Woodlands hosts Clemson-Carolina viewing party
SUMMERVILLE -- The five-star Woodlands Inn probably isn't the first place that comes to mind for watching the Clemson-South Carolina football game.
But the resort held a viewing party Saturday night, complete with outdoor games, pinatas full of mini-bottles and tailgate food prepared by Chef Andrew Chadwick.
"It gives us a chance to show off our casual side," said Casey Lavin, the resort's general manager.
It's the first time the inn has held a viewing party, and it's part of an effort to reach out more into the local community.
"We're doing things the Woodlands of yesteryear wouldn't do," Lavin said.
Paula and Ben Bishop of Summerville showed up to watch the state's college rivals hit the field and to cheer for the Gamecocks.
"We're not big football fans, but we love a football party," she said.
Benji Boyter was there to cheer on Clemson, his alma mater. He wore a Clemson hat, shirt and even bright Clemson-orange pants. He explained that people can send khaki pants to a business in Clemson and have them dyed orange or purple, the school's colors.
Chadwick was putting as much care into cooking tailgate food as he does a meal at a high-end restaurant.
The secret to making great chicken wings, he said, is to start with fresh, not frozen, high-quality wings.
He seasoned them with salt, garlic, white pepper and onion powder and roasted them in the oven. Then, he took them out, tossed them in a variety of sauces and put them back to finish baking.
Chris Falter won tickets, which were available to club members and their guests for $25 to $30, to Saturday's event. He has lived in Summerville for two years, but Saturday marked his first visit to the Woodlands.
He's a Gamecock fan and was hopeful that the team would win. But he wasn't ready to make any predictions about the outcome. "Football's a funny game," he said. "I loath to talk smack during a football game."