So we are now one week post launch of this website and the video… How’d everyone like it? We are so proud of this video and the response to it was incredible. So thank you! While this a celebrate everything that’s great about the county, we also want to celebrate the people that make up the county and made this video so successful. So now, it’s time for a little background on the video, some cool facts, and some things you maybe didn’t pick up on, or did you?
The opening scene is the seemingly endless fruit trees at Chattooga Belle Farm with a beautiful little girl, Ellerie. She delivered some sass on filming day that made an early morning call time worth it; and she brought along her mom, who was just as cool! Chattooga Belle is located in Long Creek, SC and has gorgeous views of the mountains as well as a Bistro that has food that is to die for. CBF actually shows up frequently in our video but we’ll get to those scenes later.
The next scene is the golf scene at Cross Creek Plantation. If you look closely, you can still see the dew that was on the grass… again another early morning but so worth it. Golfing is a huge asset not only to our county but also our state. People come from all over to golf here in South Carolina and especially in Oconee County. The cast for this scene was Daja, who is the Marketing Manager for the Oconee Economic Alliance and Ethan who was the summer intern (well wishes to you Ethan at BYU). They both volunteered their time and their pro golfing skills to get us this great shot of Cross Creek!
Co-working is a newer trend in the working world. Blame it on the millennials. But, what's even better is that we have our very own co-work space right here in Oconee County. With colorful walls and eye-catching decorations that always have a story behind them, 224 Co-Work in Downtown Walhalla, SC really knows how to welcome professionals. As the camera spans over the front lobby and meeting space, take note of the colorful walls and whiteboards everywhere. Collaborating with fellow business professionals is strongly encouraged at 224. We wanted this setting to be young professionals to show the blossoming opportunity for business to younger generations. Brooklyn, who attended West Oak High School and Clemson University, a double major in Philosophy and Women's Leadership I might add, was our star YP. She truly embodied what we wanted to show with her personality and easy going nature. This scene wouldn’t have been possible without her teamwork! Did you see what I did there?
We couldn’t have a video about Oconee County without showing the manufacturing side of our business climate. We highlighted Baxter Enterprises, a BMW supplier, which is located in the Oconee Industry & Technology Park. We have over 60 existing industries represented in our county employing over half of the population. With the highlight of Baxter, we wanted to squash the stigma around manufacturing being dirty work. That is a thing of the past. Manufacturing has evolved in the past few years and has become a much cleaner and regulated work environment with a focus to be environmentally friendly.
And of course that awesome plane scene coming over Chattooga Belle can’t go unrecognized. Just Aircraft is located in Walhalla and manufacturers small aircrafts, and on a beautiful day, we have too many of those to count here in the OC, they really do land out at Chattooga Belle for a lunch break. Fun Fact: Janet Hartman, Destination Oconee Manager and Think Oconee creator, was in the plane when we captured footage from the air. Mr. Gary flew out that morning to Chattooga Belle and helped us capture footage of manufacturing in the sky. Another Fun Fact: Just Aircraft was the first company manufacturing aircraft in SC, wayyyy before Boeing in Charleston. Ellerie was also very excited about the plane and even got to sit in the cockpit and have her picture taken!
Now I know, you’ve been reading for a while now but we finally made it to lunch. We focused on the beautiful view of CBF but also the beautiful and delicious food they sell. Mr. Gary is featured front and center, and while it was hard to get him to laugh, I think we finally got him to crack a smile and got a great shot of just how gorgeous it is out in Long Creek.
No hot day is complete without a cannon ball in a pool, right? The pool scene features the Walhalla City pool, and drives home the theme that kids have a place here in Oconee County too. The Walhalla City pool is owned by the City but has a partnership with the YMCA to staff for lifeguards and activities. It’s the perfect hangout spot on a hot summer day and there’s even a splash pad for the little ones. You should definitely check it out before we go to cooler weather, unless you're brave and enjoy a polar bear plunge.
Continuing with our water theme, we have Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee. On Lake Jocassee we focused on the beautiful mountain views and if you look super close, there’s actually a paddle boarder in the video! Our shots at Lake Keowee focused on getting a workout in while also relaxing… I know, two things that shouldn’t go together but they do. You can rent both a kayak or a paddleboard and take them out on the lake to enjoy the beautiful views. If you don't think these are workouts, then you just wait until the morning after you do it!
Farmer’s markets are a big event on the weekends, and even during the week. Local farmers from the county bring produce and handmade goods to the farmer’s market and sell them. It’s a great way to connect with local farmers while continuing to shop local. You may notice that there’s a Th!nk Oconee bag being used by Emily, who also works in the OEA office. Another way to shop local is through the local art galleries. While we featured Loblolly Arts in Seneca, there are many scattered throughout the county with unique art pieces that you can only get in Oconee County. If you listen closely you might even hear a small dog bark in that scene from sweet Daisy who hangs out at the art gallery all the time.
Up next, is the infamous Stumphouse Tunnel in Walhalla, SC. Cool fact about that place, it’s an old rail road bed that was left incomplete when the Civil War started. It is also the birthplace of Clemson Blue Cheese. A CU professor tested a thesis to see if you could make cheese in the tunnel since the conditions seemed to be perfect for that. Well, he was right and thus Clemson Blue Cheese was born. Right near Stumphouse is Issaquena Falls. After a short hike down, you get to see the beautiful views of the falls and maybe even cool off by dipping your feet in the water. This was a fun scene to shoot because there was another dog on set and who doesn't love dogs (and cats). Leanne, the Graphic Design Coordinator for the OEA and Think Oconee, and Bean (the dog) came out for that scene and enjoyed the views. Tough day at work, right?
Bolt Treehouse is a beautiful AirBnB in Walhalla, SC. It is owned by NEEDTOBREATHE singer Seth Bolt and his wife, Tori. It has a full wall of windows that showcase the beautiful nature of Oconee County and while you feel very secluded, you also are close to everything! The couple (Tyler & Alli) that willingly helped with the proposal scene were actually already married and just recently moved to the area. With them they brought their 3 kids so we had fun playing and exploring with them while mom and dad “worked”.
Jazz on the Alley is a big attraction for Ram Cat Alley in Seneca, SC. It’s a way to hang out with friends and also hear great music. Every Thursday, weather permitting, in the Spring and Summer, Ram Cat Alley is shut down and opened up for foot traffic. You can walk freely and visit the local shops and restaurants and enjoy the music. If my sources are correct, Jazz should continue on until the end of August. So don't miss your chance to dance in the streets before the final note plays!
Brews on the Alley shows off its wall of taps and craft beer. Fun Fact: Brews is also a coffee bar and has unique names for all of the featured drinks, like 'The Orange Tabby'. They even get fresh baked goods from Walnut Street Bakery every morning to sell. This scene featured interns from ITT, another existing industry in the county. Two of the stars attend Texas A&M and the other attends Clemson. No doubt, their experiences that day will bring them back to OC.
Lots of good food is about to come up, so hope you haven’t gotten too hungry! Vangeli’s is a great Italian restaurant, with a Cajun/Creole, Greek/Mediterranean, and southern flare, that offers great food and a intimate atmosphere to dine in. You have to make sure to book your reservation early though because they are popular! An expansion is coming soon so make sure to check it out once it’s complete!
We have finally made it to the closing scene… YAY! If you’ve stuck around this far, thank you! This is where it all comes full circle (get it, because the logo is a circle). We wanted this video to provide a 'A Day in Oconee County' feel. Not that you’d do all of this in one day, but if you do you deserve some kind of prize. We wanted to show you that there are so many things to do here. The closing scene is of our "grandparents" and sweet Ellerie, bringing together the day and the generations. Throughout the entire video we highlight almost every generation represented in the county to truly show that Oconee is a place for everyone. There are endless possibilities here for you to succeed.
So, as we like to say…
When you think... Home, Growth, or Adventure...
When you think about the Possibilities of life... Th!nk Oconee.