If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC head to The Famously Hot New Year celebration in the Capital City to ring in 2015. The downtown street party, in its fourth year, will feature music, fireworks and activities, as well as a VIP lounge and bus transportation throughout the Midlands.
The street festival attracted 26,000 people last year, and is expecting a comparable crowd this year. Here’s everything you need to know for your Famously Hot New Year.
Activities at and around the festival start early; Main Street Ice, the city’s ice skating rink, is open at noon on New Year’s Eve. While not officially part of the Famously Hot New Year, it is within walking distance of the event and open to the public, and will be open until the clock strikes midnight.
The Main Street Crit, a running race with multiple events, starts at 3 p.m. The Crit kicks off with a kids’ Fun Run, followed by a 5K and an Elite 8K. The elite 8K, for professional runners, has an $8,000 purse.
If you decide to bring the kids along for the fun, the city parks and recreation department is putting on a WOW New Year’s Eve Carnival with free admission. From 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., kids (and their parents) can play, get their faces painted and even ride a Ferris wheel. There will also be karaoke and food and drink vendors.
The food (and drink)
Refreshments and respite from the party can be found in the Comfort Zone. The area will have food and drinks from regional vendors as well as ample area to rest and recharge for more celebration. Local restaurants, including Bourbon, The Oak Table and Blue Marlin, have also partnered with the event to provide special New Year’s Eve packages.
The party is at the intersection of Main and Gervais streets, within walking distance of many restaurants and bars in the Vista and on Main Street.
The new year will be rung in in Columbia with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the O’Jays. The R&B group is known for hits in the ’70s and ’80s that include “Love Train” and “Use ta Be My Girl.”
The trio, which has seven Billboard Top 20 singles and eight Billboard Top 20 albums, will boogie on Main Street until 11:55, helping guests boogie toward midnight.
Earlier in the night, partygoers can enjoy the music of indie pop band MisterWives. The band is looking forward to returning to Columbia; they played in the Capital City twice earlier in 2014. South Carolina’s famed hospitality extends to concert crowds, said bassist William Hehir.
Local favorite Lefty at the Washout will kicking off the musical part of the night at 7:30 with their fun reggae tunes.
There’s no dress code for the Famously Hot New Year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the holiday spirit. You can find clothes snazzy enough to ring in the new year all over Columbia.
On Devine Street, you can deck yourself out in sequins at MyKim Collection or in the bright patterns of Lilly Pulitzer at Pink Sorbet. Just the Thing, another Devine Street boutique, has stylish wool coats in a variety of colors if you’re worried about staying warm when the clock strikes midnight.
If you’re looking for a more unique outfit, HipWaZee in Five Points has a wide selection of vintage apparel, including fur coats and flapper dresses.
Early weather predictions put New Year’s Eve night in Columbia in the 50s, so you won’t have to bundle up too tightly.
Looking for more inspiration? Go to the event’s Pinterest page at pinterest.com/famouslyhotnye or follow the hashtag #FHNYWhatToWear on Twitter and Instagram.
Getting there (and home)
For those who may need cabs home, Checker Yellow Cab and Budweiser of Columbia will cover the first $10 of your cab ride.