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City of Orangeburg leaders to decide 2021 Festival of Roses fate

Last year's event was canceled because of the pandemic.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Orangeburg city leaders are considering whether to host the Festival of Roses this year. It's one of the area's largest events. 

"We are praying they consider having it because it does us good to have these people come by here," said Prime Nutrition Health Coach Tabitha Summers.

Since 1972, more than 40,000 visitors would participate in the Orangeburg Festival of Roses held in the Edisto Memorial Gardens. The festival usually happens the weekend before Mother's Day. Last year's event was canceled because of the pandemic.

Now the City of Orangeburg and the Chamber of Commerce who sponsor the celebration are deciding its fate for this year. Businesses like Prime Nutrition believe the festival is the perfect opportunity for some normalcy.

"When they don't do stuff people are used to them doing, it brings fear to people," explained Summers. "Some may think if they are not doing it, then that means the virus isn't going anywhere. So, they are going to be reserved to stay inside."

Credit: WLTX

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"It's the summertime, and it's warm," said Santee Resident Amber Gilmore. "You can see the flowers, take pictures. It's a good time for people to come together."

Residents like businesses are excited about the event, saying it's one most people circle on their calendars. The chamber of commerce tells News 19 the decision on the Festival of Roses will come during Tuesday's regular city council meeting. Gilmore says the event shouldn't go on unless city leaders have a safety plan in place.

"If they don't do it the same way they require us to wear masks and social distance, then I don't think we should do it," said Gilmore.

RELATED: Orangeburg St. Patrick's Day Festival could bring much-needed revenue