As a new school year inches closer, parents have opportunities this weekend to get prepared, thanks to Countdown to Kindergarten, A Reading All Stars Preview Party and health fairs in Greenville and Spartanburg. Plus, there are plenty of other fun activities on tap for the Upstate.

Parkside Pediatrics and Molina Healthcare will sponsor a Back to School Backpack Bash 9 a.m. – noon Friday at Parkside Pediatrics, 525 Verdae Blvd., Greenville. The first 1,000 kids will receive a free backpack. The community event will include free snacks and drinks, a balloon artist, temporary tattoos, music and free stuff. For details, visit

A Creek Ranger Hike begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Paris Mountain State Park. The event is a one-mile, ranger-led walk. The cost is $7 each, payable at the gate instead of park admission. Registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 864-244-5565 or email

A Reading All Stars Preview Party will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Hughes Main Library in Greenville. It will feature games, door prizes and autographs by Greenville Drive players. Kids are welcome to dress in baseball attire. There will also be a special appearance by Reedy Rip’It. Visit for more details.

Countdown to Kindergarten is 6 – 8 p.m. Friday at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. Admission is free for rising kindergarten students and their families. Meet vendors with resources for kindergarten students and get ready for the first day of school. Museum exhibits will also be open for play. Visit for details.

The Superhero 5K begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Kroc Center. The event raises funds to support the after-school and summer programs of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greenville County. It is open to runners and walkers of all ages Registration is $30 each for ages 18 and older, $20 each for ages 13 – 17 and $10 each for ages 12 and younger. Dress are your favorite superhero. For more information or to register, visit

United Way of Greenville County’s School Tools Distribution Day for low-income families will be held 8 a.m. – noon Saturday at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Free parking will be provided in the parking garage adjacent to the arena. Families should bring a photo ID and one of the following: a Medicaid card for each elementary or middle school student, a letter of free/reduced lunch eligibility from the Greenville County School District or an EBT card for the family. School supplies will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis to those who qualify. Supplies are limited and only available while supplies last. The goal for this year’s School Tools project is to help up to 4,000 Greenville County elementary and middle school students start school ready to learn by providing school supplies and a backpack to each of them. For details, call 864-467-3333.

The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale is 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 – 4 p.m. Sunday at McAlister Square. The event benefits Greenville Literacy Association. Early bird shoppers can pay $10 to enter at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Fill a bag with books for $10 on Sunday. For details, visit

Living History Saturday is 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday at Walnut Grove Plantation. Drop in for a tour and visit with the South Carolina Independent Rangers as they share more about life in the back country during the Revoluntionary War. Regular admission applies. For details, visit

A free Back to School Health Fair hosted by ReGenesis Heath is 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday at Spartanburg Community College. The event includes health screenings for children including vision, dental, asthma, height, weight, BMI, blood sugar, blood pressure and scoliosis. With the completion of four screenings children will receive a free backpack filled with school supplies. Free haircuts will also be available to students, as well as games, food, safety tips and more. Visit us at

Barnes and Noble Booksellers will host Educator Appreciation Days Saturdays and Sundays in August. Pre-K through Grade 12 educators will receive 25 percent off most books, games, movies, music and toys. For more details, visit

For the first time in over 150 years, descendants of enslaved people of Twelve Mile Plantation that belonged to Col. Benjamin and Adeline Ambler Hagood will reunite at the Hagood Mill Historic Site at noon Saturday. Descendants of Berry and Caroline McKenzie and associated families will gather at the mill site where generations of their ancestors worked for one of Pickens County’s most prosperous and industrious families. After a tour of the historic site, guests can visit the nearby Cold Springs Church and Hagood Family graveyards for prayer and the laying of flowers on the graves of slaves believed to be buried there. The public is invited to attend this rare and historic event. For more information, contact Hagood Mill Historic Site at 864-898-2936.

Watch Disney’s “Moana” Saturday night as part of Movies in the Park at Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. The free community event will include vendors selling concessions while the movies plays on a 35-foot screen. Prior to each movie, families can meet Aslan the Lion, the life-sized puppet featured in plays at the Logos Theater Group in Taylors. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and picnic basket. Alcohol is not permitted. Movies start at dusk. For details, visit

Carolina Youth Symphony will present a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Airnaisium at Camp Greenville. The concert represents the culmination of CYS’ season opening summer camp. For details, visit

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