Chapin’s Labor Day celebration is a big event for the town

By Karamie Sullivan 

Chapin residents began claiming their viewing spots as early as 7 a.m. Monday morning for the Chapin Labor Day parade. It’s the town’s biggest event of the year.

This is the 38th year the town has held its annual Labor Day Festival, with the parade being the highlight of the weekend.

US 76, the road that runs through the heart of Chapin, was blocked off at 9 a.m. for the 105 floats to travel out of the General Information Services parking lot. The parade takes a straight shot down the highway, ending at BILO. It is a little less than a one-mile stretch of the road.
The parade participants ranged from school organizations and dance teams, to a Mariachi band and the Oscar Meyer “Weiner Mobile.”

Attendees of all ages tried to catch the candy, koozies, and the occasional t-shirts being thrown from the floats. After the parade, the festival continued on Beaufort Street with live music, food, and dozens of vendors.

One parade participant was doing more than just throwing candy this year. Shayla Flores, the 20-year-old Chapin resident and College of Charleston student, who is running fto be the town’s mayor was campaigning, along with the other candidates for the position. David W. Knight and current Mayor Skip Wilson are also running.

Resident Cornelia Smith has lived in Chapin for 23 years, and has come to the Labor Day festival for the past 12. She enjoys catching candy at the parade for her grandson, and walking with her daughter through the festival.

My daughter is looking for one-of-a-kind things from the vendors here that you just can’t find at the retail stores,” she said. “We enjoy meeting people in the community that we don’t see around all the time. It’s a social thing you know.” She said she believes this is by far the biggest event that the town hosts every year.

In addition to the vendors downtown, there was also a car show, a children’s carnival area, a Chapin Library book sale, and a model train exhibit in the American Legion Post building. The festivities carried on until about 2 p.m.