Jan. 25—Editor's note: We Are Aiken County is a series of articles that will run through Feb. 26. It celebrates people, places and events that have shaped Aiken County.
Closing down the downtown streets of North Augusta for fun, food and festivities, the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee, a staple festival hosted by the city around Halloween, has become a favorite for many.
The festival started more than 35 years ago as a gathering with small business owners at the North Augusta Community Center and nearby Maude Edenfield Park. The festival grew to span several blocks on Georgia Avenue and feature trending headlining artists.
Rick Meyer, the director for Parks and Recreation with the city of North Augusta, said he enjoys seeing people come together for a fun-filled event featuring live music, inflatables, carnival rides and more.
"We like to say that the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee is a signature event for our community as a whole because it gives anybody in the community a chance to come in and come to downtown North Augusta," Meyer said. "That in itself is great and just to be able to have a community like North Augusta — about 25,000 people — and put that many people on Georgia Avenue in one day."
In 2022, the event returned after a two year hiatus and likely brought in $450,000 and $900,000 according to Randy DeTeau, the city of North Augusta Tourism Director.
"It is just part of the fabric of the community, and I think that it is important because it is an opportunity to bring North Augustans together to celebrate a season and to have a lot of fun," DuTeau said. "It's an opportunity to drive visitors into the community as well. We saw after a two-year break this past year, we had crazy crowds and people were hungry to have it back and it's just a great opportunity to celebrate the community."
"I looked up at Georgia Avenue from the main stage at quarter to 11 this year and it was just wall to wall people," Meyer said of the 2022 event. "You could tell how exciting it was to be back on Georgia Avenue, back with community events... and it was really special."