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Ukes For All Ages In Greenville, South Carolina
If your only image of the ukulele is Tiny Tim playing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”, then take a look at what the state of South Carolina has to offer.
The southeastern US state is the perfect place to enjoy the ukulele and its Hawaiian history: It has a vast shoreline of subtropical beaches and marshlike sea islands, pastel-coloured houses and the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of beachfront known for golf courses and the vacation town of Myrtle Beach.
In Greenville, uke enthusiasts can sit by riverside gardens and strum away to the sounds of wildlife and waterfalls. Indoors, the Greenville Ukulele Meetup get together at the Stomping Grounds Coffee House and Wine Bar at 208 Trade Street. The group meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month to play the uke and sing. Don’t have your own ukulele yet? The group provides extras. All you have to do is bring your voice and your ukulele songbook, if you have one.
If you prefer the company of golden-aged uke enthusiasts, Yesterukes is where you should be. Upstate’s premier ukulele band is mostly made up of gray haired enthusiasts that play songs from days gone by, entertaining primarily senior adult audiences with sing-along programs featuring songs from the 20s to 60s. They’ve entertained thousands of people over the years, playing everywhere from churches to pubs, and always provide a face-paced and entertaining performance. Some of the band’s favourite music to play includes: Sentimental Journey, Sweet Georgia Brown, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Rawhide, Under the Boardwalk, This Land is Your Land, Personality, Oh Lonesome Me, Pennies From Heaven, I’ll Fly Away and All of Me.
While two ukulele clubs is where Greenville’s uke community ends, the rest of South Carolina picks up what Greenville lacks. Three hours away in Charlston is the Little David Ukulele and Dulcimer Music Festival. Held at Old Santee Canal Park around April of every year, the festival includes a full day of performances and open mics. In 2018, the event welcomed the Charleston Hot Shots, Nathan Gabriel Miller, Allen Vance, Keith Miller and Mark Howell.
The outdoor festival is free, all visitors have to do is pay the regular admission to the park.
The town also previously held the Blackwater Ukulele and Dulcimer Festival at Cypress Gardens, but due to the historic flooding in South Carolina in October 2015, the festival was cancelled while the gardens are rebuilt.
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