With less than two weeks left until the first day of school, students in Columbia County are soaking up the last days of summer break.
For parents, getting their child ready for the new year can be daunting, but the annual Back to School Festival aims to make the task a little easier.
This year’s festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at Evans Middle School. The Columbia County school system, University Hospital and The Columbia County News-Times are sponsors.
“It’s going to be pretty much on track with previous years,” said school system transportation director and event organizer Dewayne Porter, “We are still getting lots of responses from vendors.”
Parents will be able to learn about extracurricular activities offered in the county, as well as find out what immunizations their child will need. Information regarding the county’s transportation program will also be available. The ever-popular Buster the Bus also will be on hand to greet children.
An estimated 13,000 to 14,000 students ride the school bus each day, so making sure parents have accurate and adequate bus information is vital, Porter said.
“The festival has kind of grown over the years,” he said. “It really grew in the early years and has now turned into the event that it is today.”
Many people see the festival as an opportunity to get their child excited about another school year. Details about before- and after-school programs is readily available. There’s also a wealth of information about dance, sports, karate and other programs offered throughout the county.
Porter estimated that between 800 and 1,000 people attend the festival each year.
“We have always hosted it at Evans Middle School because it is centrally located in the county,” Porter said. “And Mr. Michael Johnson, the principal there, has always been real good about opening the doors for us.”