WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — West Columbia kicked off its first-ever free Meeting Street Music Festival on Saturday between the 500 and 700 blocks of Meeting Street.
Hundreds of residents took part, bringing their own lawn chairs, hats and sunglasses for a good time.
Dozens of vendors set up to sell their wares, and food trucks sold ice cream, Filipino food and burgers. And, of course, there was music as well.
"It just started with a simple, informal idea, and then the city got involved, and we put together committees and teams, and we worked together with Chaye and other members of the community, and we were able to pull off this great event," West Columbia Councilman Joseph Dickey said.
"The idea started as me sitting in my lounge one day, on a quiet day, looking out at Meeting Street, and I thought to myself, 'How cool would it be to have an actual music festival on this big stretch of road, right?'" Chaye Alexander, the owner of Chayz Lounge, said. "Music is that unifying thing, it brings people together. And honestly, given the fact that there are still so many people who don't want to come across the bridge, my thing was, let's have a festival, let's bring people together, let's dance, let's have a good time."
Alexander said the event was a great driver of commerce, as people got face time with numerous businesses along Meeting Street and vendors.
Local leaders said they plan to keep improving the festival each year.