GALIVANTS FERRY, SC (WMBF) – A 140-year-old family tradition returns Monday to Horry County. Reminding us of the importance of face-to-face interaction and a good, old-fashioned handshake, the Galivants Ferry Stump will feature more than 20 Democratic local, state and national candidates to speak and mingle with stump-goers.
Civil War hero and Democratic presidential candidate General Wade Hampton campaigned through Galivants Ferry and spoke at a stump in 1876. Stump speaking was popular back then. He didn't win, but the stump speaking was hosted on the property of the Holliday family. The Holliday family has hosted the bi-annual stumping in Horry County ever since. To this day it still attracts top Democratic candidates as one of the oldest political traditions in the country.
Fourth-generation Holliday, Christy Holliday Douglas, is chair of her family's event this year. She says the stump gives something besides a television screen to guests: a firm handshake and in-person conversation.
"When you meet somebody face-to-face and you talk to them, and they're just talking to you, and you shake that person's hand…I think you can get a better feel of what that person is and what they stand for... and that's why we continue this, not only because of tradition and heritage," Douglas says.
The first Galivants Ferry stump happened when South Carolina was controlled by Democrats. Although the state has flip-flopped since, the stump still sticks to tradition. The event features live Bluegrass and gospel music, cloggers, southern food and the Aynor High School ensemble. The famous stump cuisine, chicken bog, is a low country peppery dish similar to jambalaya that is traditionally served by the local Masons chapter. The speaking is followed by a parade of the candidates for the meet-and-greets.
Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the stump when he was a senator, and other big names like Fritz Hollings and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond have graced the stump in the past. The 2016 keynote speakers are Representative Jim Clyburn, and vice chair of the Democratic Caucus and New York congressman Joseph Crowley. Democratic clubs will be there as well as reps from different local and state races.
The Democratic representation at the event represents presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's South Carolina stronghold. Congressman Crowley is a superdelegate for Clinton and the director of the event. Sally Howard is a South Carolina Clinton delegate.
"We've got state house and senate races, we've got county council races, there's a special election for District 7 which is James Frazier's old seat…and there are three Democrats running for that…and there's a school board race. So we are showcasing all of our candidates that are on an Horry County ballot," Galivants Ferry Stump Director and Horry County Democratic Party Chair Emeritus Sally Howard says.
According to a press release, the biennial event will start at 4:30 p.m., with bluegrass music and clogging. Political speakers will begin at 6 p.m. The Galivants Ferry General Store is located at 125 West Highway 501 in Galivants Ferry, South Carolina.
Don't forget! Everyone is invited to enjoy the entertainment and mingle, even Republicans.