As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 48th Flowertown Festival was cancelled last year and will take place this year, organizers confirm.
According to them, the event will take place in the second weekend in October with a few changes.
“This is our 48th festival, should have been 49th but because of COVID it threw a wrench in our plans last year,” said Kimberly Caughell, the Vice President of Community relations at Summerville YMCA.
The organizers confirmed that there will be more space this year and fewer vendors in an effort to keep the guests as safe as possible.
“We have some hand washing stations put into place, extra hand sanitizer at the vendor booths. Our staff and volunteers will be masked, even if they are vaccinated. We will encourage the attendees to be (masked) as well,” she said.
After more than a year and a half in the pandemic, the YMCA says this year’s festival will be for the community, to enjoy the weekend and spend quality time with friends and family.
In an effort to boost vaccination, vaccination site will be available at the festival for those interested to get a shot.
“Really pay it forward to a lot of these small businesses and non-profits. Including those who have struggled so much through COVID and really deserve our support,” she said. “The businesses and food vendors are mostly local. Maybe up to Columbia. Then the arts and crafts vendors come from all over the country.”
But how many people are expected at the event?
“When we normally hold the event it brings over 200,000 people over the course of three days. It being a fall event and being in the time we are living now I am really not sure,” she said.
The DHEC, however, are not happy with large events and discourages them especially those held indoors. According to them, the largest issue is the fact that too many people will be close to each other that might easily get infected with the virus. However, if an event take place, they advise attendees to use hand sanitizers, wear masks or face coverings and practice social distance.
But, the YMCA feels the festival is an asset for all of the community and its organization.
“This is how we are able to not turn anyone away. If someone comes to the YMCA and needs a membership, or swim lesson or soccer lessons, and then they can’t afford it. We can give them discounts on it and financial assistance,” she said.