It is May in Greenville, which means there is no shortage of things to do downtown! Every weekend choices must be made in regards to how much is too much, and this weekend was no different. Watching the Kentucky Derby (congratulations American Pharoah, on winning the 141st Run for the Roses!) didn’t make the cut, but the boys attended their first theater production – Cat in the Hat!
March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and during that week there were several events celebrating the famous children’s book author. The celebration continued last week and this week with the South Carolina Children’s Theater production of Cat in the Hat at the Gunter Theater.
The Theater is part of the Peace Center arts complex located adjacent to Falls Park in downtown Greenville and includes the Peace Concert Hall, the outdoor amphitheater on Reedy River (TD Stage), the Wyche Pavilion and Gunter. Named after donor Dorothy Hipp Gunter, the 400-seat theater opened in 1990 along with the rest of the Peace Center complex after a four year fundraising campaign. The six acre site was originally home to the Greenville Carriage Factory (built in 1858) and its paint shop (1904), which at one point was home to Duke’s Mayonnaise; both buildings were renovated and are now incorporated into the Peace Center campus.
The Hipp family was known for their commitment and contribution to the Greenville community, and among other Greenville landmarks named in honor of the family is the Liberty Bridge in Falls Park. The Liberty Corporation was founded by W. Frank Hipp and the Liberty Bridge honors him and his children: Francis M. Hipp, Herman N. Hipp, B. Calhoun Hipp, and Dorothy Hipp Gunter. Emerging from the Cat in the Hat production the boys joined the crowds headed towards the bridge and Falls Park for the Rotary Club of Greenville’s 11th annual Reedy River Duck Derby.
There were booths and activities set up all through Falls Park, the same as last year. The boys had a blast playing games and spending the morning with dad. They listened to a reading of “Goodnight Greenville” by Kate Geib, Miss Greenville Teen USA 2016, and met the other duck, Yucky Ducky. Greenville County’s Soil and Water Conservation District’s Yucky Ducky teaches kids about conservation and how to keep our rivers, lakes, and streams clean. Vilis and I joined the three guys at Chicora Alley shortly before the derby started.
|Yucky Ducky and Kate Geib|
Last year we secured a viewing spot at the Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham overlook, giving us a glimpse of the ducks as they were released and went over the falls. This year we opted to head down to the grassy area at the base of the falls, to get a different perspective of the ducks on their journey, and for the view of the winners reaching the gate.
Once the ducks have finished the journey over the falls and through the rapids and pools underneath, they reach a chute that allows only one duck at a time through it; this is how the winning ducks are selected, with the rest meeting their end on a butcher block to be unwittingly fed to the Greenville Ladies’ Auxiliary at the Annual Gala (little known fact, revealed here for the first time).
Just kidding. But that’s what happens when a blogger leaves her laptop unattended while in the middle of writing a post… Check out this video from a duck's perspective!