On Saturday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 40,000 people are expected to travel to a Five Points shrouded in green. The Midlands' largest annual street festival is not only one of the biggest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Southeast, but also is a tradition that has been tied to Five Points for 34 years.
The festivities will begin with a Get to the Green 10K, 5K and Family Fun 1-Miler early Saturday morning. At 10 a.m., there will be a free viewing of the Annual St. Pat’s Parade on Devine Street, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. there will be a free family fun area in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, which will be named the Pot O’ Gold Playland for the day.
From noon until 7 p.m., an impressive musical lineup will take place across four different stages. Drive-By Truckers, Shovels and Ropes, Old Dominion and The Front Bottoms will be headlining the day's festival with 16 other acts performing throughout the day as well. The 2016 winner of the Battle of the Bands will also be performing.
Not that a break from the abundance of live music available will be needed, but from 2 to 6 p.m., there will be a Silent Disco on Santee Avenue, a new trend in which people dance to music while listening on headphones instead of using a speaker system. The Silent Disco will include music from Guy L vs. Dylan Deekay, Jade Frost vs. Lucid and Bois Obscur vs. Killtrak.
In addition to the plentiful arts and crafts vendors, a food truck rodeo will be located on the corner of Santee Avenue and Harden Street to keep your stomach full all day.
Tickets are sold online pre-sale from Jan. 1 to March 18 for $15 and are $20 at the gate.
As parking always seems to be an issue in Columbia, there will be a free shuttle transportation from the parking locations to the festival gates so that you don't have to worry about missing out on the fun. After the festival, the Five Points Foundation will cover the first $10 on your trip home if you get a ride from Checker Yellow Cabs.
For those who can’t wait until the 19th, on March 4, Five Points will hold an official kickoff for the event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in front of the Five Points fountain. This free event will include Irish step dancers, face painting, bag pipers and a DJ. Irish and non-Irish guests alike will have an amazing time at one of Columbia’s biggest events of the year.