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Potential impacts from Hurricane Ian prompt changes to events across the Midlands

Heavy rain and wind is expected to move into the Midlands on Friday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hurricane Ian is expected to bring heavy rain to South Carolina Friday, which has forced many weekend events to be postponed or rescheduled. 

Downtown Winnsboro is normally gearing up for its Annual Rock Around The Clock Festival, which brings nearly six thousand people to the town. 

"We have exhibitors, we have a bunch of food trucks, people selling arts and crafts, we have a children’s area," said Gene Stephens with the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce. 

Instead, Congress Street sits empty as potential rain and gusty winds have forced officials to cancel the event for the third year. 

"Our first priority is safety for our citizens and we’re not going to relax on our standard to accommodate that," said Stephens

It's disappointing for residents like Jenyfer Conaway who've attended the event for nearly 20 years.  

"All the merchants are always so excited and supported and to have it canceled because of something totally out of our control is heartbreaking," said Conaway.

RELATED: Midlands school districts, colleges and universities to be closed or on e-learning status Friday due to Ian

Also impacted by the weather: Newberry's Oktoberfest, which is being postponed until Oct. 15th and 16th.  

"I think there's just a lot of things people look forward to, whether it's the shopping, whether it's the children's games, whether it's the German food, and with something we can't let slip by," said Newberry Mayor Foster Senn.

Senn said rescheduling was vital, since the event brings in nearly 20 thousand people to Newberry each year. 

"Our small businesses, and so many entrepreneurs really count on it. I mean, this helps this and the Christmas season probably helps make the year for a lot of them," said Senn. 

Canceled events 

  • Meeting Street Market 
  • Winnsboro Rock Around the Clock 
  • Jazz on the River
  • Lower Saluda Beer Fest 
  • AKC Agility Trials in South Congaree 

Postponed Events 

  • Newberry Oktober Fest-- Rescheduled for Oct. 15 and 16
  • Esteam Sumter festival
  • Blythewood Chamber of Commerce’s Oktober Fest— Event rescheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12 and 13 at Doko Meadows Park.

RELATED: Live updates | SC Governor to speak about Ian at 4 PM

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