Fan reflects on monument and getting street named after Hootie & the Blowfish

One local fan is responsible for spearheading the project, and said it's to honor the band.

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Before heading to Europe to continue going on tour, Hootie & the Blowfish had  one final concert Friday night in Columbia. Columbia is the band’s home, and the place where everything started.

If you walk or drive by Yesterday’s in Five Points, you’ve probably noticed the silver monument on the corner. One local fan is responsible for spearheading the project, and said it’s to honor the band.

“So I’ve been a Hootie & the Blowfish fan for well over 25 years,” said Michael Oana, a Hootie & the Blowfish fan.

He’s loved the band since the very beginning.

“I got a chance to see them in their early days. They were great then, they are absolutely amazing now. They got their start here in Five Points playing cover songs,” he said.

He’s one of the main reasons there’s a street named after the band.

“About 11 years ago I had a dream, and I said to myself, ‘These guys are great guys. They’re ambassadors to our city. What can we do to support and to thank Hootie for their work?’,” he said.

In addition to the street, a monument on a Five Points corner also recognizes the band’s achievements.

“So it was designed here in Columbia. Me personally, I wanted kind of a Mount Rushmore of Hootie & the Blowfish, the committee wanted something a little bit more artistic,” said Oana.

It took two years from the time he started the project until the unveiling.

“I thought it was the least we could do was to give back to them, to thank them for what they’ve done for Columbia to make Columbia a better place,” he said. “They’re really humble guys, they were very thankful, and it was just something that they thought was really neat.”

The corner honors the members of the band in their hometown.

“At one point I was talking with Darius and he told me something that I’ll never forget. He said at one point Five Points was the center of his universe. So that was something that has always stuck with me,” said Oana.

Almost 10 years later, the corner is still an iconic sport in Five Points that attracts fans of the band.

“I have to be completely honest, it’s wickedly special to me. I drive by every couple of weeks and I just stop for a moment and pause, and it just really brings back good memories, fun memories of early on in the days of the Blowfish,” said Oana.

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