St. Patrick’s Day Kickoff welcomes return of annual event in colorful fashion

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — St. Pat’s Day in Five Points is coming back to Soda City.

After two years of being canceled due to COVID-19, the event that brings tens of thousands to Columbia returns.

“We’re very, very excited to be in the 40th year. I’m turning 40 with it. We’ve very excited to have it back because it’s something that everybody’s missed,” said Katy Renfroe, Five Points Association manager.

It’s something she has been coming to for decades.

“I grew up coming in high school and college. For me, music is the most fun part,” Renfroe said. “I marched in the parade because I was a trombone player at Carolina and Lexington High School.”

The St. Patrick’s Day event is also important to the local economy. 

“St. Pats in Five Points has a 7 million plus dollar impact on the City of Columbia and Richland County,” Renfroe said.

Friday’s kickoff event featured kids and adults getting to dye the fountain green as well as music and Irish dancing.

“I think we’re so happy that we’re having a normal St. Patrick’s Day season and everyone is out and about enjoying Irish culture,” said Stacie Greiner, owner of the Connick School of Irish Dance.

Guests also enjoyed the dancing of a talented young lady who is going to the Irish Dancing World Championship in Ireland over Easter. 

“In order to do that, you have to be in the top 1 percent of Irish dancers in the world,” Greiner said. “She has such talent that she was able to do that.”

“I’ve been dancing for about five years,” said Irish dancer Carolina Murray. “I just enjoy making people happy during shows and I love the feeling of being on stage.”

While preparation for her competition continues, so does the prep for the main St. Patrick’s Day event.

“It’s overwhelming. I’ll tell you that first hand. It takes a lot of prep and because I was new to the association, we haven’t had the full year that it normally takes,” Renfroe said. “We didn’t get going on it honestly until about November. We’re behind a whole lot but we’re getting there.”

The main event happens two weeks from Saturday. Find out the full schedule and additional details here.

Categories: Local News, Richland