Schuetzenfest 2nd All-Star Music/Hunting Festival was a big success!


At 3 pm on Saturday, March 30th, 2024, the Ehrhardt Schuetzenfest Music Festival was started by little 4 year old Blake Folk “Shooting the bird” on Main Street. This has been a tradition since the first Schuetzenfest in 1976. Dustin Folk and his son Todd Folk helped little Blake hold the old gun that has been in their family for 45 years, for him to shoot the quail which was released to start the 45th Festival.

Mayor Gene Sease then took the mike to make his Welcome speech and honor some special people in the small town who have gone beyond their duty for their town. The first honoree was his mother, Eunice Ann Sease called Flucie, who has been a stalwart presence in the town since childhood. She was honored as Miss High Miss in Ehrhardt High School (1958) and was a Hot Shot Basketball player scoring 30 points in many games. She was born in 1941 and married Hallman Sease who was honored last year after passing away. He spent his long life dedicated to his town and family. They have three children who take care of the town now in every way they can. Gene is the current Mayor and Schuetzenfest Chairman; Ginger is a faithful worker for the town in any way she can and Kristi Sease is the “go to girl” for whatever is needed and she never fails to help. A plaque was presented to Flucie by Gene.

Miss Tiffany Elaine Hiers is the special person who the entire Festival was Dedicated to this year. She is a wonderful girl who has serious medical conditions and she just keeps on giving of herself in spite of her personal health troubles. She received a plaque from Mayor Gene Sease.

Then last but not least, was a special honor given to Councilman and Fireman, Harry Hughes. Harry is the best helper of the small town ever. He is always working for the town and he is a good, Christian man. The whole town loves Harry and he was honored by Mayor Gene also.

The National Anthem was sung by 22, year old Dylan Carter from St. George, S.C. Hours before the festival began Dylan hurt his leg seriously and ended up in the E.R. but all bandaged up and on crutches managed to get there in time and sang his heart out. Everyone stood with their hands on their hearts to hear the Star Spangled Banner.

Dylan recently was a contestant on The Voice and was selected on Team Reba. Later he performed an hour long show sitting on a chair “because the show must go on.” Dylan Carter has a bright future ahead of him. Ehrhardt was proud to have him sing for us.

Ehrhardt was honored to have Bamberg’s own D.J. Fireman, Anthony Harley, play gospel and beach music throughout the day. Denmark native, Donovan Rowe known to all as Jamaica, sang Bob Marley songs with the musical help of Anthony Harley who did a great job!

The Dance Studio Z’s own Braylyn Ackerman and her little dancer friend, Nikki Tripp, did their dance numbers for the next act while bands set up.

First set on the flat bed stage was 13 year old Rylan Thomas of Barnwell with his guitar. He sang and played for 30 minutes and was really a treat to hear. He sings old time country and wears his cowboy hat with pride. Great job, Rylan.

Next up was Cowboy singer/songwriter Coley Williams from Sandy Run, S.C. He played his new song Beautiful Skye, which is a tribute to his girlfriend, Skye Amberlee who is also the current Miss Schuetzenfest and photographer for all our events. Coley has been playing recently at major venues and is up and coming!

American Idol Contestant Brandon Elder, from Arab, Alabama, was up next with his guitar doing some of his original songs to much whistling and applause. Brandon is family to the Rentz Farm folks, Janet and Randy Rentz and stays with them when he is in town. He comes to play for us every year.

Next up was the great David Cooler from Bamberg, S.C. known to many as “The Dog Hunting Man!” David is our local star who won the CMA awards for the Carolinas twice and has been a star for a long time. He is the best musician in the state. During the hour -long show he really rocked it out like never before! Crowds gathered inside the building when he started playing and screamed and yelled for more! Our David Cooler really gave us a show.

While David was playing, Cody Webb, Ridge Spring, S.C. native, was setting up his band on the flat bed stage outside and when David finished Cody keyed the mike and said, “How about that David Cooler, ya’ll? What a show!” Then Cody told the crowd that he remembers traveling with his father’s band to hear David Cooler in action and it was great! He said what a voice.

Then Cody started singing his most recent hit songs like “IF Daddy didn’t have a Truck” and Peaches and Don’t Grow up too Fast. Cody Webb is a Nashville singer/songwriter who has recently come into his own in the music business. Cody is the next country music star who will make it in Nashville. We are so glad to have known him “when.” Cody did the TV spot on Channel 6 Augusta, Ga to advertise the festival and represented the small town.

Topping off the night at about 11:00 was the Mud Digger, Lenny Cooper himself and his band and friends. One star with him who performed was Shawn Paris who has just released a hit song called Back It Up with Lenny Cooper and Dirtified Records from Nashville. Lenny Cooper is the famed recipient of two Gold Records in 2023 with Colt Ford and Average Joes Recording Studios in Nashville.

The festival was a huge success, drawing about half as many people this time as Ehrhardt had covering its small Main St in August of 2023. It was also on Easter Weekend and Frog Jump weekend unknowingly. The committee will choose a better date next March but from now on it will be a Music/ Hunting festival held in the Spring.

Mayor Gene Sease wants to thank everyone who helped him out in any way to make it a success. His sisters, Ginger and Kristi, Event/Stage Manager April Campbell and Graphics; Publicity and Entertainment Manager, Pansy Clayton.

Mayor Gene Sease quote: My parents helped start this Festival in 1976 and by testing the waters with these 2 Music Festivals I intend to find a way to keep it going into the future out of respect for them and all the ones before us who have worked so hard to keep our town festival going each year for 45 years. Looking forward to the 46th Schuetzenfest Festival next year, 2025.