Five Points’ annual St. Pat’s festival has been canceled because of novel coronavirus concerns.
According to a news release from the Five Points Association, the 38th annual festival, scheduled for March 21, has been postponed. The association said it has not yet discussed potentially rescheduling the event.
“No date has been discussed yet as we are working hard very hard to get everything wrapped up for this year,” Kelsey Hennighan, Five Points Association executive director, said via email to the Columbia Regional Business Report.
“It is with a profound sense of disappointment that the Five Points Association has agreed to postpone the 38th annual St. Pat’s in Five Points due to concerns surrounding coronavirus,” Wednesday’s news release said. “The Association has been working with (Columbia) Mayor (Steve) Benjamin to determine the best course of action and sadly postponing the festival was the only option.”
Weeklong events leading up to the festival were set to kick off on Friday with the dyeing of the Five Points fountain green. More than 20 bands, including headliner Band of Horses, were slated to perform in an event hosted by S.C. hip hop artist Fat Rat DaCzar.
Other events, including the Get to the Green 5K and 10K races and the St. Pat’s in Five Points parade, were postponed. A scheduled appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales was canceled.
The annual event draws nearly 40,000 people to the commercial corridor, according to the Five Points Association, and has a $6 million impact on the city of Columbia. Net proceeds fund area beautification projects, events and marketing, with annual charitable donations averaging $40,000.
“In a short while we will look back and be able to say that either too much or not enough was done to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our city,” Steve Cook, Five Points Association board president, said in the release. “While we are devastated to postpone the festival, we are hopeful that this will be a positive step towards ensuring the City of Columbia has done everything in its power to protect our friends and neighbors during this difficult time.”
The association’s recorded message said refunds having begun being processed, with checks being returned to participants and vendors through the mail. Tickets purchased through Eventbrite.com will be processed through that website, the message said.