NEWBERRY — Oktoberfest is just one day away and during this family friendly event, Chief Roy McClurkin wants to make sure everyone has fun, but also stays safe.
“Oktoberfest is family friendly, and the main goal is to have a safe and fun time, and we do not anticipate that not happening this year,” McClurkin said.
The roads will be closed beginning at 4 a.m. Saturday and will remain closed until the event ends. McClurkin estimates that the roads will re-open around 7:30 p.m.
Street closing will begin at Holman Street and go all the way down to Main Street at Main and Nance. Boyce Street will be closed starting at College Street and going all the way down to Nance. Parts of McKibben Street to Harrington Street will also be closed.
“There are some designated parking spaces visitors can use at some of the churches. I do ask that if people have blocked off their parking do not park there. There is also going to be a shuttle service. The shuttle will run from the Police Department, Newberry College and Tractor Supply. It is continuous throughout the day. If someone cannot find parking I encourage them to use the shuttle. It will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. and will go until 6:30 p.m.,” McClurkin said.
Some handicap parking will be available at the library, but McClurkin said it is limited. To park in this lot you must have a handicap plaque or license plate. The shuttle service is handicap accessible and he encourages people to park at one of the pick-up locations and catch the shuttle.
One parking lot that is off limits for event parking is the Post Office, McClurkin said that is a federal building and they are open for business that day. Towing will be enforced.
“Do not move barricades and do not go around barricades,” McClurkin said.
The Police Department will have a command post on College Street in between Main Street and Harrington Street.
McClurkin said first aid will be available at the command post, which will also serve as the lost and found location for anything — children, phones, wallets or purses — whether you are the one who lost something or if you are the one who found something.
“I will have every available officer working. The Fire Department will have their people there, plus EMS will also be there,” he said.
McClurkin recommends everyone stay hydrated and be careful where they are walking.
Those who choose to drink alcohol must stay in the designated area and will need to have the over 21 wristband on at all times. These wristbands can be found at the two Biergartens. McClurkin said those who have too much to drink are encouraged to use Uber or one of the local taxi companies.
“This event continues to grow every year so we are anticipating having a lot of people in town. Officers will be very visible that day and we will also be available after the event to help with any traffic issues,” he said. “People need to adhere to the rules of this event. We have not had any problems whatsoever. We do not anticipate having problems this year.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.