Trucks and cars packed both sides of Gilberts narrow Main Street, tailgating style, as early as 7 a.m. as crowds poured in for the 53rd Annual Lexington County Peach Festival.
By 9 a.m., festivalgoers were already ordering ice cream from the Ruritan Clubs stand at Gilbert Community Park. A cool breeze had picked up, promising to stave off the usual mid-summer muggy conditions, causing some festival organizers to predict that crowds could swell to 50,000 if the weather held.
Barbara and Tom Crowe, who were manning the stand along with other volunteers, said they were ready to go.
The ice cream is more peach-colored this year, said Barbara Crowe, sampling Blue Bells contribution to the festival. Her husband, Tom, said he was taste-testing the delicacy for quality control. Someones got to taste it. Make sure its good, he said, laughing.
The Crowes have been working the festival for about 16 years. Tom Crowe, president of the Ruritans, said the club had invested about $5,000 in peaches to sell at the event. And all the money goes to charity, he said.