Memorial Day weekend will be busy in Marlboro County with several events planned.
"The Gulf" Heritage Dedication and Street Dance will honor an area that was once the center of business and entertainment for African Americans in the county.
"The Gulf" got its name from a Gulf service station, Everybody's Station, where Gulf gas was sold.
An authentic period Gulf sign will be erected at the corner of West Market and Liberty Streets. The project is co-sponsored by the city of Bennettsville and Bennettsville Bicentennial.
A public unveiling and dedication of the sign will be at 6 p.m. Friday. A short program will talk about the significance of the area. The School of Discovery Jazz and Shiloh Baptist Church Youth Choir will perform at the dedication.
Elisabeth K. McNiel, director of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation for the city of Bennettsville, said it will be commemorated with a plaque at a later date.
After the ceremony, a street dance will be from 7-11 p.m. in the block of Market Street between Liberty and Cheraw Streets.
It will feature live music by Dennis Hardison and A New Creation and DJ Byrd as the first of the City of Bennettsville's 2019 "Two Hours from Anywhere" concerts. Bounce houses along with food, craft, and informational vendors can also be found along West Market Street.
McNiel said there will be an opportunity for people to record their memories of the Gulf.
Don Patterson of Marlboro County High School and members of the media team will film and take photos of the event. A recording booth will be set up in the Plaza Building for oral histories.
McNiel said 24 different street banners will be hung on Cheraw and Market Streets.
"They will document different people and places of The Gulf," she said.
A Spring Fling Celebration is from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the El-Jireth Pentecostal Apostolic Church, 5047 Highway 38 South in the Bristow Community.
The celebration will have food, singing, horseback rides for children, a bouncy house, animals from the 4-H Club and vendors from the community.
For more information, call Bishop Ulysses Sullivan Jr. at 843-544-7383.
The Kelly Miller Circus will have two shows, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., on Sunday at the corner of Cheraw and Center Streets.
The 90-minute show will feature acrobats, clowns, fire eaters and more.
Tickets are $10 for children ages 2-12 and $15 for adults.
Tickets can be purchased at Bennettsville Community Center, 714 North Marlboro St.; Carl's Food Center, 235 Hwy. 15-401 Bypass East; Children's Defense Fund Marlboro County, 117 Cheraw St.; Herald-Advocate, 100 Fayetteville Avenue; Reassigned Blessings, 212 East Main St.; and Sully Blair - State Farm Agent,128 Hwy 15-401 Bypass East.
The public is invited to watch the arrival of the circus performers between 7-7:15 a.m. Sunday on Hwy 38 North. They will be in Hamlet on Saturday night so they will be coming from North Carolina.
McNiel said they will have a chance to see the tent raised, walk the Midway and walk through the backlots to see the clowns put their makeup on.
Kelly Miller Circus will provide concessions and the Bennettsville Fire Department will provide water.
The event is sponsored by the City of Bennettsville Tourism, Parks and Recreation and is a part of the Bennettsville Bicentennial Celebration.