Essentials for New Year’s Eve in Columbia
PRINT OUT A MAP AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS GUIDE
Tonight’s forecast in downtown Columbia: if you’re heading to the Famously Hot New Year’s Eve bash: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. Southwest wind 3 to 5 mph.
Can’t stay up that late? Head to the WOW! New Year’s Eve Carnival 5-9 tonight at Finlay Park, 930 Laurel St. The fun includes family-friendly event with amusement rides, carnival games, vendors, entertainment and fireworks show. Sponsored by the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department. (803) 545-3100 Check out other options here.
Famously Hot New Year info
When: Gates open at 6 tonight
Where: Main Street at Gervais
Tickets: Free, but upgrade options are available. Those considering general admission are encouraged to register online in advance for faster check-in at the gates.
Ticket upgrades: Premier viewing area tickets cost $30, which includes a line-avoiding entrance and access to separate vendors. Crescent Lounge tickets cost $100, which includes an indoor lounge area, open bar, hors d’oeuvres and reserved indoor parking.
Street closings: The 1100 and 1200 blocks of eastbound Gervais Street, in front of the South Carolina State House, will close at noon Sunday.
The 1100 and 1200 blocks of westbound Gervais Street, the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Lady Street and the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Main Street will close at 8 a.m. Monday.
All roads will be open at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Parking: Parking is free in all city garages. Here is a list of the garages in close proximity to FHNY: Washington Street Garage, 1100 Washington St., between Assembly and Main streets; Sumter Street Garage, 1400 Sumter St., between Hampton and Washington streets; City Center Garage, 1227 Taylor St., between Main and Sumter streets; Taylor Street Garage, 1100 Taylor St., between Assembly and Main streets; and Lincoln Street Garage, 820 Washington St., between Lincoln and Gadsden streets.
Fireworks: This year’s show will have high-level shells soaring up to 500 feet, said Justin Pruett, who will produce the show for Pyrotecnico. “If you can see the city skyline, you’ll be able to see it,” Pruett said. With the stage at Main and Gervais streets this year, people at the concert also will have clearer sight lines of the fireworks, which will be launched from behind the State House. The show is programmed to last about seven minutes, and you’ll want to stick with it through the finale. Of the nearly 700 shells used in the show, about 450 will go off in the final minute, Pruett said.
“The grand finale will be huge,” Pruett said.
Click here for more information on tonight’s show, including photos of what you might see and a video from last year.
Free cab rides: Budweiser, Checker Yellow Cab, Free Times, WWDM, FOX 102 and WARQ are sponsoring the annual New Year’s Eve Free Ride Home Program.
Cabs will be stationed for subsidized cab rides between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. near the Fountain In Five Points; near the Wild Hare in the Vista and near the corner of Lady Street and Assembly
You can also call (803) 799-3311 between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. and get a free ride home up to $10. Free rides are limited to those hours and the destination of the trip must be a residence or hotel within Richland and Lexington counties. Let the driver know you are a Budweiser Alert Cab Rider.
The Reggie Sullivan Band: Sullivan, an astute and pliable bassist, leads a working band that drifts from jazz to R&B to rock with seamless effort.
Terence Young and The Finesse Band: Young, a sage guitarist, leads a working band that will ruffle up its presentation of smooth R&B with deft musicianship.
Biz Markie: The Biz, of course, is best known for his hit “Just a Friend.” He is also a beat-boxing innovator, and dedicated rap fans will also recall songs such as “Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz,” “Nobody Beats The Biz,” and “The Vapors.” For FHNY, he will DJ, setting the tone for the headliners with what hopes to be an interesting selection of music. He’ll also spin music before The Wallflowers perform.
Atlantic Starr: The ’80s R&B band scored hits with the ballad “Always” and the revelatory “Secret Lovers.” The group also had hits with “My First Love” and “Masterpiece.” Read more here
The Wallflowers: The band, fronted by Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan, was part of the mid-’90s wave of post-grunge bands that mollified modern rock radio’s angst with rootsy pop-rock. Hits such as “6th Avenue Heartache” and “One Headlight” helped the band’s 1996 release, “Bringing Down the Horse,” sell more than four million copies. The Wallflowers are expected to play from 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m., with a break for the New Year’s countdown. Read more about them here
MAP: Print out this map to navigate tonight’s Famously Hot Year’s Eve bash