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Festival of Roses won’t be in spring; one-day fall event possible
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Festival of Roses won’t be in spring; one-day fall event possible

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Edisto Memorial Gardens (copy)

The roses at Edisto Memorial Gardens are the featured attraction at Orangeburg's Festival of Roses.

The Festival of Roses won’t be held this spring.

“The Chamber of Commerce and the city’s Recreation Department got together and discussed whether or not to proceed with the Festival of Roses on its original dates of April 30–May 2 this year, given the pandemic, and it was decided that it would be best to postpone the Festival of Roses at this time,” City Administrator Sidney Evering said during Tuesday’s Orangeburg City Council meeting.

“That’s a very difficult decision, especially given that this would be the 50th anniversary of the Festival of Roses,” Evering said.

Evering said there will still be special tributes to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the festival.

Parks and Recreation Director Shaniqua Simmons detailed the discussions between the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and the Parks and Rec Department.

“What we decided was, since this is the 50th year, we will have some remembrance. And my horticulture staff and other people in the community will get together and we will do a video,” Simmons said.

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“We are looking to do something every month until the end of the year where the public and our community, or even people who don’t live in our community, can either log onto our Facebook page or go to the city website and they can send in a testimony, they can send in pictures and their memories of the Rose Festival and we will put that together, sort of like a short movie or a short clip, and we will stream it livestream,” Simmons said.

Simmons said there is a possibility that the festival could be held in the fall.

“We have talked about having a one-day festival in the fall. That’s something that we are still going to toy around with. The fall is very busy for the Chamber and Parks and Rec. That’s when we get into the holiday stuff, but that is still a strong possibility where we could possibly see some roses blooming in the fall. We have a short window in the fall, but it’s not impossible,” Simmons said.

Councilwoman Liz Zimmerman Keitt thanked Simmons and pledged to support any efforts.

Council also voted unanimously to postpone the St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-596-6530.

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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