COLUMBIA, S.C. — News 19 checked in with annual events across the Midlands to see if they are planning on still having, cancelling or modifying their festival or event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has cancelled many events in 2020 to help stop the spread of the virus.
Some organizers have been thinking outside the box to find way to have something for the community to look forward while keeping it safe for everyone. Some festivals are planning on having their event on a small scale, going virtual or cancelling it until next year.
Here's a list of what News 19 has been able to confirm for festivals scheduled for the remainder of 2020.
- The Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival has been put on hold. According to the festival's website, it says, "Do To Questions Of Safety And Funding, This Year's Festival Is Currently On Hold Until Further Notice." The festival usually happens at City Roots located in Columbia.
- Officials with The Main Street Latin Festival has announced they will cancel this year's event. It was supposed to take place on August 22nd. The festival spotlights Latin food, art, dance and music in a friendly-family environment. They look to have next year's event on the fourth Saturday in August.
- The Irmo Okra Strut is still on for September 26th but will have modifications due to the pandemic. The festival said in a post on Facebook, "We are excited to announce we will be holding a small town festival this year with safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic." At 9 that morning, they plan on honoring essential workers with a parade on St Andrews Road where social distancing will be required. The festival will run on a smaller scale and hand washing, hand sanitizer and masks available.
- The Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture event will continue this year with virtual attendance only. Historic Columbia said on their website, "This year will feature virtual tours of the Mann-Simons Site and the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House. New exhibits were recently installed at the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House and will be unveiled at Jubilee." You can virtually take part in the festival from 11 am until 6 pm on September 19th.
- The Newberry Oktoberfest will be virtual this year from September 20th until October 3rd. The festival plans on having virtual contests, kindertown, taste of Oktoberfest, and vendor fair. Next year's event will be October 2nd, 2021.
- The Famously Hot SC Pride Festival and Parade has been cancelled this year. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of October 16th. Organizers decided to cancel the event due to the coronavirus and funding for the festival since people are hurting due to the pandemic.
- The Walk For Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon will be virtual this year. The event has been going on for 30 years. People are encouraged to walk or run on their own time. On the event's website, it says, "Many who participate in Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon have immune systems that have been affected by cancer. In consideration of the anticipated ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency this fall, we don’t want to put anyone’s health at risk by gathering in person this October." October 3rd will the virtual kickoff. For more information on this year's Walk For Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, click here.
- The South Carolina State Fair will continue this year but in a different format. Instead of the typical two-week event, it's been transitioned into a two-day drive-thru event on October 20th and the 21st. Families will be able to drive-thru South Carolina’s agriculture, history, arts and culture exhibits. People will also have the chance to pick up their favorite fair food as well.
- Famously Hot New Year will be virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say performances will continue and they're currently working on plans for musicians and artists you'll be able to watch on WLTX. Planners are working on having Famously Hot New Year's banners and items people can have at their home as part of their celebration. In some shape and form, the fireworks will still be a part of ringing in the New Year in a safe way. That display is billed as the most colossal New Year's Eve fireworks display in the Carolinas.