The show must go on, and despite having to cancel live entertainment and vendors, the S.C. Festival of Stars in Ninety Six will still have its signature fireworks show on Saturday.
“We will have fireworks. We will celebrate our independence — let freedom ring,” said Margie Blalock, the town’s tourism and events director.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread and policies and procedures for reducing the virus’ reach were put in place, the annual festival faced cutbacks. Restrictions led the town to cancel the live music, amusement rides and vendors that are usually part of the festivities, but the fireworks will go on.
The show is set to start about 9:45 p.m. Saturday and will last 20-25 minutes. Since the town park will remain closed, people are invited to enjoy the show from their cars, parking lots, the town visitors center or depot. A plot of land behind the fire department, along Cross Avenue, has been saved for parking as well.
Blalock said there won’t be any portable restrooms set up since the show is expected to last less than half an hour. People are encouraged to practice social distancing, but they’re also encouraged to show their enthusiasm. Blalock said she wants people to dress up in red, white and blue as in previous years, and decorate their vehicles in lieu of a town parade.
The cost to get Pyrotecnico to provide the fireworks show came out to about $13,700, and Blalock said the money from vendors usually covers the cost of the show. This year, however, vendors pulled out of the event because of COVID-19, but the business community and individual donors stepped up to meet the financial needs for the show.
“We’re just really excited that people want to keep the spirit of America alive,” Blalock said. “It’s honoring our military throughout history: Past, present and those who will serve in the future, along with their families.”
She thanked all the sponsors and donors who made this possible and encouraged people to come out and celebrate safely.
“It’s something positive to focus on amidst all the negativity that’s going on,” she said.