You know it's been a great party when someone shows up afterward looking for a set of teeth.
An attendee at a Spittoono Festival came back after it was all over – looking for her grandmother's antique teeth.
“We don't remember if she had been wearing the teeth herself, or if she had been the recipient of them and they'd just fallen out of her purse,” said Justin Rakey, one of the organizers of Spittoono, the annual festival put on by the Redneck Performing Arts Association and traditionally held the first full weekend that Clemson students are back on campus.
This year's Spittoono will be held August 23-25 at the National Guard Armory in Clemson.
2012 marks the 32nd year of the festival, Rakey said.
“It's hard to believe that something so small is still surviving and prospering the way it is,” he said.
Admission is completely free.
“We generate the money for our charities by selling T-shirts and beer,” Rakey said.
This year's festival kicks off at 6pm on Thursday, August 23 and Friday, August 25 and goes until 2am both those nights, he said.
“On Saturday, just because we had so many people wanting to come out, we're actually going to start at 4pm and close out at 2am,” Rakey said.
18 bands are slated to play over the course of the three-night festival.
“They all play for free,” Rakey said. “Everybody wants to come to the show.”
The bands playing for free allows Spittoono to give more money to the charities that the festival benefits.
The charities that will benefit from Spittoono XXXII haven't been selected yet, as organizers will vote on them after the festival.
“Every year we try to benefit some of the same charities,” Rakey said. “We pick organizations that either help kids or help animals. We have some core groups that support us every year, so we try to support them as well.”
As the festival continues to grow, it gets harder to put on each year, Rakey said.
“Everybody's getting married, having kids, it gets harder and harder every year, but when we sit down together, it's a lot of fun to get to write those big checks. It really does make it all worth it.”
In addition to the bands, Spittoono will feature T-shirt sales and food vendors serving up everything from barbecue to ice cream to pizza.”
And it wouldn't be Spittoono without beer.
“The lovely ladies of the Esso Club will be serving refreshments, including adult refreshments,” Rakey said. “The Esso Club is a huge asset to us. We absolutely could not sell as much beer as we do if we were the ones manning the beer tent. The ladies are much more polite and professional than we are.”
Rakey said he wasn't sure if there would be any official clogging or spitting contests at this year's event.
“We won't frown upon it if it breaks out in the crowd,” he said.
Outside beer and coolers are prohibited at the festival.
“People are welcome to bring blankets and spread them out to listen to the music,” Rakey said.
Dogs are welcome at Spittoono, but keep them on a leash as Clemson has a leash law, Rakey said.
While Spittoono is definitely a party environment, Rakey says it's also a very family-friendly affair.
“Bring blankets, bring the kids, enjoy bluegrass music under the stars,” Rakey said. “We do have a saying, though – 'As the moon starts to rise in the sky, you should probably put the little ones away – or at least tie them down somewhere.'”
Spittoono XXXII will be held rain or shine.
“There aren't many things that will stop it,” Rakey said. “One year we had the festival, rains from a hurricane were moving across the Upstate,” Rakey said. “We changed the name from Spittoono to Monsoono.
“There's a lot of things that rain can't stop you from doing and one of them is drinking beer,” Rakey said.
Visit www.facebook.com/spittoono for the full lineup of bands playing during the festival.