest 
Creativity will be on display Saturday, October 20, at the 15th annual Arts in the Park Fall Fest, where artisans and entertainers in the area will showcase their talents. 

“From visual to performing arts, anything is fair game for Columbia County’s own fine arts festival,” says Regina Brejda, Columbia County Arts Inc. president.

The festival will feature a variety of performers including Columbia County Ballet and Musical Theatre Workshops. Fall Fest had 64 vendors from a variety of mediums last year, and event organizers are hoping to have even more artists at this year’s festival. 

“Along with music and dance, you’ll see everything from pottery, paintings and wood carvings to handmade brooms, jewelry and soaps,” Brejda says. “It’s a day of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art.” 

The popular sidewalk chalk contest will be part of the festivities again this year as well. Local elementary, middle and high schools can enter a team for a chance to win money to support their schools’ visual arts department. The individual portion of the competition begins at 10 a.m. Participants can register at the main Columbia County arts booth. Registration is $20. Categories will be divided into age brackets, and prizes will be awarded for first and second places. An overall best of show winner will be named as well. 

If You Go:
What: Art in the Park Fall Fest 

When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, October 20

Where: Columbia County Library Amphitheater

How Much: Free admission; food and beverage vendors on site

More Info:;; Regina Brejda, (706) 267-6724

Cut from the Same Cloth

Enopion Theatre Company photos courtesy of Carol Rezzelle Storyland Theatre photos courtesy of Branch Carter

Enopion Theatre Company photos courtesy of Carol Rezzelle
Storyland Theatre photos courtesy of Branch Carter

The skills of local costume designers are bursting at the seams. 

Most of us, who are so inclined, only have to come up with a costume once a year for Halloween. The costume designers at local theater companies, however, create frightfully fabulous costumes all year long. After all, they have learned the tricks of the trade to treat audiences to their otherworldly talents and creativity.

Passionate & Professional
For almost two decades, Margie Garner has made the costumes for Enopion Theatre Company, which puts on three biblical shows a year.

“Margie and I have been working together for about 30 years through church drama and then the last 20 years with Enopion,” says Carol Rezzelle, the Enopion founder and director. “She is passionate about her work and makes our productions beautiful to watch. She sews the costumes, fits them to the actor and then attends every performance making sure the costumes are pressed and on the actor correctly. I couldn’t imagine Enopion without her.”

Margie used to do all of the work herself until Mary Rhoden started helping her with the last production. It takes Margie about six to eight hours to make a costume from scratch. Since she works fulltime at a medical billing company, she sews at night and on weekends.

Fortunately, however, she can repurpose or alter some costumes. “I put them all together one way or another,” says Margie, a self-taught seamstress who started sewing when she was 9 years old. 

Storyland-The-Nightingale(Photo-credit-Branch-Carter)In Enopion’s early years, Margie made 30 or 40 costumes per show. Now that the theater company has amassed an inventory of costumes, she makes 10 to 15 for each production.

“I usually spend as much time on the costumes as the actors do memorizing their lines,” Margie says.

Since 2011, Ooollee Brickman, who owns Vintage Ooollee in Augusta, has designed and sewn the costumes for Storyland Theatre. This theater company performs three fairy tale-based shows a year, and its mission is to introduce children to theater and encourage them to support the arts into adulthood.

“Ooollee is a dynamic, professional and competent woman,” says Barbara Feldman, executive director of Storyland Theatre. “Since Storyland Theatre performs for children, I have always been careful to use different costumes for each show, not repeating a costume for several years because children pay attention and remember everything they see. Ooollee is not only a source to us. Without her, many theaters in our community would be unable to costume their actors.”

Storyland-Sleeping-Beauty(Ooollee-red-hair)Photo-credit-Branch-CarterOoollee makes three or four costumes for Storyland a year, and she also does costumes for local high school theater departments and other small theater groups.

“I love working with Storyland,” says Ooollee. “Barbara introduces children to theater for the first time. I have met people who are actors today because they got their first exposure to theater at Storyland. I think that’s a beautiful thing that happens in this community.”

Ideas & Inspiration
To get ideas for costumes, Margie relies on the Internet and YouTube to research costumes and how to make certain things. In addition, she says, “Carol pulls pictures that she wants things to look like, and we go from there.”

Sometimes Enopion rents costumes, particularly ones that won’t be used again and again, and Margie alters them if necessary. However, she welcomes every challenge for each production. For Enopion’s upcoming show, “The Nativity,” for instance, she needs to make brand new animal costumes for a lion, a duck and a lamb.

For inspiration, Ooollee says, “We meet with the director to get an idea of their vision and look to see what patterns we can find. You’re only limited by your imagination. I have a bunch of creative people that work with me.”

Storyland-Rumpelstiltskin(Photo-credit-Branch-Carter)They include her main seamstress, Kathy Gillespie, who had a costume business in California for 35 years.

“I like the creative process,” says Kathy, who learned to sew when she was 8 years old by making doll clothes. “You can create your own look. I have a good knack for seeing the whole scene.”

She reads the scripts, makes a spreadsheet about every scene and creates a costume plot for each cast member and the characters they play. Then she takes measurements, does fittings and makes alterations.

“It’s a huge process,” Kathy says of making a costume. “I build it or find it or alter it. I’m a perfectionist. It takes a long time to get everybody’s hems right and work around their schedules.”

Kathy, who made her own clothes and Halloween costumes, of course, when she was growing up, delved deeper into costuming when her daughter became interested in theater in high school. Her daughter got involved with Augusta Players when she moved to the area 20 years ago, and Kathy has made some costumes for Augusta Players and Junior Players as well. 

“I enjoy the creative process, which I work on alone,” she says. “But I also enjoy the people I work with – the adults, the kids, the actors. I enjoy being part of that creative team.”

Personality & Performance
Margie tries to factor the personalities of the actors into their costumes. “Some will tolerate being flamboyant, but others won’t,” she says. “I have to take the characters into consideration, also. I try to put something in the costumes that the actors really, really like so they know that it’s their costume and not one I just pulled off the rack.”

That something extra might be as simple as a belt or using the actor’s favorite color. 

Fabrics also make a costume come alive. “Adding trim,” says Ooollee, “just changes everything.” 

For the biblical costumes, Margie often has to make them “plain and rough looking.” 

“I paint the costumes, dirty them up or dye them to make them look old,” she says. 

Ooollee takes the characters’ personalities into consideration when designing costumes. “Some might have a big personality or a demure personality, so you need to change the style,” she says.

However, Ooollee, who started sewing in high school, says the biggest challenge in costume making is having enough time to do it correctly. “It takes time to sew if you want to do it right,” she says. 

And the costumes need to stay just right, so the designers must always be ready for the inevitable wardrobe malfunction.

Margie keeps a bag of pins, tapes and clips handy. In addition, she says, “I usually have a sewing machine in my car, or I at least have a sewing kit with me.”

One of the biggest challenges is getting all of the actors ready on time so they can relax and get in character. However, says Margie, “I never calm down until the show is over.”

Ooollee says the dreaded wardrobe malfunction typically occurs during a quick change. However, she goes to all of Storyland’s dress rehearsals and productions to be on hand to solve any problem. “I take a sewing kit with me,” she says. “That’s what a dress rehearsal is for – to make sure everything works right.” 

Margie not only makes costumes for the performers. She also sewed all of the draperies for Enopion’s new performing space, Ivory Box Theatre, that recently opened in Martinez. 

“I like it all. I love doing the costumes. I love working backstage. I love all the excitement and camaraderie,” Margie says. “It’s a good, family atmosphere.”

And the clothes definitely can make the character. 

“I love to dress up in costume. You can put on a different face and a different outfit, and you can let your hair down,” Ooollee says. “You can put on a costume and become a completely different person.”

By Sarah James


Have a Big Time


ModelThe Oliver Hardy Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Harlem once again will honor its native son with its annual Oliver Hardy Festival. For three decades Hardy, along with Englishman Stan Laurel, was one-half of Hollywood’s famous comedy duo of Laurel & Hardy. 

“Oliver Hardy was born here, and the festival keeps his memory alive,” says Kennedy Sammons, Harlem’s Downtown Development director.

The event will include almost 150 arts and crafts vendors, about 30 food vendors, look alikes dressed as Stan and Ollie, old cars, a parade and all-day viewings of Laurel & Hardy movies. A stage at the Harlem Library will offer entertainment throughout the day by performers such as The Remedy, Tanner Duckworth and Augusta Youth School of Dance.

Food will range from pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs and cheese steaks to funnel cakes, fried Oreos, gelato and shaved ice.

“We want people to enjoy Harlem and come see what we have to offer. Most of our downtown merchants will be open during the festival,” Sammons says. “Harlem has the only historical downtown in Columbia County.”

The festival typically attracts more than 35,000 visitors from around the world.

If You Go:
What: Oliver Hardy Festival

When: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, October 6; parade begins at 10 a.m.

Where: Downtown Harlem

How Much: Free admission 

More Info:

Aw, Shucks!


bash-picCentral Savannah River Land Trust celebrates success with its annual oyster roast and party at the river

Perfect fall evenings beg for perfect fall celebrations, and it will be hard to beat Central Savannah River Land Trust’s 15th annual Bash on the Banks. 

The popular event once again will feature an oyster roast with oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, classic Southern food catered by Sweet Magnolia’s Deli and Grille in Pelion, South Carolina, and local spirits from River Watch Brewery in Augusta and Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield.

Entertainment will include corn hole, a live auction, a raffle, live music by blues band Packrat’s Smokehouse, and new this year, a cigar bar.

Raffle items include a 12-foot angler’s kayak, passes to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Palmetto Shooting Complex, a wood bowl turned by Dave Welter and gift packages from local boutiques. 

The auction will include experience-based items such as fly fishing lessons, a fly fishing trip and rounds of golf at area courses. In one of the highlights of the evening, local artist Richard Worth will paint a nature scene during the party, and the acrylic will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“We are celebrating everyone’s combined efforts of conservation success and the generous community support,” says Bethany Surles, the Land Trust membership and events coordinator. “This is our way to celebrate with the community. We couldn’t succeed without them.” 

The Land Trust is funded entirely by grants and donations. By preserving local forests, farms, rivers and open spaces, the nonprofit organization protects the quality of life in the area and leaves natural resources intact for future generations. Since 2001, the Land Trust has protected more than 7,300 acres of land throughout Georgia and South Carolina.

Preserved areas include 315 acres in Columbia County, 1,761 in Richmond County and 773 acres in Aiken and Edgefield counties such as Greystone Preserve in North Augusta. Through partnerships with local developers, the Land Trust has saved more than 2.5 miles of the banks of the Savannah River along the edge of Columbia County. The conservation organization has preserved land in several Columbia County neighborhoods as well. 

“It’s our desire to connect conservation properties throughout Columbia County. With both green spaces and the greenway project, we are focused on this high density and developed area,” says Surles. “For any remaining landowners who are interested in still preserving their land, we would love for them to reach out to us.”

In the meantime, however, past accomplishments must be celebrated. “We are really elevating the experience this year,” Surles says. “It’s going to be a great event. We’re really excited.” 

If You Go:
What: 15th annual Bash on the Banks 

When: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday, October 25 

Where: River Island Clubhouse 

How Much: $75 admission; $20 drinks (three alcoholic beverages, unlimited soft drinks), $5 single drink; $20 raffle tickets

More Info:

Halloween Chocolate Bark

Appetizers and Snacks


  • 3/4 cup mini pretzels
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms 
  • 1 tablespoon candy eyeballs
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread pretzels evenly on parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch border between pretzels and edge of pan. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth. Spoon or pour chocolate over pretzels. Press in candy eyes and M&Ms. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Let chocolate set 2-3 hours and cut into serving size pieces.