Sumter Backyard Jamboree heralds early spring

Barbecue, music, craft beers support area seniors

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 2/18/18

The final Saturday of February will offer the perfect antidote for the frigid days of winter with Sumter Senior Services' 13th-annual Backyard Jamboree. And the big party will be presented at the …

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Sumter Backyard Jamboree heralds early spring

Barbecue, music, craft beers support area seniors

Posted

The final Saturday of February will offer the perfect antidote for the frigid days of winter with Sumter Senior Services' 13th-annual Backyard Jamboree. And the big party will be presented at the area's prime spot to celebrate the advent of spring - Swan Lake-Iris Gardens.

SSS Executive Director Dana Strock said the family friendly event will boast a variety of foods, with barbecue at its center, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Swan Lake's Heath Pavilion.

"General admission tickets for adults and children will include food, dessert, soft drinks and water," as well as entertainment and a craft beer tasting, she said.

Strock said the Jamboree is one of three fundraising events for the Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritionally balanced hot and frozen meals to the county's homebound elderly. Sip and Stroll, a wine-tasting event, and Microbrew Festival, both held in downtown Sumter, are the nonprofit organization's other major fundraisers.

"Currently our staff deliver about 170 hot meals and 250 frozen meals daily to homebound seniors throughout the Sumter community," Strock said. "We have a waiting list with over 230 seniors waiting to receive meals delivered to them in their homes."

"This is where our fundraisers are so important, as all proceeds from them go to feeding homebound seniors in and around Sumter County."

Backyard Jamboree, Sumter Senior Services' only daytime fundraiser, traditionally attracts a large crowd, Strock said, not just for its menu, although that is a major draw. Attendees enjoy visiting with friends, listening to music and tasting the different craft beers.

Specifically, the menu will include barbecue, beans, hamburgers, hot dogs, cole slaw and a variety of desserts. Soft beverages included in the general admission fee include Coke, Sprite and Diet Coke.

Those ages 21 and older can also purchase beers provided by The Yahnis Co.; these will be Miller Lite, Yuengling and White Claw Hard Cider. A craft beer tasting is available with $30 admission tickets - $25 for seniors and military. Included are Not Your Father's Root Beer, Peroni, Green Man Porter and Blaze Yellow Blazer Kolsch Style Ale.

"You definitely don't want to miss DJ Lady Diamond, who will be providing a variety of musical entertainment throughout the event," Strock said.

For the children attending with their families and friends, there will be special entertainment, too, she said.

"We will have the Balloon Guy, face painting and cotton candy," Strock said, adding that there will be several corn hole games available on the grounds for children and adults around the Heath Pavilion.

"Also, just for attending the Backyard Jamboree, you can enter to win a barbecue package sponsored by Simpson Ace hardware and Sumter Senior Services."

Backyard Jamboree long-sleeve T-shirts will also be available for $10 before, during and after the event.

According to USA Today and other sources, Punxsatawney Phil is usually wrong in predicting the date of spring's arrival - he saw his shadow, indicating spring would be late; however, trained, expert meteorologists are calling for a temperate, clear day for Backyard Jamboree - 72 degrees with gentle breezes on the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 24.

Strock said community-minded businesses and organizations contribute greatly to the success of Backyard Jamboree. The many sponsors that support Sumter Senior Services and its mission "to provide opportunities for physical, mental and emotional wellness which support independence and enrich the quality of life for older adults" include Palmetto Health Tuomey, Covenant Place, FTC, Pilgrim's Pride, Sumter Packaging, Jackson and Sims Architects, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, IGA, Ward's B-B-Q, Bar-B-Que Hut, Leo's Wings, The Yahnis Co., Coca-Cola, Swan Lake and The Sumter Item.