Anderson County, S.C.  (December 22, 2021) — 89,383 Anderson County residents were employed as of November, according to new data released by the SC Department of Employment & Workforce.

“One year ago, almost 4,500 of our friends and neighbors were unemployed due to the results of the pandemic” said County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn.  “I am thankful to announce today that number has declined by almost 50 percent. This stands as testimony to the resiliency of our local economy and, most especially, our people.”

The county’s 2.7% unemployment rate represents a decrease from the 2.9% recorded in October and is the lowest rate observed since the onset of economic disruptions related to the pandemic. By way of comparison, the county’s unemployment rate peaked at 11.8% in May 2020.

The unemployment rate for the state of South Carolina in November was reported at 3.7 percent.

The resiliency in the local economy can be attributed in large part to the county’s ongoing commitment to economic development efforts. Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, in 2021 Anderson County announced new and expanded economic development projects representing more than $350 million in capital investment and creation of 1,100 new jobs.

Anderson County also worked to spur activity in the travel and tourism sector, most significantly through hosting events at Green Pond Landing.  During 2021, tournaments staged at Green Pond attracted more than 1,450 boats and 6,000 spectators, resulting in a local economic impact in excess of five million dollars.

The decade from 2010 to 2020 began and ended with significant nationwide economic distress; however, three data points of interest recently released by the US Federal Reserve serve to highlight gains in the economic health of our community:

  • Adjusted for inflation, the Gross Domestic Product for Private, Goods-Producing industries in Anderson County increased by 35 percent, rising from $1.49 billion in 2010 to $2.01 billion in 2020.
  • Median household income increased by 36 percent, from $38,851 in 2010 to $52,667 in 2020.
  • Over the course of the decade, the number of children living in poverty in our community dropped by one-third, and the total number of persons living in poverty declined by almost twenty percent.

Anderson County Council and staff extends their best wishes to each and every one of you for a happy holiday season and a prosperous, and healthy, new year.


“This time of the year is spent in good cheer

And neighbors together do meet

To sit by the fire with friendly desire

Each other in love to greet

Old grudges forgot are put in the pot

All sorrows aside they lay

The old and the young doth carol this song

To drive the cold winter away”

-In Praise of Christmas, traditional English carol



Media Contact:       Steve Newton, Governmental Affairs Director

(864) 260-1010 |

The 2021/22 Palmetto Boat Center College Tournament Trail and High School Tournament Trail will visit Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC on Friday, December 10th & Saturday, December 11th, 2021. Friday the 10th will be day one of the PBC College Tournament Trail Championship. The 11th will be day 2 of the PBC College Tournament Trail and stop number 4 for the PBC High School Tournament Trail.  Blast off will be approximately 6:45 am each day.  Weigh in for middle school teams will begin at 1:30 pm.  College and High School teams will start at 3:00 pm.  The event will be held at the Green Pond Landing & Event Center, which is located at 470 Green Pond Road, Anderson, SC 29625.  The event is free to the public.

“We are expecting 50 College team boats for Fridays college championship, which equates to 100 students and 200 High School/Middle School boats, which equates to 400 students and 200 volunteer adult captains. said Rob Daniels, Tournament Weigh Master for the Palmetto Boat Center college and High tournament trails. ” High School bass fishing has exploded and has proven to be a wonderful opportunity for these young men and women transition from high school to collegiate competitive bass fishing. The PBC Tournament trail has provided a platform for these high school anglers to gain access to college coaches and recruiters with the end result in many cases being a college bass fishing scholarship assisting in the advancement of their education and competitive bass fishing”

Palmetto Boat Center College Tournament Trail Director Chris Kanute said “One of the goals the PBC Tournament Trail set out last year was to blend our high school and college series together. We felt like this would be a great platform to showcase the talent the state had to offer the sport of fishing. This event on Lake Hartwell will be the first, but certainly not the last, combined event and the facilities at Green Pond are the perfect venue to continue to showcase these young anglers and Anderson County.”

The student anglers, College and High School, will be competing for the heaviest five bass limit, and for an array of prizes, including a $2,000 scholarship to the winning team in each class. The trail will crown an Angler of the Year and School of the Year for the college series on Saturday the 11th. These scholarships are sponsored by Palmetto Boat Center.

Avery Hammock and Garrett Smith from Erskine College currently hold the number one spot for Angler of the Year in the college series. When asked about the trail Avery Hammock said “We’ve had a lot of fun this year fishing the PBC College Series. We have a lot of pressure on us going into Hartwell but we have had a decent practice so far. Hopefully it will hold up for us. It would mean the world to us to bring this one home.” Garrett Smith said, “We are super excited to be leading the AOY going into the final tournament. It has been an amazing year and I am super blessed to be in this position. I am super thankful to be able to fish this amazing trail and thankful to all those that help to put it on all year. I can’t wait to see what happens this weekend.”

The event is sponsored by Palmetto Boat Center, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Shimano Fishing, Nitro Performance Bass Boats, Phoenix Bass Boats, Tracker Off Road, Mercury Marine, Trick Step, Visit Anderson, and Anderson County Parks & Recreation Department.

Coach Mark Stone from Wren Bass Fishing Team said “The PBC Trail is a great outlet for these young men and women to get out and showcase their talent. Not everyone is cut out for baseball, football, or basketball. So, this trail gives them a chance to be part of a team on a smaller scale and gives them that sense of accomplishment. Hats off to Marty Walker and the PBC team for all that they do.”

“These student anglers are the future of our sport,” said Walker.  “It’s amazing how this trail continues to grow.  We see new students participating each year.  We have teams from all over the upstate.”  Participants from the trail have advanced to college competition with schools such as Lander, Erskine, Clemson, USC, and Emmanuel just to name a few.

The Palmetto Boat Center High School Tournament Trail was established in the fall of 2015 to create a large-scale competitive environment for the high school fishing teams and clubs in South Carolina.  The trail filled the need for central coordination and operation of high school tournaments.  The Palmetto Boat Center College Tournament Trail was established in the fall of 2020 and has rapidly expanded to a regional trail drawing participants from South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, just to name a few.

This is the 7th full season for the High School Tournament Trail and the 2nd full season for the College Tournament Trail. The college series consist of 3 regular season tournaments in the fall and a 2-day classic championship where after day 1 the field is cut to the top 15 teams for day 2. The High School trail consists of six regular season tournaments, and a final 2-day classic championship event.  A middle school division exists to encourage participation from younger competitors.  The teams compete for points in each tournament to determine the Anglers of the Year and the School of the Year.  The top teams can qualify for the end of season two day “Classic” tournament which is an invitational event.

Our regular season college events participate in the Collegiate Bass Championship Series where they earn points on each event for school of the year. Our regular season High School events are all sanctioned tournaments by South Carolina BASS Nation, as qualifying points events towards the BASS Nation High School National Championship.  In the summer of 2019, the trail sent seven teams to participate in the National Championship.

For more information on the tournament trail, contact Marty Walker at 864-561-2026,


Contact: Ben Phillips

Phone: (864) 933-2547


Anderson Christmas Lights: A Family Tradition

Anderson, South Carolina, December 7, 2021

For 28 wonderful years the Anderson Christmas Lights, not only has a new look but a title sponsor. We are the Duke Energy Anderson Christmas Lights. Six families and seven charities, for total of 38 volunteers spent hundreds of hours setting this up in less than 30 days. We cherish family traditions and are grateful that we get to be a part of the traditions of families in the Upstate.

The site offers 2.5 miles of light lined, traditional decorations on the 45 acre site. The Anderson County old County Farm property, behind Anderson Mall, across the street from the Anderson Civic Center is easily accessed from I-85, Clemson Blvd or Hwy 28.

The Santa Lodge has been completely renovated and has a warm home feeling. The NEW General Store has local vendors, handcrafted gifts. Local writers, Fred Baus and Bonnie Walls have their books in the store and are on hand weekends to personally sign them.

There is a bakery that boast a minimum of 10 flavored cake pops.  Decorated cupcakes, fresh baked cookies, hand dipped pretzels, and other sweets to fix any sweet tooth. All of this is made by a local family bakery.

In the 28 years of operation, the cost of admission remains at $10 per car and $20 for 15 passengers or more. Hot Chocolate, marshmallows for roasting, cookies, and other snacks are still $1. This makes it possible for every family the opportunity to enjoy the Christmas spirit in Light and with Santa in the Village.

The Duke Energy Anderson Christmas Lights is more than just a lights show. We love that families are able to spend time here with us and that we have become a tradition of love and Christmas cheer for the community.

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If you would like additional information about this topic, please call (864) 933-2547 or email

Anderson’s Abney Athletic Center to be Home of the 2021 NCAA Southeast Region Tournament


ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson University volleyball team is set for its fourth straight and seventh overall appearance in the NCAA Southeast Region Tournament, as the No. 2-seeded Trojans are slated to square off against seventh-seeded Mars Hill in the third match of the day on Thursday, with first-serve between the Trojans and Lions set for 5 p.m.

The Trojans will host the eight-team tournament, Dec. 2-4 at the Abney Athletic Center. The three-day event will begin Thursday, Dec. 2. The regional semifinals will take place on Friday, Dec. 3, with the regional title match on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Ticket Prices

All Session Passes

  • Adults $20 and Students/Children/Seniors/Military $10

Each Day Tickets – Each Session

  • Adults $10 and Students/Children/Seniors/Military $5
  • Tickets will not be available online

Anderson Attendance Policy
Masks are encouraged inside all buildings on campus. Guests must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from anyone outside of their family group.

The contest will also mark Anderson’s sixth appearance in the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championship since the 2013 campaign. AU also earned a berth in the 2008 NCAA Southeast Region NCAA Championship after winning the Conference Carolinas tournament title. (Due to COVID-19, the NCAA did not host a championship in 2020).

The Trojans
Anderson (22-7) enters the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed after becoming the ninth team in program history to post at least 22 victories in a single season and saw four players earn All-South Atlantic Conference honors at the conclusion of the regular season. The Trojans wrapped up the season with a share of the SAC Regular Season Championship – its second title in five seasons – and finished as runners-up to Lenoir-Rhyne in the SAC Tournament.

In the last regional held by the NCAA, the No. 6-seed Trojans fell to third-seeded Carson-Newman, 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-20) in the opening round of the 2019 NCAA Southeast Region Tournament at Wingate’s Cuddy Arena.

As a No. 4 seed, AU swept Lander in the 2018 NCAA Regional Quarterfinals before falling in four sets to top seed and host Wingate at Cuddy Arena. As a four-seed in 2017, the Trojans blanked fifth-seeded Queens in the quarterfinals and nearly advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history before falling in five sets to top-seeded and eventual regional champion Flagler.

In addition to the last four consecutive seasons, AU also earned berths in the 2008, 2013 and 2014 NCAA Southeast Region Championships and owns a 3-6 overall record in its six previous appearances.

The Trojans earned their first-ever bid after winning the 2008 Conference Carolinas Tournament and were swept by Wingate in the region quarterfinals. AU received an at-large bid to the 2013 regional and the No. 5 seeded Trojans promptly upset fourth-seeded Tusculum in the quarterfinals for AU’s first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament. Top-seeded Wingate ended AU’s run in the second round. The Trojans entered the 2014 Southeast Regional as the No. 5 seed and dropped a five-set decision to Augusta in the opening round.

Behind their four All-SAC selections, the Trojans lead the SAC in hitting percentage (.244) and rank second in kills per set (13.40/set), assists per set (12.58/set) and points per set (16.8/set), while standing fifth with 173 service aces, sixth in blocks (199) and ninth in digs per set.

Junior setter Madison Roy, a two-time all-conference honoree, currently leads the SAC with a career-high 1,171 assists and a career-best 11.05 assists per set.

The North Myrtle Beach native has recorded at least 40 assists in 17 matches this season, while reaching the 50+ assist plateau eight times, including a career-high with 53 assists in back-to-back contests against Newberry and Mars Hill and then again against Queens in the SAC Tournament Quarterfinals.

She has posted a dozen double-doubles and captured SAC Offensive Player of the Week honors in early November. Roy already ranks eighth in the school record books with 1,804 career assists and third in the record books by dishing out 10.55 career assists per set.

Senior Regan Duty has earned postseason all-conference accolades in four consecutive seasons and is tied for the team lead with 261 kills on the season – just two shy of equaling her career best for a season. She is currently fifth in the league with a career-best .307 hitting percentage, 10th in total kills, 15th in kills per set (2.61/set) and 28th in total blocks (50).

The Inman native was named SAC Offensive Player of the Week in mid-September and posted double-figure kills in 11 matches, including knocking down a career-high 20 kills against Mars Hill in late September. Duty hit .400 or better in 13 contests this season, including two that were above .500. She is 13th in the AU record books with 910 career kills and a 2.54 kills per set average.

Noelle Knutsen captured all-conference accolades for the second time of her stellar career after being named SAC Defensive Player of the Week in early September. The Parker, Colo., native is fourth in the league with a .313 hitting percentage, sixth with 0.98 blocks per set and ranks eighth with 97 total blocks. She has posted eight matches with at least a .400 hitting accuracy, while recording double-digit kills in a dozen matches. She notched a career-best 24 kills against Lincoln Memorial in October and tallied at least five total blocks on six occasions this season, while posting nine against Carson-Newman. Knutsen currently ranks ninth in the school record books with 243 career blocks – just four shy of former standout Hailey Pittman (2011-14).

Jaelyn Grimm garnered Third-Team All-Conference recognition after finishing the regular season ranking second in the SAC with a .325 hitting percentage and ranking 25th in the league in kills per set (2.31/set) and 19th in total blocks (61). The Cedar Park, Texas, native knocked down double-figure kills 10 times, while recording a season-high 17 against Lincoln Memorial.

Meghan DeVaux and Sadie Kluner collected SAC All-Tournament Team honors at the conclusion of the tourney. Kluner is third on the team and 15th in the conference with 246 kills, while tallying double-digit kills in 13 contests, including each of the three SAC Tournament contests. She knocked down a career-high 21 kills on a .286 hitting percentage in the five-set loss to LR in the title match.

DeVaux ranks 13th in the school record books with 1,381 digs and ninth with 3.58 digs per set. She led a balanced defensive effort with 406 digs after notching double-digit digs in 21 matches, with a season-high 29 against Wingate in early October.  Junior Lindsay McCurley is second on the squad with 264 digs (2.47/set) and tallied double-figure digs 13 times, including a season-high 23 in the SAC Quarterfinal victory over Queens.


#7 Mars Hill

The Lions (21-12) finished seventh in the South Atlantic Conference regular season standings, but posted a four-set win over SAC Tournament Champion and No. 1 seed Lenoir-Rhyne last month and swept No. 8 seed Francis Marion in the season-opener for both squads. The Lions also took both third-seeded Tusculum and fourth-seeded Wingate to five sets during the season and knocked off No. 6-seed Augusta in four sets.

Mars Hill leads the SAC in digs per set (20.17) and ranks fifth in the league with 1.85 blocks per set. Individually, Sarah Goddard and Grace Lilly rank sixth and seventh, respectively in the SAC with 3.22 kills per set and 3.02 kills per set, while Jana Cuk is 21st (2.48/set) in the conference. Teammate Jordan Schmucker ranks fifth with 9.12 assists per set and Ully Martins paces the SAC with 6.32 digs per set.

Goddard, Cuk and Martins all earned all-conference honors at the conclusion of the regular season.


The Series vs. the Lions

The Trojans blanked Mars Hill in their only meeting during the abbreviated spring campaign after sweeping the 2017, 2018 and 2019 regular-season series with the Lions. AU has won 10 straight past the Lions after dropping three consecutive decisions to them during the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.

AU marked its 2021 home-opener by defeating Mars Hill, 3-1 (25-12, 19-25, 25-19, 25-14) in their only regular-season matchup this season, with Duty notching a career-high 20 kills and committing just four errors in 35 swings for a .457 hitting percentage. Kluner added 13 kills on a stellar .306 attacking accuracy, while coming up with four digs. Senior outside hitter Maya Learmonth posted 10 kills, a pair of digs and two blocks, with Roy equaling her career-best by dishing out 53 assists for the second straight match and adding 10 digs for her fifth double-double of the campaign. She also chipped in three block assists.

Freshman Hannah Neff recorded 11 digs after coming up with 10 in the previous matchup at Newberry. The Fort Mill native also notched three service aces on the afternoon, while DeVaux recorded 27 digs. Junior Lindsay McCurley came up with 15 digs.

The Trojans lead the overall series, 19-11. After MHU won the first-ever meeting in 1997, the Trojans won five of the next six meetings over the following 11 seasons. After the Trojans earned three straight wins over the Lions to gain a narrow advantage in the overall series, Mars Hill swept the 2015 season’s regular-season matchups to claim a brief 10-9 edge in the overall series.

Anderson defeated the Lions in AU’s inaugural season in the SAC in 2010, with Mars Hill countering by claiming seven straight wins before AU won the 2013 series finale over the Lions and swept both regular-season matchups four years ago. With the three-set road win at Mars Hill in 2017, the Trojans clinched their first-ever South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship.


2021 NCAA Southeast Region Tournament
at Anderson University (Abney Athletic Center)

Thursday, Dec. 2
Game 1: #1 Lenoir-Rhyne vs. #8 Francis Marion, Noon
Game 2: #4 Wingate vs. #5 Flagler, 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: #2 Anderson vs. #7 Mars Hill, 5 p.m.
Game 4: #3 Tusculum vs. #6 Augusta, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 3
Game 5: winner game 1 vs. winner game 2, 5 p.m.
Game 6: winner game 3 vs. winner game 4, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 4
(Region Championship Match)
Game 7: winner game 5 vs. winner game 6, 5 p.m.