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Art on State attracts masses to West Columbia’s River District for music, food and shopping – See photo gallery

A mass of visitors descended onto West Columbia’s State Street Friday for the Art on State Event.

“We’re from New Jersey,” said Jim Hunter. He and his wife, Rita were in town for graduation ceremonies at USC. “We love this,” Rita said. “It’s great. It such a festive atmosphere.”

Others visiting Lexington Medical Center came from Ohio. Another couple was from Atlanta. They watched professional artists working with chalk in the street that was closed for the party.

“It’s a great event,” said Anna Huffman, City of West Columbia Public Relations Director. Kelli Ricard, the city’s Director of Events, said the weather was great and Art on State drew the kind of crowd planners had hoped for.

“We ‘re very satisfied with the turn out,” she said. River District businesses were also thrilled with the attention at their front doors.

Jim Oaken is the owner of State Street Pub. He said Art on State brings out customers in high volume.

“I’m very glad to see so many people here,” he said. “Some are regulars and others are new and they will come back because they had such a good experience at Art on State. I’m thankful to the City of West Columbia for putting it on.”

Tall Oaks boutique, State Street Trading Co. and New Brookland Tavern also received lots of traffic as music by Reggie Sullivan and Marcus Gullen played in the background. 20 Ride, the top Zach Brown Tribute Band, took the stage next. The Warehouse, Rob Shaw Gallery and Framing, and Ed’s Edition were also open. WECO Bottle and Biergarten set up a booth and several food trucks were on hand.

Behind the scenic store fronts on State Street, the Meeting Street Artisan Market was packed and vendors overflowed the wooden shelter and were set up on the lawn. Savage Craft Ale works was at capacity as music from the beer garden hung in the air at West Columbia’s Interactive Art Park.

“People have discovered West Columbia’s River District,” said Oaken. He could see the Artisan Market and Savage Craft crowd from the back door of State Street Pub. “The vision of the city is being fulfilled. It’s a great night for all these businesses and the people out here.”

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