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Slainte, Y’all! St. Pat’s Season Kicks Off in Five Points and Lexington

The Midlands can’t wait until March 17 to begin celebrating Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day spills over into far more than 24 hours here, and it started March 9, fittingly in Columbia’s Five Points. The annual dyeing of the neighborhood’s iconic fountain has become a festival in itself, and 2018 was no exception, with Gregory Electric teaming up with the Five Points Association to make the evening memorable.

A crowd of more than 200 gathered at the fountain and watched performers from the Connick School of Irish Dance while listening to Celtic-influenced tunes spun by DJ Matt Finethy, with some live music from Palmetto Pipes and Drums included.

Joe Pinner served as master of ceremonies, and kids and parents alike clustered around the fountain as he announced that the big moment was coming: the time for the children to pour green dye into the water. More photos from the event are available here.

Video by Michael Stacy

The Irish festivities continued March 10 in Lexington, with Pinner again serving as emcee as the third annual St. Patrick’s Shamrock Parade rolled down Main Street.

The Lexington County Blowfish and Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center joined the town to organize the free event.

Irish dancers taking flight in the Lexington parade (photo by Bifocal Photography)

People of all ages dressed in every conceivable shade of green lined the street, cheering on parade participants including soldiers from Ft. Jackson and the South Carolina National Guard and ROTC members from White Knoll High School.

Students from the Connick School of Irish Dance also marched, stopping to put on a show as they passed the review stand, where local legend Joe Pinner served as master of ceremonies in front of Blowfish on Main.

“We like to be first here in Lexington County, don’t we? And we are!” Pinner said to the crowd.

Owners of Lexington’s Main Street business served as this year’s grand marshals, celebrating the growth of the downtown area.

The parade also included a taste of Egypt and the afterworld, thanks to representatives from the Columbia City Ballet’s upcoming production of Cleopatra and a hearse-led group from the Deceased Farm Haunted Attraction.

The 36th annual St. Pat’s in Five Points is set for March 17, and a full guide to the Midlands’ largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration is available here.

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