Grand Marshal: Monroe Kneece
This coming weekend, the Johnston, SC, Peach Blossom Festival will showcase great entertainment, arts and crafts, food concessions, a parade, games for children, a cruise-in, and much more. The popular Festival is now in its 35th year.
The parade Grand Marshal this year is Charles Monroe Kneece, Sr., who has spent most of his adult life making the Johnston area and Edgefield County a better place to work and live. He has contributed to Johnston’s growth and success in a myriad of ways.
Born August 25, 1929, in Monetta, SC, his is parents were Lucy Gunter Kneece and Julian Pace Kneece Sr. Monroe was the youngest of seven children.
Monroe has been married to his wife Barbara Sumner Kneece for 68 years. They have four children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Monroe served in the Air Force for two years before moving to Johnston. He retired from the US Postal Service after 25-plus years. He also owned a local business, Kneece Enterprise.
He served on the Edgefield County Council from 1982 to 2010, where he served as Chairman for 20 years. He was an active member of the Johnston Jaycees, Johnston Sertoma Club, Tri-County Recycling, American Legion, Jamil Shriners, Ridge Agricultural Club and Upper Savannah Council of Governments. He is also a member of the Johnston United Methodist Church.
Monroe served his county with great pride wanting the best for the citizens of Edgefield County. He said he is honored to be the Grand Marshal for the Peach Blossom parade this year.
Robert Herlong Scholarship
This year, the Robert H. Herlong Scholarship Award winner is Gracie Herrin. Gracie is a Senior at Strom Thurmond High School who plans to attend Clemson University.
Gracie, who will receive a $500 scholarship from the Johnston Development Corp., was selected because of her outstanding academic performance and her community service.
Some of her many community volunteer activities include her involvement in Jimmy Shay Fishing Rodeo, National Wild Turkey Federation, Palmetto Classic Foundation Shoot, Servant’s Heart, Adopt-A-Highway, Sweetwater Community Center Landscaping, Angel Tree Donation, Collection, and Delivery. She also volunteered at Edgefield County Agricultural Day, FFA Bi-Annual Plant Sale, FFA Greenhouse, Merriwether Elementary School and W.E. Parker Elementary School Science Days, Johnston Elementary School and Douglas Elementary School landscaping, J. E. T. Middle School Career Day, 4-H Club Member and Event, Boys’ and Girls’ Club, among other activities.
In addition, she has participated in Churches Changing Communities, Operation Christmas Child Contributions and Delivery, Christ Central, Student Leader for Kids Worship, Cedar Creek Church Fall Festival Volunteer, and Cedar Creek Church Be the Church throughout the Community Volunteer. She also has helped raised contributions for Christ Central, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Johnston Food Bank, Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce, Edgefield Nursing Home¬¬, and Collection and Donation Manager for Senior Citizens’ Bags of Love, among others.
This year’s Johnston Peach Blossom Festival Entertainment Sponsors are Dr. Hugh Morgan Family Practice and Titan Farms.
The Festival begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, when crafters and food vendors open. The parade is held at 10 a.m., and the free entertainment begins at 9:30 a.m., continuing until 4 p.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 Johnston Municipal Parking Lot.
All events are held in downtown Johnston on Calhoun Street.
Last year, thousands of patrons descended on Johnston 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.
The Johnston Development Corporation, a non-profit volunteer organization, sponsors the Festival. The Corporation works to aid the community in areas such as economic development, education, recreation, historic preservation, tourism, scientific and cultural opportunities, and continued promotion of Johnston.
To learn more about the Festival or the Johnston Development Corporation, visit the website at http://www.johnstondevelopmentcorp.org/.