Hilton Head celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with ‘slow ride’

St. Patrick's Day

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – The St. Patrick’s Day parade on Hilton Head Island was brought to a halt on Thursday, but that didn’t stop people from having a celebration of their own.

Organizers said Sunday’s celebration wasn’t a parade — rather a “slow ride” down Pope Avenue where the event would have run.

Thursday afternoon, the parade committee met with Hilton Head officials and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office to discuss what’s best for the community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, officials decided to postpone the event.

On Saturday, the state reported three confirmed cases of the new virus in Beaufort County, though the exact location of the patients has not been released.

Still, cars and trucks were cheered on by many people who came out to celebrate the holiday on Sunday — even without floats and bands.

The goal, organizers said, was to support local businesses and show that the island is still “strong.”

“Businesses don’t know what’s going into it this week or the week to come,” said Robert Rini, who co-organized the “slow ride.”

“A lot of businesses had stuff purchased for these big crowds,” he continued. “If we could actually do it and have a safe time, I know a lot of places are actually pretty busy.”

About 30 vehicles took part in Sunday’s ride before joining parties at local bars and restaurants.

The typical parade normally draws thousands to the island.

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