New Year’s is almost upon us. Charleston, being the celebratory city that it is, has no shortage of ways to ring in 2020 and the new decade.
New Year’s Eve
Of course there’s a large number of fancy evening parties around town. You might be interested in the 7th annual Charleston Wonderland complete with Cirque du Soleil performers, at Memminger. Then there’s the ever-popular black tie Snyder Grand Ball at the Aquarium with music by Midnight City and DJ Natty Heavy. Or check out the Yorktown Countdown, “Charleston’s largest New Year’s Eve Celebration” aboard the aircraft carrier.
Honestly, there’s a slew of options, including a Roaring 2020 20’s themed-party at Middleton Plantation, a Pajama Party at the Brick, an All-White dress-code Countdown at Da Spot, and a Final NYE Blowout at the Historic Harbour Club, which is moving. Here’s a roundup of the many New Year’s Eve events going on around the Lowcountry, from the Post & Courier.
There are also a couple fun free events.
First, the City of Charleston is hosting its annual “Happy New Year, Charleston!” New Year’s Eve in Marion Square downtown. It’s a free, family-friendly, non-alcoholic way to celebrate a little earlier in the day. Happy New Year, Charleston! will take place from 4:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. and is perfect for the younger ones in your group.
Things that Drop at Midnight
Also, Folly Beach is having its own unique version of the Times Square Ball Drop — except they drop a pair of giant flip flops from the top of the Tides Hotel. It’s the Folly Flip Flop Drop. They’ll hoist them up about 9:30, then drop them right before midnight. Restaurants will stay open longer than normal for all the revelry. Fireworks will fly at midnight from 3rd West.
Of course you can always hunker down and watch the ball drop in Times Square, all from the comfort of your luxury house on Isle of Palms. Not a bad option at all.
Speaking of the ball drop, folks across America drop various and sundry creative things to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Some examples: Spencer the Possum (Georgia), Sushi the Drag Queen (Key West, of course), a huge bunch of grapes (where else but California), a giant crab (Maryland), huge pickle (Mount Olive, NC), Peeps (Bethlehem, PA), and more. Read the whole list here. It’s a hoot.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day in the Lowcountry means it’s time to jump into the surf!
The biggie is the 25th annual Polar Bear Plunge on Sullivan’s Island, just over the Breach Inlet bridge from the Isle of Palms. It draws quite a costumed crowd to Dunleavy’s on Middle Street, where folks get fortified before heading into the surf. It’s all good fun for a good cause (“Freezin’ for a Reason”), benefiting the Special Olympics.
Dunleavy’s opens at 9:00 a.m. Folks will head out to the beach about 1:30, with the actual plunge happening at 2:00. Dogs are welcome as long as they’re leashed.
Folly has their own “unique” version New Year’s Day from 1:00 till 4:00 p.m. It’s the 7th annual Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Bear Plunge. This polar plunge honors Bill Murray, the SNL alum, film actor, local resident and co-owner of the Charleston Riverdogs baseball team. Head down to the Blu/Tides Hotel dressed as your favorite Bill Murray character and “Come Freeze Your Bills Off.” This year’s theme is Ghostbusters.
Plunging is free, or just $5 to enter the costume contest. Local establishments get in on the fun with creative food and drink specials. Part of the proceeds go to local charities like Surfer’s Healing. The plunge itself will happen around 2:00. Folly’s website has the scoop.
So enjoy New Year’s however you choose to spend it. Please Uber or have a designated driver if you are going out, stay safe, and remember to call EP for the best beach homes around Charleston.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger