Dining al fresco on Lake Murray may take on a whole new look next year.
After seeing the success of the Gervais Street Bridge Dinner, the Greater Lexington Chamber began developing a plan to host its own dinner atop the Dreher Shoals Dam.
“We have already started the first process of making calls to the Department of Transportation asking for clearance to close part of the dam,” Otis Rawl, chamber president, said. “SCANA is on board with their part of the dam, and so far we’ve had no problems.”
Rawl said Wednesday he was dropping off a letter of support at the DOT offices signed by members of the Lexington County Council.
Council voted unanimously Tuesday to write the letter of support for the event. Debbie Summers, council chair, said the letter is a formality, and that the council is excited to sponsor the event.
Rawl said the dinner would take place April 7 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The chamber expects the event to attract 1,300 to 1,500 people.
“Our goal is to bring the lake communities together,” Rawl said. “We will have sponsors, but news of the event is already taking off. If we do this right, I think it could become a signature event for the county.”
The Gervais Street Bridge Dinner celebrated its third year in October 2017. In those three years, the charitable arm of Soda City has raised nearly $125,000. Proceeds are donated to local charities and conservation groups, including those benefiting the Congaree River.
“Our top priority is to install lights along the walking path of the dam,” Rawl said. “We have a number of people that walk at night and we want them to feel safe.”
Rawl said the chamber would also donate proceeds to other county organizations.
Rawl wants to use nearly half of the dam’s 1.8-mile upper road, which carries traffic from Irmo to Lexington. The lower road, which ferries traffic from Lexington to Irmo, will remain open for local traffic, he said.