Dyeing of the fountain kicks off St. Pat’s season in Columbia

The Five Points fountain was dyed green at the official kick off to St. Pat’s. Allen Wallace photos.

Tuesday was recognized as Mardi Gras all over the world, but in Columbia it marked not only the last day before Lent, but also of the St. Patrick’s Day season.

More than a hundred people gathered at the Five Points fountain for the neighborhood’s official St. Pat’s kickoff, the beginning of the road to the 37th annual festival, set for March 16.

Attendees of all ages enjoyed free green popcorn, face painting and balloon animals, but the main event was designed for the kids.

With help as needed from parents, siblings and friends (and with gloves provided for those who preferred non-green skin), the kids opened containers of green dye and at the signal, poured it into the fountain, then watched excitedly as it cycled through, turning the water green.

The kickoff event also included performances by the Connick School of Irish Dance, DJ Matty Matt and, of course, a bagpiper and drummer in traditional Irish clothes.

Gregory Electric provided free T-shirts for the kids as souvenirs.

Tickets are on sale now for the St. Pat’s in Five Points festival, featuring Dashboard Confessional, lovelytheband, Walker Hayes, Mitchell Tenpenny, The Band Camino and many others. More than 45,000 people are expected to attend.

More information is available at stpatscolumbia.com

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County