Irmo Town Park Site of Okra Strut Festival
Irmo Town Council voted 4-1 to approve the location.
The 2012 Okra Strut Festival will be located in the Irmo Town Park and in the streets next to it.
Irmo Town Council voted 4-1 to approve this year's location during its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Mayor Hardy King opposed the location for the two-day festival, which will be held Sept. 28-29.
He said he had concerns about the impact on the residents and businesses in the area.
Potential damage the festival could have on the park is also a concern.
Kirk Luther, chairman of the Okra Strut Commission, said the commission has met with both the town's fire and police chiefs to discuss road closures and traffic concerns.
He said he also spoke with businesses in the area and "got their blessing" on the location.
Luther said the park itself really wouldn't be affected because nothing heavy such as amusement rides would be put on the grass.
Most of the festival will be in the adjacent streets.
Luther said the festival had more of an impact on its previous location at the Irmo Village Shopping Center.
That location is no longer an option. Town leaders are working on a larger town park that will be a permanent home for the Okra Strut.
"No matter where you put it, you’re going to have that issue," Luther said. "This is a great site that has the least amount of impact on businesses and residents."
Councilman Harvey Hoots said council should let the commission work out the details of the festival and not be so critical of their requests.
“It’s not for council to sit here and nitpick," Hoots said. "Let them move forward with making those plans."
King responded saying it was the council's responsibility to get information to make an informed decision.
He said he should know what residents in the area had to say about the festival being located near them.