Celebrating St. Pat's the safe way

COLUMBIA, S.C.(WACH)- Saint Patrickâ??s day is a big deal for the Irish at heart in the Midlands.

Organizers have been getting ready for the annual bash in Columbia's Five Points for months.

Andy Yi manges Lucky's bar in Five Points and has worked the festival for yeras. Yi and his staff have been working countless hours to prepare for the festivities. He says although his business generates more money on St. Patrickâ??s Day than it does in a week, profit is not his main concern.

â??I want to make sure everyone has fun,â?? Yi said. â??And that everyone has a good time and they arenâ??t ruining other peopleâ??s good time.â??

Luckyâ??s is one of several bars adding more bouncers to help keep the large crowds in order.

The Columbia Police Department has also made plans for heightened security during the festival.

â??There will be a hundred police officers, surveillance cameras and a tower that allows us to see just about anything that happens from above.â?? said Captain Dave Navarro. "We will be able to dispatch officers and they can get there immediately.â??

Authorities encourage the public to enjoy the celebration responsibly. They urge festival-goers to avoid drinking and driving, pointing out that taxis, shuttle services and buses will be available on Saturday.

The Five Points St. Patrick's Day festival starts Saturday at 8 am with a 5k road race, followed by a parade at 10am and day filled with live music, food and fun.