The City of Clinton staff made the recommendation that was validated last night by the City Council that the Scots & Brats festival is canceled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the news, Councilwoman Shirley Jenkins broke into applause, while Councilwoman Megan Walsh commended City Staff on the decision. The City conducted its annual Rhythm on the Rails festival this past summer, but now the COVID infections in the Clinton zip code have climbed to 524 - leading the way to 1,335 Laurens County infections resulting in 42 deaths (more than 2,000 statewide).
The City of Clinton and Main Street Clinton are following fall-festivals cancellation decisions by Laurens, Newberry and Greenwood. A Governor’s Executive Order effective Aug. 3 includes festivals in the COVID-19 restrictions recommended by AccelerateSC. These include:
-- Attendance may not exceed 50% of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal – or 250 persons – whichever is less.
-- Require the wearing of masks or face coverings as a condition of admission or participation
-- Enact social distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices as recommended by AccelerateSC
-- End the sale of alcohol at 11 p.m.
Businesses, event organizers, and others responsible for events that may exceed the occupancy rules may receive clarification allowing the event to proceed if they can satisfactorily demonstrate an ability to comply with federal and state COVID-19 procedures and protocols to the Department of Commerce (Source: SC Governor’s Office news release).
The Newberry Opera House re-opened Aug. 15, under COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Gov. Henry McMaster’s Executive Order. But Squealin’ on the Square - Laurens, Oktoberfest - Newberry, and Festival of Discovery - Greenwood - have been canceled for Fall, 2020, as COVID-19 infections in South Carolina have climbed to more than 100,000.
At its regular monthly meeting Monday evening (delayed from the normal 1st Monday of the month), the Clinton City Council also authorized payment of $93,748 for a contractor to landscape and beautify the grounds of the MS Bailey Municipal Center. The landscaping plan has been developed and submitted by consultants WK Dickson; the work will be financed by the hospitality and accommodations (tourism-promotion) tax money, the council was told.
The City is going to buy and install a Christmas Lights Show, and landscaping work with seating was designed with this new feature in mind. People will be able to use the seating to eat their meals outdoors in the Uptown Clinton area, the council was told.
The Council also approved on 2nd and final reading an ordinance to sell 53 acres at the Sterilite property and 2.5 acres at the former American Legion Hut (near Clinton Middle School). City Staff told the council that the final SC DHEC permit has been secured for the Hwy 56 land of the new City of Clinton Recreation Complex, allowing construction to begin. Council members also agreed to move forward with a Connectivity Study, possibly the first step in constructing bicycle lanes on city streets.
(The next meeting of the Clinton City Council will be Sept. 8, 6 pm in the council chambers of the municipal center on North Broad St.)