Thousands to celebrate all things green at 32nd Annual St. Pat's - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Thousands celebrate all things green at 32nd Annual St. Pat's in Five Points

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(Source: fivepointscolumbia.com) (Source: fivepointscolumbia.com)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

As many as 40,000 people were shoulder to shoulder this weekend for the 32nd Annual St. Pat's in Five Points.

Organizers say this year's even aren't planning for a greater police presence but say festival goers should feel just as safe.

On Saturday there were more than 100 Columbia Police Department officers on hand to patrol Harden Street, the surrounding neighborhood, and manning barriers around the event, ensuring, everyone had a safe time at the annual St. Pat's in Five Points.

Even in a crowd of green, you can usually find someone who stands out.

"I love it. I think it's great. I think it's evolved into the best thing in Columbia," said David McGarrigle.

McGarrigle loves celebrating St. Pat's in Five Points.

"This is my day. This is like Christmas for me," said McGarrigle.

He's been coming with his family since 1986, and each year, he dresses up.

"Coming down here and getting a little bit every year.It's changed over the years, but now the cape is the thing that sets it off I think," said McGarrigle.

He's not the only one who looks forward to the party.

"You definitely look forward to this way more than a regular weekend," said Katie Glaser, serving drinks at Cover 3.

Bar employees are decked out in their St. Patty's finest, and the green beers and Irish Car Bombs are being poured.

"It's a long day, but it's so worth it at the end of the day," said Glaser.

For some, this year's an adjustment. Going from partier to server. Dustin Lindsey is working the festival this year. Serving from The BBQ Bus.

"I have to pace myself this year. One beer an hour. Other than that it's fun watching other people act a fool for once, not me," said Lindsey.

The most important thing is to have fun celebrating the day, even if you're only a wee bit Irish.

"I'll have a few green beers today. And some of the great food that's out here," said McGarrigle.

The festival started with a run and a parade.

If you take a cab from the Blossom, Devine, or Harden Street gates, the Five Points Association and Checker Yellow will cover the first $10.

Of course, the usual backpacks, and bags won't be permitted inside the event along with glass bottles.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

7:30 a.m. – Get to the Green: 10K / 5K / Family Fun Run

10 a.m. – Annual St. Pat's Parade: FREE viewing on Devine Street

10 a.m. – Pot O'Gold Playland: FREE family fun area in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park

Noon – 7 p.m. – Live Musical Entertainment: 15 bands on five stages

Noon – 3 p.m. – Shaggin' on Santee: Celebrating our state dance

4 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Dubbin' DJ's on Santee

For more information, visit fivepointscolumbia.com.

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