Saturday, November 7, 2009


Music, cars, rides, food, racing robots, Smokey Bear and a beautiful sunny day contributed to the success of this year’s New Ellenton Atomic City Festival October 10th.

The Heritage Foundation publicized the event and helped recruit SRS exhibits to add to the festivities. The Ecology Lab brought several snakes and turtles and the popular Carolina dogs. Smokey Bear came with the Forest Service and their fire truck. The hydrogen-powered truck from the Hydrogen Lab stood out among the car show vehicles.

SRNL sent racing pipe crawlers that fanned competitive spirits. Visitors were amazed by the size and scope of the Wackenhut mobile emergency command center. The Cold War Artifact Collection was represented with several artifacts and vintage photographs. Faithful volunteers from the SRS Heritage Foundation staffed our exhibits in City Hall.

The SRS Leadership Association got the Foundation off to a good start on our second video by taping interviews with former employees and early residents of nearby communities. Thanks Rich Izard.


Here come the tourists!

The Foundation proposal to establish the SRS Heritage Center at the Savannah River Site has been identified as ‘an important initiative” and an outstanding opportunity by an international tourism consulting firm. Tourism Development International, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, performed the multi-year study for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

On October 8th, the consultants unveiled their recommendations for the Scenic Savannah River Region that includes Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens and McCormick counties. The recommendations included two “Flagship” properties, the Savannah River Site Experience and the Aiken International Equestrian Complex, to broaden and diversify tourism in this region. The Savannah River Site Experience includes the SRS Heritage Center proposed by the Foundation. The consultants referred repeatedly to Heritage Foundation proposals and suggested several enhancements, including increased emphasis on the environmental component, sustainable energy and family fun activities.

Full implementation of the consultant’s recommendations is predicted to lead to an “increase in visitor spending to close to $500 million."

The full 66-MB report is available for download from SCPRT.