SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — With February just around the corner, Mayor Van Johnson is hoping the opening of the Enmarket Arena will revitalize the Hostess City. Johnson said the plan is to open the arena to all Chatham County residents on Feb. 5.

“It’s going to be epic, it’s going to be awesome,” Johnson said. “It makes sense for us to make sure that before we open up for anyone else, we open it up for our community. We want our community to see their arena and we want them to see it before the world sees it.”

Johnson announced the delay a couple of weeks ago at a news conference. Johnson said the Enmarket Arena grand opening was delayed due to supply chain issues and the emerging omicron COVID-19 variant.

The ribbon-cutting will kick off the event at 1 p.m. followed by live local music, carnival-style games, self-guided tours and of course food until 6 p.m.

Much like the rest of the country, Chatham County saw record-shattering daily new coronavirus cases, community transmission and a steep increase in hospitalizations since the beginning of the year.

The 7-day average of COVID cases in Chatham County has slightly declined to 650, still a high never seen prior to the recent surge in January. The community transmission index has also slightly dropped to 3,118 from a peak of 3,400 on Jan. 19.

Johnson also remains committed to hosting a St. Patrick’s Day parade this March, however, saying the parade could be canceled if the city sees another surge in cases. Johnson said the city along with the parade organizers often discuss the status and planning of the celebration.

“We know those [COVID] spikes can jump up at any time,” Johnson said.