"Farming On The Ridge"
-- Thelma Coleman, 1983 Harvest Festival Chairperson
Due to the success of the 1982 anniversary event, a second celebration was held in Ridge Spring. This was our first Harvest Festival. A contest was held preceding the fall season to select a name for what was decided to be an annual event. Mildred Cone and Everette Cromer both submitted the winning name, "Ridge Spring Harvest Festival".
Some of the most fertile farm land on the Eastern Seaboard is located on the Ridge. Farmers grow soybeans, wheat, corn and oats to be shipped. Over one million bushels of peaches are normally shipped, seven each year from packing sheds in the Ridge Spring community. The only remaining cotton gin in Saluda, Edgefield and Newberry counties is located on Strother Circle at the eastern end of town. Farming provides hundreds of jobs and is vital to our local economy.
On Thursday evening preceding the festival, the first Harvest Festival of Talent at RSM Elementary School was held at Ridge Hill Campus. During the festival, helicopter rides were offered on Watson Street by the railroad behind the mini-market. Citizens were greeted by the new mayor, C. David Sawyer.
Harriet Watson designed and drew the shield-shaped logo which was used each year from 1982 through 1988 on the front of the brochures. A large wooden banner in the shape of this shield led the parade, carried by two volunteers.
Proceeds from this festival were used to repair and purchase Christmas decorations.