Over Achievers

12 09 2014

I would like to congratulate the Florence Civic Center on some recent awards they have received! The Facilities Media Group of New York has presented the facility with the 2014 Prime Site Award benchmarking the Center as an eleventh-year recipient. And as if that wasn’t already great the Civic Center has also been named on the 2015 list of The South’s 101 Largest Expo Halls by the editors of ConventionSouth magazine.

The Facilities Prime Site award is given to the top entertainment, sports and special event venues, including Arenas, Civic Centers, Coliseums, Auditoriums, Stadiums, Theaters, PACs, Amphitheaters, University Venues, Fairgrounds and Special Event Venues. It is voted on by booking agents, promoters, talent buyers and other industry members. Less than one hundred venues in North America were voted to receive the award for excellence.

The South’s 101 Largest Expo Halls list is comprised of convention and exhibition facilities from across 16 states in the South and the Caribbean Seas Region that offer meeting planners the largest amount of contiguous space under one roof, according to research by ConventionSouth’s editorial team. “These event facilities were ranked based on several factors and qualifications, including their location, facility type, ability to accommodate exhibitions and total contiguous event space. Their contiguous space, unlike continuous space, is available to groups through one or more adjoining or adjacent rooms that are not prohibited by fire walls and are located on one level and under one roof,” said ConventionSouth Editor Marlane Bundock.

This is not only good news for the Civic Center but also for our great town of Florence. Because as the Civic Center grows so does the number of visitors to Florence.

Well I’m off to go win my own awards for being awesome! If you want to read more about these awards visit http://ow.ly/AMT1u


-The Voice



What is a Grappling Championship?

4 08 2014

I heard about a sports competition coming to the Florence Civic Center next weekend (August 9) but I didn’t know much about it. The title itself is a mouthful… the North American Grappling Association Myrtle Beach/Florence Grappling Championship. Could you repeat that please? I’ve always been a curious soul, so I had to learn more. Now you might remember from my last post that I got a little too excited and entered into a Crossfit event without really knowing what Crossfit was all about. It took days for my body to recover, so I’m not going to make that mistake again. Rather than just entering the competition on a whim, I decided to do some research first. This is probably the best decision of my life considering what the sport of grappling really is. Here’s a little information on what I discovered…


verb: grapple; 3rd person present: grapples; past tense: grappled; past participle: grappled; gerund or present participle: grappling

  1. engage in a close fight or struggle without weapons; wrestle.
    “passersby grappled with the man after the knife attack”
    synonyms: wrestle, struggle, tussle
  • seize hold of (someone).
    synonyms: seize, grab, catch, catch hold of, take hold of, grasp
  • struggle with or work hard to deal with or overcome (a difficulty or challenge).
    “other towns are still grappling with the problem”
    synonyms: tackle, confront, face, deal with, cope with, come to grips with

Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial arts that are practiced both as combat sports and for self-defense. Grappling does not include striking or most commonly the use of weapons. However, some fighting styles or martial arts known especially for their grappling techniques teach tactics that include strikes and weapons either alongside grappling or combined with it.

There are multiple styles of grappling. The NAGA (North American Grappling Association) will host a No-Gi & Gi Tournament this weekend in Florence. NAGA is an organization started in 1995 that holds Submission Grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments throughout North America and Europe. NAGA is the largest submission grappling association in the world with over 175,000 participants world-wide, including some of the top submission grapplers and MMA fighters in the world.

Have you seen MMA fights? Think of that but without the striking and pounding. Grappling is more tactical-wrestling I’m told. So after this research, I’ve wisely decided to be a mere spectator this time around. Unless you’re a pro, I don’t advise stepping onto the match mats, but I do suggest you grab a spectator seat. Come out and witness grappling for yourself this Saturday, August 9th, at the Florence Civic Center. Watch the competition and learn some new moves. You never know when you’ll have to bust out an arm lock on a burglar or a road-raged maniac, or maybe an in-law.

Visit http://bit.ly/1taz7XV  for more information about this event!


Until next time,
-The Voice

A Different Type of July 4th Celebration

10 07 2014

OK. So I know this post is a little late but I haven’t been able to move my arms much or my legs either. Why? Because I decided to do something different this July 4th weekend and go to the Independence Games. Still confused about how the Independence Games connects to me not being able to move my arms? The Independence Games was a Crossfit event and I decided that 3 days at the gym was all I needed to whip me into shape enough to compete. Well…. I was wrong and now several days later I’m finally able to type again. I guess I should have done a little bit more research on what Crossfit really is before entering the competition. Regardless, I certainly had a blast testing my physical skills this 4th of July. (Get it… had a blast? Fireworks! Lol, I really crack myself up sometimes) This really was a great event, not only was it a great chance to showcase Crossfit athletes but it was also a chance to honor the sacrifice of American military men and women have paid to protect the nation and it’s people’s freedom.

In case you haven’t heard much about Crossfit or the Independence Games, here is some info. CrossFit is well-known for its competitiveness in core strength and conditioning exercises as well as high-intensity interval training. (That should have been my first clue that I wasn’t ready to compete.) Participants at this year’s Independence Games were challenged in a variety of CrossFit workouts combining elements from Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, and strongman exercises. And just for kicks and giggles the coordinators also added in a few military-themed hero WODs (Workout of the Day) as a tribute to the veterans.

So all in all I learned a lot this weekend and had a great time. I’m ready to get back in shape and I think Crossfit exercises are the perfect workout to get me there…. later…. I can’t start just yet, first I’ve got to finish my triple cheese burger and loaded fries.

Until next time,
-The Voice



BEWARE: Bone Collector Coming to Florence

25 06 2014

BoneCollectorWell that sounds scary, but no this isn’t a horror flick nor a Halloween gimmick, this is actually pretty cool opportunity to meet a legendary outdoorsman. You have all heard of the Pee Dee Deer Classic, which as you know is South Carolina’s largest outdoor and hunting expo. Well this year marks the 21st anniversary for the Deer Classic so event coordinators wanted to make sure they brought in some big guns (big name talent that is). One of this year’s special celebrity guests is none other than Michael Waddell, a.k.a. The Bone Collector.

The Bone Collector will be making appearances and interacting with the crowd during the Deer Classic. Michael Waddell, host of The Outdoor Channel’s “Bone Collector” and creator of “Realtree Road Trips” will be available for meet and greet opportunities at select times during all three days.

With a name like “Bone Collector” I had to find out more, so I threw on my boots and my camos, packed my gear, climbed into a tree stand, then searched the web from my smartphone. I know… I’m a pretty extreme hunter. Anyhow, here’s what I found…

Michael Waddell was born in Booger Bottom, Georgia and has over 35 years of hunting under his belt. He got his start in the hunting industry by winning a Realtree turkey calling contest, and from there he started guiding and filming hunts. Before too long, he was running cameras for Realtree all over the country. Now he is the host of The Outdoor Channel’s “Bone Collector” and creator of “Realtree Road Trips”. The Bone Collector now has a fairly large line of products and gear which have become immensely popular across the U.S.

So he’s a pretty big deal, but there’s a ton of other reasons to visit the Pee Dee Deer Classic too. They’ll have a full lineup of deer hunting merchandise, camo items, tree stands, archery equipment, taxidermy, sports vehicles, fishing boats and more. There’s also a 3-D bow tournament, snake show and a live artic wolves exhibit (insert ferocious howling here).

Here’s a little more info to plan your Deer Classic weekend.
When? July 25-27, 2014
Where? Florence Civic Center
Hours? Friday 1pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 10am-6pm.
Cost? Adults $10, Kids 7-12 years $3, Children 6 years old and under are free.
More? Visit http://www.florenceciviccenter.com

And bring the biggest truck you got because the parking is always free!


Crowds at the 2013 Pee Dee Deer Classic

Crowds at the 2013 Pee Dee Deer Classic

-The Voice

Sizzling Summer Savings!

24 06 2014


So I just came across these summer deals and had to share them while the offers last! If the blog feels a little wet is because I’m typing from my summer home (a.k.a. my neighbor’s pool which I use when he’s at work, hehehe). Summer is here, the sun is scorching, and I’ve got a hot deal for ya. Ticketmaster has just launched an online summer promotion “Me+3” deal for Florence events. The offer is valid for both Disney Junior Live On Tour Pirate & Princess Adventure (July 11) …AND… for Sesame Street Live Make A New Friend (September 3). Here’s the scoop on “Me+3”… basically you’re getting 25% off tickets when you buy 4. It’s the perfect offer for families! This is also the same as buying 3 tickets at full price and getting 1 free. Either way you slice it, it’s a great deal. This is a limited time offer though, so get a move on it. You might need to apply sun screen ‘cause this offer is blazin’. You don’t need a special password for this deal while it lasts, just be sure to select the 4-pack offer. Choose your show, then let the summer savings begin. Tickets> http://bit.ly/FloTickets.

Just like my ice cream cone, this offer won’t last much longer. Stay cool my friends.


-The Voice

After 65-million years… they’re returning to Florence

1 05 2014

Have you heard? There are some pretty old celebrities (some over 65 million years old) returning to Florence.  Remember when dinosaurs roamed the earth? No, well me neither, but I caught a glimpse of it last night. ‘Discover the Dinosaurs’, an interactive museum-type display is happening at the Florence Civic Center this weekend and there was no way I could stop myself from sneaking into the arena and snooping around.  …and what I found was some pretty interesting stuff.

The night before my snooping adventure I watched some dino-might (sorry I couldn’t pass up the chance to say that) dinosaur-themed movies. But this might not have been my best idea ever because when I first sneaked into the dark arena and flipped on the lights, I was standing face-to-face with a couple of velociraptors! I won’t go into all the details about how I fell on the ground and let out a very high pitched scream, but I will say there are some very realistic replicas in there.  After I stood up and reminded myself (a couple times) that I was not in a movie, I started walking around and exploring. I don’t want to give everything away but I want to share some of my favorite aspects of the exhibit.

I know I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve thought of joining the circus… but after looking around at this dino exhibit I think I’ll add paleontologist to the list of possible career opportunities. You can actually dig for dino bones inside the venue!.. how cool is that?!?! And I’m no Picasso but I did paint my own dinosaur drawing and added it to the Dino Mural.  But after exploring all the cool things to do, my favorite part was the museum-quality exhibits themselves.  I was expecting some small, cute-looking dinosaurs but WOW!… some of them were huge!  There was a 20-foot T-Rex, a life-size Triceratops and some really impressive dinosaur exhibits. They move and make noises and you can even touch some of them.  The only cute dinos I saw were a couple small ones that had saddles on them for the kiddos to take pictures with. (I have to admit that I did sit on one and took a selfie – hehehe) but you’ll never see that picture; it’s already on my fridge.  Needless to say, I had a great time.  You too can Discover the Dinosaurs this weekend in Florence and have a great time.  Grab the kids and come over to learn, touch, ride and play at this family-fun prehistoric adventure.  If you’re coming, here’s what to know:

When:  Saturday & Sunday, May 3-4, 2014
Hours:  Saturday 9:00am-9:00pm & Sunday 10:00am-7:00pm
Where:  Florence Civic Center
Cost:  There are a couple different packages to choose from.  Take a look at http://bit.ly/1mw4E5Z

Now tell your little Pebbles or Bam-Bam to hop in the Flintstones mobile because you’re headed to see dinosaurs in Florence.  See you there.

-The Voice

‘Big Brother’ TV Star to Perform in Florence at World Wrestling Tour

15 04 2014
Jessie Godderz a.k.a. "Mr. PEC-Tacular"

Jessie Godderz a.k.a. “Mr. PEC-Tacular”

Former ‘Big Brother’ star Jessie Godderz a.k.a Mr. PEC-Tacular signed a deal with TNA IMPACT Wrestling in 2011 and has been competing in front of live audiences ever since. For those unfamiliar, Godderz was the professional body builder on ‘Big Brother’ Seasons 10 and 11, he began training to become a professional wrestler ever since leaving the house.

“Mr. PEC-Tacular” Jessie Godderz, set records during his stretch on the CBS primetime hit series ‘Big Brother’ by appearing on the show for an unprecedented four consecutive years. In addition, he has graced the covers of and has been featured in major fitness and wrestling publications around the globe, ranging from Men’s Exercise to Men’s Workout to Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness to Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Exercise For Men and ONE magazine.

Godderz has joined forces with TNA’s Robbie E to form the tag team “Bro Mans” and quickly became a force in IMPACT Wrestling, having captured the World Tag Team Championship not once, but twice. Whether you’re a Mr. PEC-Tacular wrestling fan or a Big Brother Jessie fan, you can see him live in Florence on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at the TNA IMPACT Wrestling World Tour at the Florence Civic Center.

TNA Quick Stats

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 220lbs
  • From: Hollywood, CA
  • Finisher: The Bro Down

 Notes of Interest

  • Youngest Two-Sport Pro Athlete ever (bodybuilding and wrestling)
  • Formerly, the youngest Natural Pro Bodybuilder in the United States
  • Professional fitness model and magazine cover model

For more photos and info on Jessie Godderz, click here.

Click to see who else will be performing at the IMPACT World Tour in Florence.

Well I gotta go finish my ‘Big Brother’ contestant application.  Plus I might need to hit the gym.  I’ll meet you ring-side.
-The Voice