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.
From 11 am.-5 p.m. Wednesday, the Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., will offer free admission, courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield of SC. (803) 799-2810.
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.
Other daytime and family-friendly New Year’s Eve events:
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT NOON: Wednesday at EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. Columbia’s only ball drop for kids, doors open at 9 a.m. with activities celebrating New Year’s Eve around the world. (803) 779-3100
NEW YEAR’S COUNTDOWN TO NOON: 11 am. Wednesday at the Blythewood Library, 210 McNulty Road. A New Year’s party for kids of all ages. Stories, craft session, games and a New Year’s countdown. Sign up at http://richlandlibrary.com/events or call (803) 691-9806