Fin Fest was first purposed as “Friday Fin Fest” back in 1998. The Palmetto Parrot Head Club spent 1999 planning for the first event to be scheduled for Friday, April 28, 2000.
Fin Fest Entertainment thru the years:
- FFI (April 28, 2000): The Landsharks
- FFII (May 18, 2001): The Landsharks
- FFIII (May 4, 2002): Finz Up Band (featuring TJ Walsh) (Jim Morris cancelled)
- FFIV (April 25, 2003): The Calypso Nuts
- FFV (May 8, 2004): The Landsharks
- FFVI (May 14, 2005): The Sunny Jim Band (featuring James “Sunny Jim” White)
- FFVII (April 29, 2006): Jimmy Parrish and The Ocean Waves Band
- FFVIII (April 14, 2007): Rum Punch Bandits, Laidback Larry
- FFIX (June 14, 2008): James “Sunny Jim” White, Brent Burns, Tsunami Wave Riders, Fin City Duo (featuring TJ Walsh), Laidback Larry
- FFX (June 13, 2009): Key West – The Band, Laidback Larry
- FFXI (May 23, 2010): Jim Morris and The Big Bamboo Band, James “Sunny Jim” White, Brent Burns
- FFXII (May 27-29, 2011): Jim Morris and The Big Bamboo Band, James “Sunny Jim” White, Brent Burns, Rum Punch Bandits, Laidback Larry, Homemade Wine
- FFXIII (May 25-27, 2012): The Sunny Jim Band (featuring James “Sunny Jim” White), Latitude, Tsunami Wave Riders, The Caribbean Cowboys, Laidback Larry, Pantasia and Caribbean Soul.
- FFXIV (June, 2013): Tsunami Wave Riders, Laidback Larry, David Hope Crawford, Trop Rock Junkies
- FFXV (July 26, 2014): “Card Sharks” Poker Crawl (Best Hand Winner: Stacey French)
- FFXVI (May 2, 2015): “Card Sharks” Poker Crawl
- FFXVII (June 11, 2016): “Card Sharks” Poker Crawl
Wrap-up following Fin Fest I (April 28, 2000):
“Fins To The Left, Fins To The Right”
Friday Fin Fest 2000 with The Landsharks
Feeding frenzy took on a whole new meaning as our club hosted the Friday Fin Fest on April 28. More than 300 folks circled the University House in Columbia to enjoy a fantastic, interactive performance by the Land Sharks plus food, fun and more! And best of all, lots of money was raised for the Alzheimer’s Association.
The attendance was terrific, especially since we relied only on the word-of-mouth advertising of our club members. Thanks to all of you who sold tickets! The Friday Fin Fest was such a success that we were able to present the Alzheimer’s Association, Mid-State South Carolina Chapter, a check for $1,500 right on the spot. Once all expenses have been accounted for and paid, we will be able to donate even more!
Support from the business community was also wonderful. We were able to get the majority of our food and party supplies donated, and thus were able to focus our efforts on raising money for our charity. A big “thank you” goes out to these businesses who donated stuff: Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Wal-Mart, WG Wings (Wade and Nancy Abbott), Coca-Cola (Jimmy Terrell), Seagram
Wine and Spirits (Parrot Bay Rum and Margaritaville Tequila), Fort James Corporation, Caughman Meat’n Place and Palmetto Propane & Ice (John Morris).
Our raffle was also a huge success. We raised $600 and were able to give away lots of “parrot-phernalia,” including the grand prize of $300. Thanks to these businesses who donated prizes: Goin’ Bananas, WG Wings, Coconut Beach.com, Shades of Summer, Sun Your Buns, Sundance Grill, Columbia College Aquatics (Sherry McDowell), Pam Pope (Key West Chronicle prints), The Uppercut, Inc., Trio’s Super Salon, Tony’s Party Shop, Haley’s Fine Jewelry & Design, Outback Steakhouse, St. Thomas Gallery, The Wright Touch, and Ole Timey Meat Market. Thanks also to Stan Bowen for getting many of these raffle prizes donated, and a big hug for our fantastic ticket ladies, Linda Harkey, Connie Martin and Robin McManus.
Thanks again to all that sold tickets and came out to make this event a success! Special thanks go out to Bill and Raynell Woods (for cooking the pig and making arrangements for the band), Jim and Kim Wellman (for keeping our books balanced and their excellent organizational skills), and all the contributions of the PPHC board members. We couldn’t have made such a large donation to the Alzheimer’s Association without everyone’s help!
Fin Fest history and promotion for Fin Fest III (May 4, 2002):
Shortly after the 1998 Meeting of The Minds (MOTM) Parrot Head phlocking in Key West, Palmetto Parrot Head Club (PPHC) member Bill Woods and myself (Scott French) had a discussion about organizing a S.C. Parrot Head party that could involve all six (now seven) of the state’s parrot head clubs.
We thought Columbia, which is in the center of South Carolina, would be suitable for such a phlocking We contacted some of the state’s club leaders and found many amblicable to helping us in our planning. After a few weeks of investigation Bill and I decided that for organizational purposes we should delay the party until April 2000.
During 1999’s MOTM Bill Woods spoke with Gary Roland, leader singer for Orlando, FL., based The Landsharks and we booked the band to play our party. Now we had a band but we had no venue. Organizing a large party proved too difficult so Bill and I enlisted the help of the PPHC Board of Directors. The Board decided to handle all of the organizational plans itself and make it an exclusive PPHC party. Through PPHC friends, we booked the University House (a tailgating venue across from the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium). Former club president Kim Wellman dubbed the party Friday Fin Fest!
The week before the party only 75 tickets had been sold; we were scared the party would be a bust. Our club rallied! We sold an additional 150 tickets within the week (including 40 walk-up ticket sales). The Landsharks rocked the night away while the rum drinks and margaritas flowed. Bill Woods used a borrowed cooker and we had a huge pig pickin’. Once the bills were paid, the Palmetto Parrot Head Club presented Paul Jeter of the SC Mid-State Alzheimer’s Association with a check for $2000.
As April 2001 approached we once again booked The Landsharks and University House. This time around we pre-sold 230 tickets. Our local Seagram’s representative John Bahman donated a few cases of Margaritaville Tequila. We mixed up multiple gallons of margaritas in addition to the seven kegs of beer. PPHC member Jim Pope loaned us his drink dispenser (1970s convenience store style), which proved to be a big hit with the crowd. Final ticket sales topped 270 and we upped our donation to the Alzheimer’s Association to $2500.
So here we are just a couple of weeks away from Fin Fest III (May 4, 2002). This year the party is being held on Saturday so we dropped “Friday” from the name. At 2001 MOTM Bill Woods arranged for Jim Morris & The Big Bamboo Band to play this year’s event. We’ve booked the venue, ordered the beer, arranged for the pig, and club members are out selling tickets. While our original idea of a statewide phlocking did not immediately evolve, for FFIII we’ve fielded ticket requests from parrot heads all over SC, GA, and NC. We’re anticipating a crowd of 300+ and hope to surpass our last year’s Alzheimer’s Association donation.
Our original idea of a SC party has now been developed into a Regional Parrot Head party in Charleston, SC, called ParrotStock. Sandlapper PHC representative Bob Robinson and Lowcountry PHC head Fred Murray did a wonderful job of organizing the inaugural outing last year and ParrotStock 2K2 is set for June 14-16!
PPHC member (and Parrot Head Web Ring Public Relations Director) John Jeffcoat created a Fin Fest website that includes driving directions, hotel information, and club information. The PPHC website will have all the photos and stories after the event. Hope to see you May 4th!
Fin Fest 15 – Something New For 2014 (July 25-26, 2014):
The Palmetto Parrot Head Club will present Fin Fest 15 – “Card Sharks” Poker Crawl on Saturday, July 26th in Columbia’s Vista.
To freshen things up a bit, we are trying something new for this year’s event. Fin Fest 15 will be a poker crawl through Columbia’s Vista. Crawlers will draw a playing card at each bar stop. Prizes will be awarded for the best poker hand. Additionally we will include prizes raffles, games and a silent auction.
Check back shortly for further details and registration information.
PPHC Board of Directors