SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Every year, thousands of Americans come together to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, but one community in the Lowcountry is pushing to tone down the party this year.
"We wound up inadvertently creating a huge party space and we had a large number of people who were drinking way too much, behaving way too badly," said Mayor Elect Patrick O'Neil of Sullivan's Island.
O'Neil says it's time to make some changes with the Saint Patrick's Day celebration on Sullivan's Island.
"What we are trying to do is have an appropriate celebration of Saint Patrick's Day for an island that has a substantial Irish culture," said O'Neil.
Some residents say they don't want the party at all.
"We don't want Saint Patrick's Day here. It doesn't involve islanders. It's a drunk-fest. It's an embarrassment," said Karen Coste, a resident on Sullivan's Island.
Other residents and business owners disagree.
"We have traditions on this island. The Polar Bear Plunge was done in a safe and professional manner. This can be done again," said Tim Reese, a resident on Sullivan's Island.
"People are in school and families can't come out. I'm a little disappointed about the recommendations from the committee," said Jamie Maher, Owner of Dunleavy's Pub on Sullivan's Island.
The Public Safety Committee wants the celebration to continue this year, but with some big changes. They don't want to close off Middle Street and they don't want people drinking in the streets. The party would be on Tuesday, March 17th and held from 10am to 7pm. Not like the two-day party many are used to.
"We are stressing low key this year. This is not going to be Spring Break. Savannah is two hours away. Check it out if that's what you are looking for," said O'Neil.
Nothing is set in stone. The recommendations are not definite until approved by Town Council. The next council meeting is next Tuesday.