Fed Up: Okra Strut vote riles festival's creators - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Fed Up: Okra Strut vote riles festival's creators

Crowds gather at the 2014 Okra Strut in Irmo. (Source: WIS) Crowds gather at the 2014 Okra Strut in Irmo. (Source: WIS)
IRMO, SC (WIS) -

It began in 1973 when members of the Lake Murray-Irmo Woman’s Club were looking for a way to raise funding for a new library.

The idea they cooked up: A community festival to celebrate and consume okra. What became known as the Okra Strut turned out to be so successful, the club agreed in 1980 to let town leaders take control. That agreement included provisions granting the Woman’s Club free exhibit space and an exclusive right to sell fried okra.

But now club members say the town’s leadership is trying to change an arrangement that’s been in place for 35 years.

President Peggy Grillot says a newly-reconfigured Irmo Town Council led by Mayor Hardy King has voted to charge the organization for booth space and electricity along with a participation fee. She says the charges add up to $650 and could hurt the club’s program to provide student scholarships.

Grillot says last year, the town made a profit of more than $20,000 from the festival.

On Tuesday, the council passed a first reading of an ordinance setting the fees. Two more readings are needed for passage.

Grillot says it’s not clear what prompted the proposal. She says the ordinance does allow the Woman’s Club to continue as the event’s only seller of fried okra.

Otherwise, she says, “we’re pretty upset about it.”

So far, Mayor King has been unavailable for comment.

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Parents make heartbreaking decision over son with autism

    Parents make heartbreaking decision over son with autism

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:10 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:10:16 GMT
    KMOV has chosen not to identify him by name or show pictures of what he currently looks like. (Credit: Wallens)KMOV has chosen not to identify him by name or show pictures of what he currently looks like. (Credit: Wallens)

    A parent's love knows no bounds. But what happens when you truly believe your child is going to harm himself or someone else? One family tells News 4 they made a heartbreaking decision about their son with autism, all because they felt they had no other options. 

    More >>

    A parent's love knows no bounds. But what happens when you truly believe your child is going to harm himself or someone else? One family tells News 4 they made a heartbreaking decision about their son with autism, all because they felt they had no other options. 

    More >>
  • Deadly virus threatens local crawfish industry

    Deadly virus threatens local crawfish industry

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:26 PM EDT2017-05-23 23:26:19 GMT

    A deadly virus is threatening the crawfish industry in Southwest Louisiana. It's called white spot syndrome virus and it was first discovered in Thailand, but somehow it made its way to ponds in South Louisiana and specialists are struggling to find the funds to research a solution.  “The catch was increasing and increasing and then it dropped 70% and that's when you saw the dead crawfish floating in the water,” said a crawfish farmer of 34 years, Ian Garbarino. He...

    More >>

    A deadly virus is threatening the crawfish industry in Southwest Louisiana. It's called white spot syndrome virus and it was first discovered in Thailand, but somehow it made its way to ponds in South Louisiana and specialists are struggling to find the funds to research a solution.  “The catch was increasing and increasing and then it dropped 70% and that's when you saw the dead crawfish floating in the water,” said a crawfish farmer of 34 years, Ian Garbarino. He...

    More >>
  • Pregnant teen blocked from walking at graduation

    Pregnant teen blocked from walking at graduation

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 2:45 AM EDT2017-05-24 06:45:22 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 2:45 AM EDT2017-05-24 06:45:22 GMT

    The school principal says the student and her parents signed a covenant, vowing the teen wouldn’t have sex.

    More >>

    The school principal says the student and her parents signed a covenant, vowing the teen wouldn’t have sex.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly