The Town of Chapin's annual Labor Day Festival and parade will not take place this year due to COVID-19 concerns. This would have been the 41st year of the beloved festival.
According to director of public affairs Nicholle Burroughs, their plans were initially to cancel the festival, but still hold the parade. "Then the Friday before last, we looked at the [COVID] numbers and there's just no way for us to control crowds of people, with limited staff, and keep people distanced with the numbers ticking up the way they have been," she said.
Burroughs said they are highly disappointed to have to cancel, but felt it was the right thing to do. "At first we were like, 'we can do this,' but then it was like, 'no... we can't do it,'" she said. "The safety of our citizens is most important."
In addition to the concern of crowds, Burroughs also mentioned the new start date for Chapin schools this year was a factor. "The other complication is that kids start school that week. So all signs were pointing to we should probably not do it this year," she said.
Although the festival and parade will be canceled, the Justin Pepper 5K is still scheduled to take place Labor Day weekend. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 5, beginning at 7 a.m. at Palmetto Bone and Joint (104 Ellett Rd.) Social distancing guidelines will be followed with staggered starts and enhanced safety measures. Sign up to participate at justinpepper5k.org.
Goodworks will also be constructing a 500 sq.-ft. tiny home in partnership with the Chapin Sunrise Rotary Club and the Chapin Junior Women's Club Labor Day weekend. The home will be partially constructed in the downtown area, then moved to its permanent location. Any volunteers interested in participating are encouraged to call Mary Higginbotham at Goodworks (803-345-2030), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burroughs also said many local shops will still be offering Labor Day deals throughout the weekend.