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Here for the Masters? Check out Columbia County

Posted: April 10, 2013 - 12:03am

With apologies to the Christmas season, we locals can be forgiven for thinking that Masters Week is also the most wonderful time of the year. After a long and dreary winter everyone is ready for the annual rite of spring that is the greatest golf tournament in the world – The Masters.

As many of our residents head out of town on spring break, so too begins the annual pilgrimage of golf enthusiasts to our area. We might be biased, but we happen to think that there is no prettier place to visit than our hometown. And we are positive that visitors will find no better example of Southern hospitality than right here.

Of course, not all action takes place on the golf course. To our visitors looking for things to do when you come off the links, we hope you will pay a visit to neighboring Columbia County.

We have some exciting events planned for the week, but even if these events are not what you’re looking for, we know you’ll like what you see if you have a chance to stop by.

This year we are proud to present the inaugural Columbia County Championship Festival at our crown jewel, Evans Towne Center Park. The three-day event will feature national recording acts as well as great fun for the family.

The fun will kick off on Wednesday, April 10, with Family Day, featuring free activities for kids throughout the afternoon and concluding with a fireworks show.

In the “Fund the Boom” reception afterward, entertainment will be provided by Steven Page, founding member of Barenaked Ladies, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be a special guest.

Country artist Chris Young will be the featured entertainer during Thursday’s Concert in the Park. The show will be opened by special guest Brent Cobb.

The Columbia County Championship Festival will conclude with a concert by legendary Southern rockers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, on Friday, April 12. Ticket information and an event schedule for the festival can be found at www.columbiacountychampionshipfestival.com. Children under the age of 12 do not require a ticket and will be admitted for free to all festival events. The Columbia County Championship Festival, presented by Lifelock, will donate proceeds from the event to several charitable organizations.

If you’re looking for something more low key and relaxing, consider visiting Savannah Rapids Park located at the historic Augusta Canal Headgates just a few short miles from the Augusta National. Visitors can rent a bicycle or take a leisurely stroll along the Augusta Canal adjacent to the Savannah River, or enjoy a nice picnic overlooking Reed Creek Falls.

While you’re there, you will want to stop by the Savannah Rapids Visitor Center. In addition to providing information about other sites around our area, you can also learn about the fascinating history of our county.

The Columbia County Championship Festival and Savannah Rapids Park are just two suggestions of the many offerings of our wonderful county. We know you might be here for The Masters, but we hope you’ll come back and visit when you have more time to explore.

Columbia County is rich with diverse and great options for our visitors. If you love the outdoors, we have something for you. You can fish at Clarks Hill Lake; kayak on the Savannah River; ride your mountain bike on Bartram Trail; or camp at Wildwood Park, Mistletoe State Park or the Lake Thurmond Campgrounds. And when you work up an appetite with a day’s activities, you can enjoy a meal at one of our great restaurants from downhome Southern to upscale cuisine.

For more information, be sure to visit www.choosecolumbiacounty.com. Our Web site offers information on lodging, shopping, events and activities.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit, we’re sure you’ll like what you see once you’ve had the chance to explore the great and diverse communities of Appling, Evans, Grovetown, Harlem and Martinez. Once you visit Columbia County, you’ll find that whatever you’re looking for, it’s here!

On behalf of all of us, enjoy The Masters and make sure you come back to visit.

(Randy DuTeau is executive director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau.)

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