Festival fundraiser planned for Front Street fire victims

(Ava Wilhite/WCIV)

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) -- Plans for a major fundraiser to help Front Street fire victims will be announced Thursday.

A press conference was held{} in Georgetown on the sidewalk in front of the destroyed buildings on Front St.

The event will be held Saturday, November 23.

We're told the fundraiser will be a festival including singers, celebrities, former pro athletes including former NFL player Ervin "Blue Print" Parker and Walter Hemingway from the bands Curve and The Root Doctors. There will also be a Heisman Trophy winner and former heavyweight boxers.

"Our friends in professional athletics and music have really stepped forward to make this event happen," said former Buffalo Bills linebacker and founder of the Blue Print Leadership Academy Ervin "Blue Print" Parker. "It is our goal that the community will come out and have a good time while supporting our neighbors, family and friends directly impacted by the devastating fire on Front Street."

Activities will include a singles and doubles cornhole tournament and an "After Dark on the Deck" evening party with live bands and live auction. Auction items will include an NFL package that lets the winner on the field at a Baltimore Ravens game. A Super Bowl package is also available.

Food Trucks will be on hand for refreshments.

Proceeds will go to the Front Street Relief Fire Fund.

Eight{} buildings were destroyed in that fire back in September. Several buildings that date back to the mid-1800s were affected.

Officials said Goudelock Gallery and Shop, Witzel Art, Limpin Jane's Restaurant, the Boardwalk Market, Buzz's Roost, Doodle Bugs Children's Shop, Zest Restaurant, Harbor Walk Books and Colonial Florist were all significantly damaged.

There were also seven apartments seriously damaged.

The city's new Maritime Center was also damaged in the fire, but sprinklers helped prevent the flames from spreading through the building.

Mayor Jack Scoville said damage was estimated to be in the millions, adding it may take two years to completely rebuild the area.

Georgetown's mayor also said a cigarette tossed into a trash can behind one of the businesses started the fire. Fire Chief Joey Tanner said they are still waiting for a preliminary report on the cause of the fire.

Clean-up was put on hold last month because a special asbestos crew had to come in to safely remove the toxic insulation material.

Gov. Nikki Haley announced that while the town would not be receiving any federal funding to rebuild from FEMA, her office is coming up with an ad campaign that will cost $20,000 and focus on tourism in Georgetown.