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St. Paddy’s on River canceled

VALLEY — This will be the first March in several years when there won’t be a St. Paddy’s Day on the River in West Point.

Last year’s event took place the week where COVID-19 began to shut down the country. The weather was good, and there was a good crowd on hand at West Point River Park. A lot of vendors were there, and the crowd enjoyed live entertainment from a large outdoor stage.

The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a second major event, Rockingfest, in 2020 in mid-November in LaFayette.

“We canceled St. Paddy’s Day in January,” said GVACC Executive Director Carrie Royster. “We didn’t feel comfortable committing to it at that time because the infection numbers were still high. We didn’t want to take a chance on spreading the virus.”

Rockingfest 2021 may be the next major Chamber event.

“We were so pleased with the way everything went with it this past November,” Royster said.

“Downtown LaFayette is the perfect location for that kind of event. The weather was great, and there was a big turnout on hand. We had 69 vendors that day. That was a record number for us. Our chamber ambassadors, junior ambassadors and volunteers came up big for us that day. We couldn’t have done what we did without them. That big rocking horse operates manually, and volunteers had to keep it rocking. They also helped with the ice skating, the jumpers and the toboggan tunnel. They all worked really hard that day and helped make the festival a big success.”

Downtown LaFayette has what’s known as curb appeal.

It’s a great location to host something like LaFayette Day for Valley Haven School, the annual Chambers County Day of Prayer and Rockingfest.

“The city officials in LaFayette are great to work with,” Royster said. “The mayor and council, department heads and city employees are so helpful.”

The Chamber will be hosting a ribbon-cutting this week. At 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 4, Sass & Class will be having its grand opening at 1810 30th Street, Unit A in Valley.

“We welcome any local small business to join the Chamber,” Royster said.

“Our members help us plan events for the future.”

Royster is hopeful the infection rate both locally and nationally will steeply decline as more and more people are vaccinated.

“We want to get to the point where it’s not a factor in our planning for public events,” she said.

“We like hosting events like Rockingfest, where there was no admission charge and no charge for the rides. We like to have big turnouts and having people enjoy an event in the Greater Valley Area or Chambers County.”

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