Irmo, SC (Paul Kirby) – The 46th annual Irmo Okra Strut will once again fill the small Lexington County town of Irmo with smiling faces, laughter, food, fun, music, friends and more as the town celebrates all things okra. The community has held this festival that pays homage to the green pod since 1973. Festivities begin tomorrow, Friday, September 27th at 6:00 p.m. Most of the activities will take place at the Irmo Community Park located at 7507 Eastview Dr. in Irmo, South Carolina.
According to the events website www.okrastrut.com, Friday has a jam-packed schedule that includes live musical performances, amusement rides, food and drinks. Terence Young and the Finesse Band are the headliners. They will follow the opening act Slippery When Wet which should make for an evening full of fun.
Beside the music, Ride-All-Night wristbands are back and cost just $15.00 per person to enjoy unlimited turns on the amusement rides. "Under The Canopy" will be back again this year which provides the opportunity to enjoy a fairy tale picnic under the trees of the park. There will be tables decorated for dinner, with twinkling lights just over the heads of the diners. Festival goers who take advantage of this will have a view of the stage in the distance and can hear the music at just the right level for a dinner and conversation. This year, all food vendors will be serving until 11 p.m. and will be offering your favorites right next to local artists and craft vendors.
Saturday, the morning kicks off with a parade at about 9 a.m. It will start at Crossroad Intermediate School near Wescott Road and will travel down St. Andrews Road to Lake Murray Boulevard. As usual, there will be marching bands, military units, beauty queens, businesses, and lots of politicians waving to the crowds that line the street.
After the parade, the festivities will return to the Irmo Community Park where there will be lots to see and do. There will dozens of vendors and exhibitors for you to stop by, browse their wares, and buy something if it catches your fancy. Many of these vendors will have games or free samples in addition to the items for purchase. “Under The Canopy” will be another fun spot on Saturday with free crafting activities throughout the day for children and adults alike!
The amusement rides will be up and running again Saturday and there will be something happening on the big stage all day. These activities include local performances, an Okra Eating Contest, and lots more. The headlining musical act Saturday is Edwin McCain, a local favorite. The Patrick Davis Trio will be the opening act. You can once again enjoy dinner “Under The Canopy” on Saturday while you enjoy Southern Rock & Roll and delicious food.
This year, organizers heard the comments from citizens regarding parking. To prevent congestion and enhance safety, there will be no parking at the park where all the events are being held. There are several designated parking areas and a FREE shuttle will run approximately every 20 minutes. Those parking areas are:
Irmo Elementary School: 7401 Gibbes St, Irmo, SC
Union United Methodist Church: 7582 Woodrow St, Irmo, SC
Irmo Wellness Center: 7182 Woodrow Street Irmo, SC (This is the main parking lot for volunteers, vendors, and the handicapped.)
This is always a great way for your family to have some fun at a family friendly price. Irmo’s park is beautiful and provides a great place to pull the town’s festival together annually.
If you plan to go, check the webpage at www.okrastrut.com for a full schedule of events during the festival. The website is well put together and very helpful.