Annual Puddin' Swamp Festival highlights Turbeville fun


No one knows for sure where the "puddin'" in Puddin' Swamp came from, even those who have lived in Turbeville their whole lives.

There are a few more popular legends and one published account, so most just go with one of those.

The most likely myth has to do with Francis Marion. The American Revolutionary War officer camped in the Turbeville area, and someone in that camp really liked bread pudding. That's the fact. Where it gets a little swampy is who it was.

The other one "everybody goes with," according to Jenna Windham, festival committee chairwoman for the 12th-annual Puddin' Swamp Festival, presented by Citizen's Bank in Turbeville on April 11-13, is that the swamp separated two friends' properties, and when one woman went to bring her friend some pudding, it fell into the water.

Yet another story passed down involves an old man who used what was leftover from hunting hogs to make blood pudding.

However the swamp got its name, it seemed the obvious choice for the name when a group of community leaders gathered in 2007 to create a festival celebrating the town.

The theme for this year's festival, commemorated each year in the official T-shirt, features Beau, a dog who is seen on the shirt holding a Puddin' Swamp Festival hat in his mouth. Windham said they've used a host of animals through the years, from swamp dogs to opossums to turtles. Anything to remind attendees of the rural outdoors surrounding Turbeville.

Way more than 3,000 people come out to the festival on the Super Saturday of each year, she said. The three-day family friendly event kicks off with the Taste of Puddin' Swamp and the beginning of amusement rides on Thursday.

Friday features amusement rides, food vendors and Jim Quick and Coastline performing on the main stage.

That all leads up to Super Saturday, where there will be rides, food, dance troupes performing, local singers, hula hooping, a casting contest, music, craft vendors, fireworks and a first-ever motorcycle show. The bike show will be in memory of Ray Morris.

Carolina Cruisin' DJs will get on the stage immediately following the Miss Swamp Bottom Beauty Contest, an annual benefit for the Shriners.

Windham said she loves seeing people happy and enjoying their time at the festival.

She said people come from all over the state for the event. Families have scheduled reunions for that weekend. One year, a couple from Illinois in town for their wedding stopped by, bride still in her wedding dress.

"There's so much going on," Windham said, "you can't go through Turbeville and not see it."

Thursday, April 11

The Taste of Puddin' Swamp featuring The Plaids at 6:30 p.m.

Rides open at 5 p.m. on Town Square

Where: Pine Grove Gymnasium

Tickets: $20, available at Town Hall, Turbeville Hardware and at the door the day of the event.

Friday, April 12

Rides and Food Vendors open at 5 p.m.

Jim Quick and Coastline take the Main Stage at 8 p.m.

Super Saturday, April 13

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Bike Show sponsored by Damascus Road Motorcycle Ministries

10 a.m. - Rides / vendors open

10 a.m. - Bait Casting Contest, ages 12 and under, 13-16 and 17 and up

11 a.m. - East Clarendon Chorus

Noon - Kelly's Fine Arts Dance Troupe

1 p.m. - Hula Hoop Contest for ages 8 and under, 9-12 and 13-16

2 p.m. - Amateur Corn Hole Competition

2-4 p.m. - Todd's Twisted Balloons

Special Music

3 p.m. - Dancing Machine Dance Troupe

4 p.m. - The East Clarendon Community Choir

5 p.m. - Miss Swamp Bottom Beauty Contest to Benefit Shriners Children's Hospital Carolina Cruisin DJ Music

9:30 p.m. - Fireworks Finale

10 p.m. - Close of festival

(Prior sign up required at the gazebo for all contests)



A complete guide is also available in the April-May 2019 issue of Lakeside Magazine, available around town now.