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    Letter from the editor.

    WELCOME TO THE ARTS & CULTURE ISSUE OF FIG AIKEN! We are moving into the fall season and it’s a season of newness, a season of home, and a season of change.
    It comes as no surprise that even in the earliest days of Aiken, our town was a place of refuge and healing. Aiken became a popular health resort for coastal residents wishing to escape malaria and yellow fever, and Northerners quickly jumped on board with the mild winters, beautiful landscape, and the abundance of equestrian opportunity available as they built estates such as Rose Hill for their winter home.
    One thing that I love about fall in Aiken is the
    way that dusk creeps in a little earlier each night, allowing the streetlights of downtown to illuminate the streets in a faint glow. I love how so many
    of our talented restauranteurs and chefs begin incorporating the new fall produce into their menus in their restaurants. Hitchcock Woods becomes a sanctuary for all of those looking to have a family adventure, or those who simply want to slip away to their quiet part of the world.
    As we move into the new season, I invite you to
    look around and indulge in all the things that make fall special in Aiken as fall begins to make her appearance. Our boutiques are bringing in new merchandise, warm notes of cinnamon and pumpkin are returning to our local bakeries and coffee shops, and the weather is inviting us to linger a moment longer outside in the crisp, cool air.
    With so many of our local events and traditions pushing pause for the moment, I encourage you
    to take this time to pop into the locally owned boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, nonprofits, hotels, and specialty services to say hello. To make a purchase for yourself or for a loved one. To learn more about the owner, their mission, or why they chose to make Aiken the home for their business. To volunteer your time with one of our amazing local charities. To make a social connection and interaction that so many of us have been missing in 2020.
    Let’s all take the time to slow down and enjoy the changing of summer into fall. Too often, some of
    the most special moments are swept away in the busyness of this season—but now’s the perfect time to take a deep breath and savor it all. Let’s pour back into our quaint Southern town and see why so many of us fell in love with this place so many years ago.