Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Early Tuesday there was disappointing news for many this Christmas season: the Governor's Carolighting was cancelled. However, as the news spread, a renewed attempt to salvage the event was underway.
Outside the State House, musician A.J. Blues remembers attending the Governor's Carolighting years ago. "I'll tell ya it's something I'll never forget," said Blues.
But with the annoucement that the Governor's Carolighting has been cancelled, Blues has changed his tune. "When you start losing that, what's next, are you going to start cancelling the parades too," asked Blues.
The Columbia Breakfast Optimist Club is the group in charge of organizing the Carolighting every year. At his Irmo home, Club President Paul Mcclanahan responds to the sudden cancellation.
"Why is that (the event's cancellation)? The why is, the participation has fallen off a little bit and the volunteers have retired," said McClanahan.
Mcclanahan didn't want to name any specific volunteers who decided not to participate this year; however, he said many volunteers, band directors, musicians, school choirs did not want to participate. Money, he says, was also an issue.
"(There) would be no way to estimate how much money it would take, because people gave it freely. Somebody estimated one time that it would be $35,000," said McClanahan.
But at the State House, Blues says his production company is trying to put something together on short notice to continue the Christmas tradition at the State House.
"Whenever I heard that I was like no way, I just can't let that go. So I put something out on facebook and I wanna see it continue," said Blues.
Hoping to help wash away, the Carolighting Grinch Blues.
"There's too much negative in the world and when we have an inspirational thing such as this, we can't let those events go by the way side," said Blues.
A spokesperson for the mayor's office told News 19 that Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, Representative-Elect Rick Quinn, and Lexington County Representative Kenny Bingham are attempting to pull together schools and other organizations to try and put on the Chirstmas ceremony.