NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Community members and city officials are celebrating five decades of North Charleston.
“We’re celebrating 50 years actually tomorrow,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said. “We’re the third-largest city in the state in that short period of time; number one retail city in the state. But more than anything, I think we’ve been able now to gather people together from all segments of the community, to enjoy who we are and what we are.”
Few people know North Charleston like police chief Reggie Burgess, who grew up in the city he now protects.
“I can remember when it was called the North Area,” Burgess said, “then it became North Charleston in ’72. The pride of having our own name, you know from ‘North Area’ to ‘North Charleston’, I remember it back then. And I said to myself, ‘This will always be my home.’”
Many say seeing Saturday’s celebration makes them proud to call North Charleston home.
“I think it’s awesome because at the end of the day,” Paul Gullquist, pit master for Southern Roots Smokehouse, said, “it’s nice to have everybody come as one. Put all differences aside, and families, kids, everybody just having a good time.”
However, they recognize there are issues in the city that must be addressed.
“I think all of us throughout this country right now are very concerned with the number of homicides that are occurring and the shootings that are occurring that leave multiple people wounded,” Summey said. “We’ve got to work to stop that.”
Some believe celebrations like this are a step in the right direction.
“If city officials and the police departments and the fire department,” Tori Walters said, “all of those officials come together with the community and people that live in these neighborhoods that are having a problem, then they can air out the grievances and come to some sort of conclusion, a solution.”
But no matter the issue, they still love their city.
“I love North Charleston like no other man,” Burgess said. “I respect all other cities, but my love is North Charleston and that’s it.”
North Charleston neighbors say they’re excited for the great things to come in the next 50 years.