ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The City of Orangeburg is discussing whether to let the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association host its annual St. Patrick's Day Festival next month.
"For the moral of Orangeburg County, I think it will be a great idea because there is not a whole of social events rights now," said Owner of Coffee & Things, Desiree Ross.
Ross runs an insurance agency in the heart of downtown Orangeburg. She says the decrease in foot traffic due to the pandemic caused her to open a coffee shop inside her existing business. Ross says the annual St. Patrick's Day Festival could be the boost businesses are looking for.
"I think it would create more foot traffic because we are here anyway," explained Ross. "We close at 5 pm, and the festival starts at 6 pm; we will extend hour business hours in support of the venue."
Other business owners, including Devin Randolph, agree.
"We have to be mindful that businesses are opening up throughout the state, and businesses have not fully recovered from post COVID," said Randolph. "When you have new traffic and individuals coming in, it's always going to be good for businesses."
The Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association holds public free events to generate community activities and bring consumers to downtown businesses. A spokesperson says previous festivals have had a positive financial impact on the city. While everyone News 19 spoke to is on board, they all agree it needs to be done safely.
"When you have any event, you want to be mindful of the type of traffic you're bringing in," said Randolph. "The most important part is, we are doing it in a way the people are safe, and it doesn't become a spreader event."