Peach Jam opens to public for first time since 2019

2022 Peach Jam opens in North Augusta
Peach Jam
Peach Jam(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 12:15 AM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, Sc. (WRDW/WAGT) - The 2022 Peach Jam basketball tournament started Sunday, July 17th. Hundreds of spectators were out to watch teams compete from all over the country for the first time since 2019.

Many people are coming from out of state and even though today’s turnout was big, it’s expected to get even bigger as the week goes on.

Richard Bush, Head of Valet Parking for the Peach Jam says, “we know this gym is gonna be packed out today and every night.”

This week-long event brings together Elite Youth Basketball Leagues from all over the country.

“Being able to come here and give back to the community that gave to us is just a big and everyone comes down to support it and it helps our businesses and for everyone to see how great North Augusta is,” said Bush.

For the first time in three years, doors are back open to the public for spectators. This is something Zachary Verney-Carron, owner of The Larder and Manuel’s Bread Café said he is especially excited about.

“We expect a lot of people to come in and July is usually one of our slower months so we are really happy to have patrons coming back in the area,” said Verney-Carron.

According to the business owner, this week’s sales are expected to have a 50% increase from last week.

While they have not seen many people on opening day, he says business will grow during the week.

“I hear 2,500 people coming to small North Augusta so it’s a lot of people and we staff appropriately,” said Verney-Carron

Gregory Williams traveled from Louisiana because his son is competing this year. He was here back in 2017 and he’s looking forward to trying some local North Augusta dining this time around.

“This year we’re not going to McDonald’s we’re going to something some type of north Augusta cuisine, said Williams.

Both of Williams’ sons have played in the Peach Jam. Something that he describes as more than just a blessing.

“To be able to come back and watch the future of basketball in many ways is priceless, said Williams.”

Today saw 38 games, but it’s just the beginning of this week-long event. North Augusta Parks, Recreation and Tourism, estimates that 7,500 spectators passed through today to watch the games.

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