Flowertown Festival backdrop for Summerville natives' 1st meeting

By Gregory Woods

SUMMERVILLE, S. C. (WCIV) -- For most people, the Flowertown festival is all about the festivities, the good food, and of course the flowers. But for 73-year-old Lois Krakeel, it's all about the people she meets.

"I love it, everybody is here and everybody wants to know who is who," said Krakeel.

The Summerville native joined Facebook four years ago when her grandchildren brought her a laptop. She said it was a way to keep in touch with long distance family members, but when she found a page called "I Grew Up in Summerville," the social media site became her main source for meeting new friends.

"I like meeting people, and I am not able to get out much so it keeps me connected with people," said Krakeel.

At the 42nd annual Flowertown Festival, Krakeel helped organize a group meeting for the first time. At 2 p.m. Saturday, on Richardson and Main streets across from the city's town hall, dozens of members from the group finally met face to face.

"It's a wonderful day, it couldn't be any better," said Krakeel. "I've seen people that I haven't seen in years, old friends, new friends, people that I've met on Facebook, I love it," said Krakeel.

Some came with cameras to capture the moment, most came with an "I grew up In Summerville" t-shirt, but the entire group came to have a good time.

Krakeel says the Facebook group is all thanks to Summerville native Charmaine Mazyck; she started the group.

"I am just thankful that God has blessed me to be able to bring all these people together and have a good time," said Mazyck.

She said she started the group after she moved away from Summerville and realized how much she missed home. The group has nearly 5,000 members, most of the people are complete strangers who all have one thing in common -- they were all born and raised in Summerville.

"I want to meet and shake as many hands as I can," said Mazyck. "If I have to kiss babies, whatever I have to do I want to meet everybody that's on that blog."

As for Krakeel, she says now is the time for new beginnings, starting with the friends she's made on Facebook.

"Now people are going to associate us with I grew up in Summerville, and we are already working on the shirts for next year," said Krakeel.

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