Thursday, June 30 2022


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Those who hope to ring in 2022 in the South Carolina capital will have to make other plans.

The organizers announced that Columbia’s Famously Hot New Year Celebration Will Not Be This Year, according to a statement released by the association behind the annual downtown concert.

“Given the continuing concerns about COVID-19 and its variants, the association’s board of directors concluded that hosting an event on December 31, 2021 would not be in the best interest of the community,” a statement said on the event website.

Crowds have gathered near the intersection of Gervais and Main streets for nearly a decade to welcome the New Year with free concerts on a public stage and fireworks fired at midnight over the State House .

But the global COVID-19 pandemic has turned that tradition upside down. Last year, the city greeted 2021 with a virtual event amid fears that a large gathering could spread the coronavirus.

Debora Lloyd, vice chairman of the celebrity New Year’s board, said the decision to cancel was “a difficult decision to make.”

“Each year, we look forward to bringing together visitors from outside the Midlands with locals to showcase all that the city of Columbia, Richland County and the region has to offer,” Lloyd said in a statement, but added: “We need to prioritize the health and safety of our community based on the information we have today.”

The board said it continues to encourage visitors to make their own plans to come to the capital and enjoy its amenities and attractions year round.

This story was originally published 5 October 2021 7:27 a.m.

Bristow Marchant covers the Lexington County local government, schools and community for the state. He graduated from the College of Charleston in 2007. He has over 10 years of South Carolina experience with the Clinton Chronicle, Sumter Item and Rock Hill Herald. He joined The State in 2016. Bristow won the 2015 SC Press Association Best Series award and was a part of The State’s award-winning election coverage in 2016.
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