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Miller is grand marshal for Pageland's Watermelon Festival parade

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Kimberly Harrington

Landmark News Service

PAGELAND – Tony-award winning actress and singer Patina Miller – Pageland’s own – will be the grand marshal of this year’s Watermelon Festival parade.

And the town is planning a celebrity’s welcome for the hometown girl who touts her roots to Pageland to the world.

“She has done her fair share of telling everybody that she is from Pageland,” said Mayor Jason Evans at the Pageland Town Council meeting June 3. “She is a homegrown product.”

So in gratitude for all of Miller’s free publicity and promotion of Pageland on the national stage, the town is hoping to have signs installed by the time she arrives for the Watermelon Festival, claiming Pageland as the home of Patina Miller.

Plus, the town will split the costs with the Pageland Chamber of Commerce for her travel arrangements here, which are estimated to be no more than $500 for half, said Town Administrator Cecil Kimrey.

The costs include a round trip airfare ticket from New York, two nights hotel stay and a rental car.

The funds will come out

of the town’s hospitality

budget, Kimrey said.

The town has to get permission from the S.C. Department of Transportation before it can proceed with the signs, he said.

Though no design has been formally approved, they could mimic the ones that designate Marshville, N.C., as the home of Randy Travis.

There will be a ceremony after the Watermelon Festival parade at Moore’s Park for Miller, where she will be presented a resolution from Sen. Vincent Sheheen among other accolades.

Miller is best known for her role as Deloris Van Cartier in the Broadway production of “Sister Act.” She recently starred as the Leading Player in the 2013 revival of “Pippin,” for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Miller will play Commander Paylor in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” and has been cast as Daisy Grant, press coordinator to Elizabeth McCord in the new CBS drama Madame Secretary.

Adam Foard, Chamber of Commerce president, and town attorney, thanked the town for their support in the arrangements for Miller.