The St. Patrick’s Day festival in Five Points is the Midlands’ largest annual street festival and has become one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the Southeast.
Each year, thousands of patrons come to experience the magic of the city in all its green wonder. From the parade, to the music, to the food, there’s a little green fun for everyone.
Here’s what you can look forward to for this event:
When and where
Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 17, and close at 7 p.m. The four entrances will be:
▪ At Saluda Avenue and Blossom Street.
▪ At Harden and Blossom streets.
▪ On Devine Street, between Hilton and Harden streets.
▪ On Harden Street, between Stark and College streets.
Tickets are $20 during the online pre-sale at www.stpatscolumbia.com. They’re $25 at the gate.
Youth 16 and younger are admitted with an adult. Standard ticket prices apply for 13- to 16-year-olds. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult.
Please note: There will be no re-entry once you leave the festival gates.
Families with young children are encouraged to check out the Pot O’ Gold Playland located in Martin Luther King Park. This fun-filled play area features rides, face painting, tasty treats, and even a petting zoo. The area will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission to the area is free.
Parking in surrounding neighborhoods is prohibited, so patrons are encouraged to use alternative travel methods to and from the festival.
Patrons with sanctioned handicap decals may park in the Wells Fargo parking lot at Saluda Avenue and Blossom Street.
A complimentary shuttle service will run approximately every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. between Five Points and these two locations:
▪ Lincoln Street Parking Garage, 820 Washington St. (across from Columbia Police Department headquarters).
▪ Fairgrounds RV Parking, 1200 Rosewood Drive.
If you take a Checker Yellow Cab, the first $10 of your fare home or to a hotel is covered, courtesy of The Five Points Foundation and Checker Yellow, the festival’s official transportation sponsor.
7:30 a.m.: Get to the Green
Runners can compete in a 15K, 10K, 5K or 1-mile family fun run.
Get to the Green is Columbia’s largest road race, where participants chase rainbows in pursuit of a pot of gold.
Registration – which is $35 to $50 online through Friday, March 16 – includes entry into the festival and other bonuses. Race day prices increase by $5.
For more info, head to www.gettothegreen.com.
9 a.m. Festival Gates Open
10 a.m. St. Pat’s Parade
The second event of the day kicks the festival into high gear. The city comes alive as the free, fun – and very green – parade makes its way through Five Points. The parade will assemble at Dreher High School, 3319 Millwood Ave., and walk down Devine Street, making a loop around Five Points and ending near Food Lion, 1001 Harden St.
This year’s grand marshal is Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 303, with The Jack Van Loan Chapter riding in Vietnam era Jeeps and Humvees.
Here’s who’s playing at the six music stages:
At this stage you’ll hear local rockers Seventy Six and Sunny, soulful singer-songwriter Johnny P., and Charleston funk rock band Moose Kick. Rainbow Kitten Surprise, based in Boone, North Carolina, offers soothing melodies and harmonies while mixing an array of musical styles. Headlining this stage is genre-bending pop rock band, Judah & the Lion, mixing elements of modern rock, electronic and hip-hop.
12:15 p.m.: Seventy Six and Sunny.
1:30 p.m.: Jonny P.
2:40 p.m.: Moose Kick.
4:10 p.m.: Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
5:40 p.m.: Judah & the Lion.
Blossom and Harden streets
This stage offers a variety of country artists, but with psychedelic rock band Boo Hag kicking off performances with something a little more hard-hitting. Musician and singer Riley Green blends traditional country with the modern. Morgan Wallen is climbing the country charts with songs like “The Way I Talk.” Chris Lane is an up-and-coming country music singer and songwriter who is gaining attention for his blend of country and pop.
1 p.m.: Boo Hag.
2:10 p.m.: Riley Green.
3:40 p.m.: Morgan Wallen.
5:30 p.m.: Chris Lane.
Saluda and Blossom streets
Here you’ll see the whiskey-doused fiery country of The Travelin’ Kine. Returning to the festival is Nashville, Tennessee-based Luthi, whose nine-piece band brings the party and is sure to make you want to dance. J. Rody Walston and the Business plays rock with both danceable rhythms and guitar-heavy riffs. The Charleston-based innovative indie rock band Susto headlines this stage.
12:45 p.m.: The Travelin’ Kine.
1:45 p.m.: Luthi.
3:30 p.m.: J. Roddy Walston and the Business.
This stage kicks off with a student showcase from local music school Columbia Arts Academy. Here you’ll also find local indie rock band Those Lavender Whales and alt-rockers SondorBlue. RBTS WIN play their brand of lo-fi pop and electronic, with analog synths and old-school samplers. Tuatha Dea has been described as pure primal energy with a Celtic, world, and rock twist.
11 a.m.: Columbia Arts Academy Showcase.
1 p.m.: Those Lavender Whales.
2:10 p.m.: SondorBlue.
3:30 p.m.: RBTS WIN.
5 p.m.: Tuatha Dea.
On this stage, audiences can enjoy an array of local talent, featuring the melodic rock of Blocker, the travis-picking folk of Slim Pickens, and the folk-bluegrass of The Post-Timey String Band. Virginia-based singer-songwriter Tim Barry plays a gritty blend of rock and folk. This is contrasted by The Boomtown Waifs’ multi-instrumental folk, with lovely three-part harmonies. The Kenny George Band blends Americana with good, old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll.
11:20 a.m.: Blocker.
12:20 p.m.: Slim Pickens.
1:20 p.m.: The Post-Timey String Band.
2:20 p.m.: Tim Barry.
3:20 p.m.: The Boomtown Waifs.
4:20 p.m.: Kenny George Band.
Grab a provided headset, and dance your tail off to these local and regional DJs on the 800 block of Harden Street.
2 p.m.: Jason Hunter.
2:45 p.m.: Tony Karma.
3:30 p.m.: Dylan Deekay.
4:15 p.m.: Lucid.
5 p.m.: Jade Frost.
What to eat
Enjoy tasty grub from some of the best local and regional food vendors. Whether you’re craving barbecue, pizza, tacos, or something sweet, you won’t be disappointed with these options.
This year’s vendors include:
▪ Happy Thai.
▪ Real Mexico.
▪ San Jose.
▪ Time to Eat.
What to drink
This year, the festival will feature a craft beer alley, where you can choose from a variety of regional, distinctive specialty craft brews. Breweries include Breckenridge, Columbia Craft, Wicked Weed, Palmetto Brewing Company, and Bold Rock. Bars and stands will also be open for purchases.
The Cube: This is the festival’s information hub with programs, festival swag, ATMs, ID checks, and charging stations, located in the heart of the festival. It’s also stocked with basic first aid provisions.
The Saluda’s VIP Experience: VIP ticketholders can enjoy an open bar, food, clean restrooms, and a premier view from the Saluda’s restaurant balcony from noon to 7 p.m. But you’ll have to be faster next year – the $95 tickets are sold out.
Bring your camera. Share your favorite shots with the event hashtag #StPatsInFivePoints.
What not to bring: Pets (service animals are OK), weapons, illegal substances, backpacks, food, beverages, alcohol, containers or coolers, skateboards, scooters, motorized vehicles (people with mobility limitations are exempt from this one), bicycles (leave ’em outside the festival grounds), fireworks or explosives, instruments or laser pointers, umbrellas, picnic baskets, lawn furniture and chairs.
What if it rains? Wear your rain boots. The festival goes on, rain or shine.
Need more info?
Go to www.stpatscolumbia.com.
Have a happy and festive St. Pat’s.