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SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Time to watch the leaves change and fall for Greenville

Posted 9/24/2013 12:45:00 PM

The turn of the seasons from summer to fall always makes me think of South Carolina’s beautiful Upstate. It is a great place to visit any time of year, but even more so when the sap falls in the trees and the leaves turn all those glorious shades of autumn.

One of my favorite places to watch the seasons change is in downtown Greenville at Falls Park on the Reedy River The park is its best in the morning when it’s just you, your coffee and maybe a handful of joggers.

The ducks and geese are fishing in the Reedy River for breakfast, and you can hear little else besides the sound of the water falling over rocks as it spills past the ghosts of grist and textile mills that relied on the river for generations.

The Carolina Foothills Garden Club bought the land where Falls Park now sits in 1926 and turned it into a 26-acre park. But it took nearly 60 years of work to repair the water quality and to create a beautifully landscaped park with two pedestrian bridges that cross the river.

The Liberty Bridge was built in the 1990s as the centerpiece of the park. Its unique cantilever design makes it look as though it is floating in air and it provides visitors with a bird’s-eye view of the Reedy River Falls.

While I love the park’s quiet times, if it’s crowds of fun you are looking for, check out the annual Fall For Greenville festival happening Oct. 11-13.

Touted as a “taste of our town,” the event features some of the city’s best-known restaurants offering up festival fare and other great dishes. For live entertainment, there will barely be a time when someone is not performing. From Reggae and beach music to bluegrass, rock and soul, there is something for everyone.

Local wait staff and bartenders also will compete in races and mixing contests and you can learn about the fruit of the vine at wine-tasting events each day. You also can learn a little about beer at a beer school or just drink it in the beer garden.

There will be carnival rides, so bring the kids, but leave your pets, coolers, bicycles and skates at home.

Admission to the festival is free, but you will need tickets to buy food and beverages and for the rides. You can buy those online or in person at Michelin on Main, 550 S Main St. #102, (864) 241-4450.

Food for a family of four with beer and wine for Mom and Dad will take about 40-50 tickets, which cost $5 for a sheet of eight. Buy 10 sheets (80 tickets) at once and get an extra eight tickets for free.

Falls Park is at 601 S. Main St. Call (864) 467-4350 for more information.