Ed Harrison Memorial Celtic Christmas at Hagood Mill
The music of the Appalachian region was heavily influenced by the influx of Scottish and Irish immigrants and this influence has been integral in the development of American folk music traditions. With Christmas approaching and the New Year beckoning, it is time once again to honor our musical traditions with sounds of the season. A local seasonal musical tradition is the Ed Harrison Memorial Celtic Christmas program to be held at Hagood Mill on Saturday December 17 from noon to 3pm.
This annual event features many fine local and international musicians sharing songs of the season. Ed Harrison was a remarkably versatile musician with a passion for playing multiple styles of roots music on a wide variety of instruments. He was an accomplished dobro, clawhammer banjo, Cajun accordion player, and a master of the Uilleann pipes. His warmth, good humor, and ready laugh were a job to his family and many friends in the area. Sadly, after over 20 years of battling cancer, Ed passed away in 2012. The event continues in his honor.
This year’s show features Don Shabkie and Six Chickens and a Beer.
Don Shabkie is perhaps the area’s finest pianist as well as an accomplished Celtic harp player. He has played Celtic music with noted area bands Windshear and Selkie. Traveling across the state to perform and teach, his extensive education, experience, and skills establish him as an artist who can serve many communities in a number of ways. At present Don serves as dance musician for the ballet program at South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts, organist at Memorial Methodist Church in Greer, and plays for a variety of events in the Greenville area.
The acoustic musical repertoire of Six Chickens and a Beer has been described as Traditional Good-Time, Old-Time American, Irish and French Canadian String Band Music, seasoned with a little Western Swing and Cheatin' and Drinkin' country music. The band members (Michael Ellison, Elizabeth Adams, Ed Broyals, and Jennifer Rush) come from a wide range of musical backgrounds. Michael played in mountain bar bands as a young man in California, and has been playing fiddle for 40-odd years. Elizabeth provides the band with the definitive Celtic sound of the button accordion. Ed brings the bluegrass and country sound with his singing and guitar work, and adds an important dimension to all their music through his mandolin. Jennifer supports the bottom register on bass, and doubles on the ukulele, adding a unique element to the music. The band has been together for over ten years and hosts a long-running Irish session at Nick’s Tavern in Clemson. This local session has gained the band a dedicated local following.
Perennial performers Lucy Allen and Marshall Goers return as hosts of this year’s event. They have been regulars at the Celtic Christmas show since 2008. Allen and Goers are an acoustic duo whose passion for roots music combines elements of various musical genres. Allen and Goers have performed solo or with other area groups, but their best work happens when they're together in a duet performance. For the past twelve years, Goers and Allen have shared the stage, and continue to create memorable musical performances. They have made two recordings together, Just Passing Through and Won't See Tadpoles Covered in Fur, an album dedicated to kids of all ages.
This promises to be a very special day at Hagood Mill. Even Santa Clause himself has decided to drop by and join in on the entertainment. Kids and adults alike are welcome to sit on Santa’s lap and share a Christmas wish. Bring a camera and Ole Saint Nick will pose for a picture with you. (11:00 am – 1:00 pm)
So come on out to Hagood Mill and enjoy this festive season!
There will be lots of other things to see on December 17th as Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folk life and traditional arts demonstrations. There will be blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basket-making, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, metal-smithing, bee keeping, leather-working and more! You can ask questions of the artists and make a purchase of their Traditional Arts to take home or give to your loved ones for Christmas.
The Centerpiece of the Hagood Mill Historic Site is the water-powered 1845 gristmill. It is one of the finest examples of nineteenth century technology in the Upcountry and operates just as it has for the last century-and-a-half. The mill will be running throughout the day grinding grits, fresh stone-ground corn meal, and wheat flour in colorful holiday bags for your Christmas giving. In addition rye flour, Basmati rice flour, oat flour, oatmeal, popping corn meal, organic yellow corn meal and grits, and buckwheat flour are produced and may be available. Hagood Mill cookbooks and a variety of other mill related items will be for sale.
There promises to be lots to do and lots of fun! So, head on out, grab a plate of great food on site from the Gatehouse Restaurant and enjoy a very special day at the Hagood Mill.
The Hagood Mill Historic Site is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm all year long. The site operates, rain or shine, for a special festival the third Saturday of every month.
The Hagood Mill is located just 3 miles north of Pickens off Highway 178 or 5 ½ miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11off Highway 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road.
There is a $5.00 parking fee for the day but admission is FREE to the Hagood Mill Site as well as the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site. All proceeds from parking offset costs at the Mill Site.
For additional information, please contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or check out our website at www.visitpickenscounty.com/calendar .
Pickens County is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
- 138 Hagood Mill Rd
Pickens, SC 29671
- (864) 898-2936
- Admission is FREE $5 Parking charge