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Families celebrate Mother's Day at Saluda Shoals Park

The catered Mother's Day brunch provided a place for family members to show their love and appreciation for their moms.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Families from all over the Columbia area celebrated Mother's Day at Saluda Shoals Park at a catered outdoor brunch.

The Food Academy, a local catering business, hosted the Mother's Day brunch to celebrate moms in a special way. 

New mom Jakyra Shepherd was there with her 6-month-old son, her mother, and other loved ones. When News19 asked Shepherd what she loves about her mom Kelly, she said, "she’s a very good grandma, the best grandma that I could ever ask for. When he learns how to talk he’ll be able to say, 'thank you.' "

"Right now, he’s just going to give her slobbery kisses,” Shepherd added with a laugh.

It's the first time Shepherd celebrated Mother's Day as a mom herself and while it comes with its challenges, she said it's very rewarding. 

"Being a new mom is very overwhelming because you don’t know what to do but overall it's great," said Shepherd. "It feels really good. I’m happy that I’m a mom.”

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With live music, mimosas, and food, families got to spend quality time together in the relaxed, outdoor setting. 

Candice Graham was there and happy to experience it with her son, Javon. 

“I love it,” Graham told News19. 

She added that she really appreciates the gratitude her son shows her.

When News19 asked Javon what he loves most about his mom, he turned to her and said, "I notice your hard work, even though it doesn’t seem like it, I do. I appreciate it.”

Special moments like these are why Jessica Carswell and her family host the outdoor brunch each year. 

“It’s a wonderful day to celebrate mothers and I’m glad that I have mine to celebrate with,” shared Carswell while standing next to her mom, Willyette Barnett.

Carswell is co-owner of The Food Academy and while she worked the event, Barnett greeted guests and handed out flowers. 

Barnett told News19 that she's celebrating her mom this Mother's Day too, as she watches from Heaven. 

“The love she gave all of us, her own children, which eight of us, as well as so many other children she was always mom of the year for a lot of people,” Barnett shared about her mom.

While Barnett can’t be with her mom physically, she knows she joined her family’s successful event in spirit.

"Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, all the mother figures, [and] the ones that fill in that role," said Carswell. 

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