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SCIWAY News No. 59 – September 2008

Previous Issues of SCIWAY News

In This Issue

Welcome to the beverage edition of SCIWAY News! This month we explore an iconic SC soda,
a muscadine winery on Wadmalaw Island, two new vodkas with a Southern twist,
both of our state beverages, and the history of tea in South Carolina. Cheers!

  1. Stirring Up Local Flavor: Muscadine Wine & Firefly Vodka
  2. September's Top Ten – Notable SC Websites
  3. Blenheim: Good For What Ales You
  4. SC Picture of the Month
  5. Bottoms Up to Our State Beverages: Milk & Tea
  6. Upcoming SC Festivals & Events
  7. South Carolina Tea: Steeped in History

1. Stirring Up Local Flavor: Muscadine Wine & Firefly Vodka

If you live in South Carolina, you probably know a thing or two about muscadines. These thick-skinned, juicy morsels comprise a unique variety of grape native to our neck of the woods. In fact, muscadines and their close cousins, scuppernongs, can be found growing all over the South and have long been used in jams, jellies, and pies. Of course, they're also delicious right off the vine. Read more about muscadine wine and Firefly Vodka.

Muscadine Vines Muscadine Grapes

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2. September's Top Ten – Notable SC Websites

Aynor Area Chamber of Commerce - Local history, membership directory, events, and photo gallery - Horry County - site no longer exists

Caring in our Lifetime - Fundraising organization provides financial assistance to breast cancer patients in Georgetown and Horry counties

Greenville County Historical Schools - Index of 19 historic schools with links to extensive research and information - lots of great photos!

Liquid Highway - Greenville-area cafe donates 100% of its profits to the Touch the Ground Foundation

Palmetto State Base Camp - Provides housing and rehabilitation for homeless veterans in Columbia - site no longer exists

Rediscovering Charleston's Colonial Fortifications - Blog about the old walled city by Charleston County Public Library's Special Collections Manager, Nic Butler

SC Election Watch - Non-partisan blog supplies news, analysis, and opinion about 2008 presidential, congressional, and state elections - presented by the South Carolina Association for Justice - site no longer exists

SCElectsWomen.Com - SC ranks last in the US for women elected to public office - website features profiles of current women candidates in our state - presented by the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics - site no longer exists

Spartanburg Housing Authority - Provides low-income housing and promotes neighborhood revitalization

Town of Ridge Spring - Handsome new site celebrates this Saluda County community
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3. Blenheim: Good For What Ales You

Innocuous packaging and the words ginger ale do nothing to warn the unsuspecting of Blenheim's fiery kick. Concocted from a secret blend of spices, this South Carolina icon is one that will both quench your thirst and set your mouth ablaze. While its reputation spans the country, Blenheim has deep roots in the Pee Dee region of our state. Read more about Blenheim Ginger Ale.

Blenheim's Store Sign Case of Blenheim's Blenheim's Sign

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4. SC Picture of the Month

The ferris wheel dominates the midway at the Upper State Fair in Greenville, which welcomed young and old this year from August 28th to September 7th.

Upper State Fair

This shot was contributed by Tom Taylor. Be sure to check out his blog, Random Connections, for more great photos of the Upstate and beyond. If you'd like to find out when the next fair is in your area, go to SCIWAY's Directory of South Carolina Fairs.

If you would like to have your photo featured, please submit it to the SC Picture Project. We select photos for the newsletter from the ones we receive, and it is a great way to bring publicity to you or your organization.

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5. Bottoms Up to Our State Beverages: Milk & Tea

In keeping with our ongoing look at state symbols, and given the tasty nature of this month's "beverage" issue of SCIWAY News, it is our pleasure to announce the two newest additions to our State Symbols guide – South Carolina's state drinks. No, that's not a typo. We actually have two: Our official state beverage is milk, while our official state hospitality beverage is tea.

South Carolina is one of only two states in America to feature multiple state beverages, but we share milk with 18 other states. We are currently the only state to feature tea however – and for a very good reason! The Charleston Tea Plantation, located on Wadmalaw Island, is the only place in America to produce black tea commercially.

Use the links below to learn more about these important state symbols.

September's Featured Symbols:
  • SC State Beverage: Milk - Most of us grow up on milk. We receive it in some form immediately after birth and are encouraged to drink it throughout our many stages of growth. However, did you know that South Carolina has close to 90 dairy farms? We encourage you to visit our new South Carolina milk page to learn more about one of this month's featured state symbols.

  • SC State Hospitality Beverage: Tea - Tea is one of the most widely-loved beverages in the world. It can be enjoyed with any meal or as an afternoon treat. South Carolina has attempted to grow tea on a large scale since the 1800s, and has at last achieved success via American Classic. Visit our SC Tea Guide to learn more about the history of tea in our state.
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6. Upcoming SC Festivals & Events

South Carolina's a fine state for festivals, so be sure to check out SCIWAY's complete calendar of SC events. Here are just a few of September's highlights:

Rudy's Bluegrass in the Woods Autumn Festival - Anderson - Three days, 16 shows, and a whole lot of pickin' - Campsites available - September 11-13

Seafood Jazz & Brew - Hilton Head Island - Join local brew masters for live music and a public tasting at Shelter Cove Harbour - Designated drivers receive a discounted admission! - September 12-13

Collard Festival - Gaston - Live music, auction, amusement rides, petting zoo, and plenty of collards and barbecue - September 12-13

Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival - James Island - View three environmentally-themed films presented by the Coastal Conservation League - September 18

Columbia's Greek Festival - Folk dancing, video presentation, church tours, and delicious traditional cuisine - September 18-21

Equestrian American Balloon Festival - Aiken - Barrel racing, fireworks display, equestrian exhibits, and 20 magnificent hot air balloons - September 19-21 - site no longer exists

Beach Sweep/River Sweep - Statewide - Largest one-day volunteer cleanup event in South Carolina - Helps clear beaches, rivers, lakes, marshes, and swamps of litter - September 20

Okra Strut - Irmo - Live music, parade, and eating contest, all celebrating this fabulous food - September 26-27 - site no longer available

Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival - Murrells Inlet - A three-day festival featuring Lowcountry cuisine, live music, and more than 100 artisans at the beautiful Huntington Beach State Park - September 26-28 - site no longer available

Charleston Green Fair - Local food vendors, live music, interactive kids' area, and 75 exhibitors demonstrating South Carolina's commitment to keepin' it green! - September 28 - site no longer exists

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7. South Carolina Tea: Steeped in History

After water, tea is the most popular beverage on Earth. People drink it far and wide, on every continent and in every country, and it's often associated with such exotic locales as China, Kenya, India, and Peru.

Thanks to a small farm on Wadmalaw Island, we can now add South Carolina to that list. Charleston Tea Plantation, owned in part by the renowned R. C. Bigelow & Company, is the only place in North America to produce black tea commercially. Read more about Wadmalaw Island's Charleston Tea Plantation.

Charleston Tea Plantation Sign Tea Plantation Harvester Charleston Tea Plantation Field

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© 2018 SCIway.net, LLC. "SCIWAY News"™ is written by the team at SCIWAY – with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. ISSN: 1527-3903.

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