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Spittoono is an annual family-friendly three-day music festival held in August at the Clemson, South Carolina, National Guard Armory located just between the Clemson University campus and the City of Clemson, South Carolina (at the intersection of US76 and Pendleton Road), the purpose of which is to raise monies for charity. Begun as a tongue-in-cheek spoof of Spoleto, the cultural festival for performing arts in Charleston, South Carolina, Spittoono (or Spitoono, as it was spelled in alternating years) was founded by the Redneck Performing Arts Association (RPAA) a loosely organized group of locals at the ESSO Club, a gas station and grocery turned bar located on the Old Greenville Highway in Clemson. The ESSO Club has Clemson's longest-established beer license dating to December 1933. RPAA was chartered as a 501(c)(3) charity in 1982.
Begun in the summer of 1981, this annual event has raised well over $80,000 benefitting a variety of regional charities. Local bands play for free and no admission is charged to the Armory Ballfield where the event takes place, the money coming from the sale of tee-shirts and of cold beverages. Musical styles presented run from rock and roll, and country to Bluegrass and the Blues. More Opry than opera... Spittoono was held in the parking lot of the ESSO Club from 1981 to 1990 by which time it had outgrown the available space. This fact, and a disagreement with the then-owner of the watering hole over the beer sales accounting, led to the music fest moving to the more accommodating space at the Guard Armory in 1991.
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