ceremony recognizes the best of Pee Dee | Economic news


FLORENCECS – Horizons – Best of the Pee Dee – Ceremony took off Thursday evening in the terminal building of Florence Regional Airport.

It was the first time in Best of the Pee Dee’s 32-year history that winners and favorites received their plaques and trophies at an awards ceremony. About 315 people attended, enjoyed food provided by Julia Belle Restaurant, 2106-50 West Lucas St., Florence, and dessert provided by Freeman’s Bakery, 1307G Second Loop Road in Florence. Attendees mingled and listened to music provided by the Level 10 Live Band.

Florence Regional Airport was one of the main sponsors of the event. He hosted the event to bring the community to the terminal to allow the public to view the installation and to encourage the community to think first of Florence Regional Airport when it’s time to go on vacation, visiting family or going on a business trip.

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Morning News President Matthew Tranquill was the emcee. Guest speakers included Mayor of Florence Pro Tem George Jebaily and Florence Regional Airport Deputy Manager Robert Norton. State Senator Mike Reichenbach began the official ceremony with a prayer and leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jebaily thanked Morning News and scnow.com for creating the Horizons – Best of the Pee Dee ceremony.

Jebaily and her family attended Orleans’ recent concert at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center. Jebaily said one of the band members said Florence was a pleasant surprise to the band. He and the band were amazed by the beauty and acoustics of the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center. The group stayed at the Hotel Florence in downtown Florence. The band member praised Hotel Florence. He also said the group was surprised that Florence had a commercial airport.

Florence is an amazing city with lots to do, Jebaily said. Florence Regional Airport is perhaps an unsung gem.

It is often cheaper to fly from Florence Regional Airport than to fly to Charlotte and catch a flight there, he said.

“Before you do this check the flights and check the prices as there is no more convenient or user friendly airport than Florence and if you explore the prices you will find that it is cheaper to fly from Florence Regional Airport,” he said.

It’s nice to see the terminal full again, Norton said.

The airport is recovering from difficult times, he said. At one point during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no commercial flights to or from Florence Regional Airport for six months, he said.

There are two daily commercial flights at the airport. The airport recorded no flight cancellations and only one flight delay last month, he said.

“We went from 20 cancellations per month to one delay per month, which is a big problem in Florence,” he said.

The two daily flights to and from Florence are full and sometimes overbooked, Norton said. The airport hopes to add two more flights a day, bringing it back to pre-COVID numbers.

To learn more about Florence Regional Airport, visit www.flyflo.us.

After Norton’s speech, the awards ceremonies began.

The Horizons – Best of the Pee Dee – ceremony recognized Best of the Pee Dee winners and two favorites in 239 categories.

More than 11,000 people voted online at scnow.com for their picks in the Best of the Pee Dee poll. You can find a full list of winners in a special section of Sunday’s Morning News and on scnow.com.

The turnout for the Horizons — Best of the Pee Dee — ceremony was impressive, Tranquill said.

“The event was a success thanks to the strength of the Pee Dee. We have really great local businesses in our area,” he said, adding that plans for next year’s ceremony had already begun.

All recognized winners and favorites in Best of the Pee Dee deserve recognition for their commitment to the Pee Dee.

“Scnow.com – Best of the Pee Dee – really showcases our talented and hardworking people in the Pee Dee area,” Tranquill said.


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