Friends and family of the late Oscar Frazier are holding an event to celebrate his life at the Bluffton park that carries his name.
The celebration for Frazier, a poet and Bluffton mayor pro tem, will start at 4 p.m. Thursday at Oscar Frazier Park, one day before the nine-year anniversary of his death. Frazier died Aug. 22, 2005, from a rare form of liver cancer diagnosed about a week earlier. He was 49.
Mayor Lisa Sulka will kick off Thursday's event by reading the original proclamation declaring Oscar Frazier Day, said Frazier's daughter Bridgette. That event -- held a few days after Frazier's death in the same park as Thursday's event -- drew a crowd of more than 500 people to mourn and honor Frazier.
Several relatives and community leaders will also speak during a reflection hour, sharing memories of a tireless public servant and poet laureate. Frazier's widow, Renea, and Bible Missionary Church Pastor Paul Hamilton are among the scheduled speakers.
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Frazier served on Bluffton Town Council from 1998 to 2005, a period marked by exponential land growth through annexation. He focused much of his service on children and was instrumental in the design of the park that bears his name. Beaufort County officially changed the park's name from Shults Park to Oscar Frazier Park in a ceremony in March 2006.
Children from the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club, where Frazier once served on the board of directors, will read excerpts from Frazier's book "What Color is Friendship?" published a year before his death. The book, inspired by Frazier's experiences as a freshman at H.E. McCracken High School in 1971, was illustrated by fourth- and fifth-graders from Michael C. Riley Elementary School. Children will also read from Frazier's two books of poetry, Bridgette Frazier said.
The event will also include performances by Anointed Voices of Unity, Robert Howard, and Melissa Ellis, along with music by Willie Cohen and the Heritage Steel Band, and Teddy Nesby. A barbecue dinner -- a nod to Frazier's career as the proprietor of Oscar's BBQ -- will conclude the event, Bridgette Frazier said.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.
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