Plan NYE weekend in the New Southern Hot Spot
Dec. 13, 2016 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Organizers of S.C.’s free party of the year, Famously Hot New Year, are ready to welcome tens of thousands of guests to downtown Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, when New Orleans musical royalty, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, along with jangle-pop stars Sister Hazel, will hit the stage for a free, full-length outdoor concert and the Carolinas’ largest NYE fireworks display. Eat, drink, stay and play in the New Southern Hot Spot during New Year’s Eve weekend, and explore the historic city’s shopping, dining and entertainment before topping off your Southern getaway (or staycation) with a brass-band bang at Famously Hot New Year. Guests can plan their #FHNY weekend at www.famouslyhotnewyear.com.
Famously Hot New Year – South Carolina’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration, in its sixth season – is set in the center of historic Columbia, S.C.’s downtown district, in the midst of the thriving capital city’s dining, shopping and hotel districts. #FHNY is easily accessible to locals and travelers alike via late night COMET public shuttle service and four park-and-ride locations across the Midlands, limited free parking in eight City of Columbia garages, and $10 Budweiser Alert Cab discounts. Attendees – tens of thousands from across the state, country and world – enjoy a fun, festival atmosphere; beer, wine, bubbly, local food vendors and the most colossal NYE fireworks show in the two Carolinas. For ideal acoustics and comfort, the concert stage is located at Gervais St. and Sumter St. – steps away from the midnight fireworks above the picturesque S.C. State House.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, the funk/rock/jazz/hip-hop/multi-piece brass band known internationally as New Orleans musical royalty, will headline Famously Hot New Year’s free, full-length outdoor concert, directly supported by popular folk rock/jangle pop/classic Southern rock band Sister Hazel, known for 90s anthem “All for You.” Local rockabilly band Capital City Playboys, and R&B/soul group Mike Stone and the Kritikal Band will open the free concert.
Trombone Shorty’s accolades include a Grammy nomination, performance at the White House, world tour with Lenny Kravitz and Hall & Oates, an NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” and the coveted closing headliner position at Jazz Fest in New Orleans – the same spot once held by jazz legends, The Neville Brothers.
How to Get There
FHNY urges locals to utilize the affordable, clean and safe transportation system of The COMET for just $3 flat, with unlimited rides to and from FHNY via two options: visiting a local bus stop and hopping on one of 14 routes that run across the Midlands, or driving to one of four easy park-and-ride locations, from Harbison to Trenholm Plaza. Buses will run across the Midlands beginning at 6:00 p.m. December 31, with the last pickup from FHNY at Sumter and Lady Streets at 1:30 a.m. the night of the event.
With either option, riders can pay in cash on The COMET at the beginning of their first ride, or on their mobile phones using the handy Catch the COMET app, on which riders can monitor bus routes in real time: http://catchthecomet.org/app/.
View a full list of bus stops, routes and park-and-ride locations online: http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/getting-to-FHNY-transportation-options.
This year’s park-and-ride locations include the following:
- Harbison Area: Near the Harbison Walmart parking lot near Sam’s Club gas station
- Northeast Columbia: Village at Sandhill near Fashion Drive
- Two Notch Road: Columbia Place Road near Faust Avenue
- Forest Drive: Park at Trenholm Plaza, board across the street near the Forest Acres clock
Alert Cab Discounts
Those who need a safe ride home can take an Alert Cab, in which the first $10 of each taxi cab fare is complimentary, thanks to sponsors KW Beverage and Budweiser. Guests can catch an Alert Cab on Lady St., between Main and Sumter Streets.
Eight downtown Columbia parking garages will be free as of 4:00 p.m. on FHNY, but parking will be limited due to what is expected to be high demand. Guests who take a safe ride home via The COMET or Alert Cab can pick up their vehicles the following day.
Guests who drive to FHNY are encouraged to note the following street closures and openings in downtown Columbia, S.C.
Friday, Dec. 30 Closures
- 1200 block of Gervais St., between Main St. and Sumter St., closes
Saturday, Dec. 31 Closures
- 1100 and 1200 blocks of Gervais St., between Assembly St. and Sumter St., closes
- Half block area of 1200 block of Main St., south of the entrance to the NBSC parking garage, closes
- 900 block of South Main St., from Pendleton St. to College St., closes
- Remainder of 1200 block of Main St., between Lady St. and Gervais St., closes
- 1100 and 1200 blocks of Pendleton St. close
Sunday, Jan. 1 Reopenings
- 1100 and 1200 blocks of Pendleton St. reopen
- 900 block of South Main St., from Pendleton St. to College St. reopens
- 1200 block of Main St., between Lady St. and Gervais St. reopens
- 200 block of Gervais St., between Main St. and Sumter St. reopens
- 1100 and 1200 blocks of Gervais St., between Assembly St. and Sumter St. reopen
- Half block area of 1200 block of Main St., south of the entrance to the NBSC parking garage reopens
See a full list of free garages and street closures online: http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/getting-to-FHNY-transportation-options.
Event Footprint and Clear Bag/No Bag Policy
For 2016, event organizers have retooled the event footprint of Famously Hot New Year, moving the entertainment stage one block to the east from the original location of Main and Gervais. The new stage location will be on Gervais St., backing up to Sumter St., with the stage facing west toward the river. Sumter Street itself will remain open throughout the event. Because Gervais Street is so much wider, the new stage location increases visibility and improves concert acoustics for audience members, creating more space and comfort for guests. The new layout also allows easier access to Main Street merchants and festival food and drink vendors. Law enforcement and emergency medical services will be able to monitor and move through the crowd more readily, increasing safety precautions.
All bags will be subject to security screening. Therefore, guests are encouraged to leave bags at home or use clear, see-through bags to expedite entry at the gates.
Items that are not allowed inside entry gates include the following: no coolers, chairs, tables, pets (outside of service animals), backpacks, skateboards/scooters, bicycles (bike parking is available throughout downtown Columbia), fireworks, laser pointers, picnic baskets, umbrellas, weapons, illegal substances, food or alcohol (food, beer, wine and bubbly will be for sale at the event). View FAQs here: www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/faqs
Where to Dine, Drink & Stay for #FHNY Weekend
Famously Hot New Year encourages the public to support local businesses, restaurants and hotels that are offering special deals and VIP experiences/pre-parties for New Year’s Eve. A few examples where guests can maximize their Famously Hot New Year weekend:
- SpringHill Suites NYE Package (champagne, shuttle to FHNY)
- New Year’s Eve party at The Oak Table (FHNY viewing patio)
- Riverbanks Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas on Friday night
- New Year’s Eve dinner menu at Motor Supply on Saturday night (walk to FHNY)
Guests can explore more options online at http://www.columbiacvb.com/events/signature-events/new-years-eve/.
What to Enjoy During the Street Party
Attendees will enjoy a number of snack options at FHNY, including local food trucks like Real Mexico; several beer, wine & champagne bars; an NYE accessory vendor to snag hats, noisemakers and more; and a seated “Comfort Zone” space to enjoy food, drink and conversation at the corner of Main and Gervais Streets. Street entertainers will be on-site to provide additional delight for guests.
City of Columbia and Richland County hospitality taxes provide close to 40% of funding, while more than 60% of funding is provided by corporate citizens. The event is Hosted by the City of Columbia and Presented by Richland County. Our corporate sponsors this year are as follows: Platinum Sponsor: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (#LiveFearlessSC); Gold Sponsors: Aflac and WLTX; Fireworks Sponsor: SCE&G; Boosted FREE WiFi Sponsor: Spirit Communications; Silver Sponsors: Colonial Life, KW Beverage/Budweiser, Pepsi of the Carolinas, WARQ and WWDM; Recycling Sponsor: South Carolina Education Lottery; Bronze Sponsors: Cinema Couture Films, City Center Partnership/Main Street District, Columbia Business Monthly, Free Times, Hub at Columbia, Marriott Columbia and WHXT. Other supporting sponsors of the event are Capitol Center, Coal Powered Filmworks, Columbia Fireflies Baseball, DuBose Web, EDENS, Grace Outdoor, Image360 Columbia Central, Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism, Nelson Mullins, and Palmetto Parent.
FHNY Celebration Schedule
6:30 p.m. | Concert gates open
7:00 p.m.—7:30 p.m. | Mike Stone & the Kritikal band performs
7:50 p.m.—8:45 p.m. | Capital City Playboys performs
9:15 p.m.—10:15 p.m. | Sister Hazel performs
10:45 p.m.—11:55 p.m. | Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue performs
11:55 p.m.—12:10 a.m. | Midnight festivities & fireworks
12:15—12:30 a.m. | Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue finale and dancing
12:30 a.m. | Beer, wine and champagne sales end
1:00 a.m. | Celebration ends
Live Broadcast, Celebrity Emcees and Co-Chairs
The event will be live broadcast on TV by WLTX News 19 and via radio by Alpha Media station The Big DM 101.3/WWDM. WLTX anchor Darci Strickland, three-time Emmy-award winning journalist and University of South Carolina alum, will co-emcee FHNY, along with Hot 103.9/WHXT DJ Neek, Q 93.5/WARQ DJ Crogan, and Big DM/WWDM’s Chris Connors, multi-award winning radio host. Famously Hot New Year’s co-chairs and official spokespeople are Laura Basile, Neonatologist at Palmetto Health Richland, and Mario Melendez, Financial Representative / Field Director at Northwestern Mutual.
About Famously Hot New Year
Famously Hot New Year is South Carolina’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration, with a free, full-length concert by a national headliner and the most colossal NYE fireworks display in the two Carolinas, adjacent to the historic S.C. State House in downtown Columbia, S.C. Since 2011, Famously Hot New Year has gathered diverse communities to enjoy the free concert and fireworks; regional food vendors; plentiful cash bars with beer, wine and bubbly; a festival atmosphere; free parking and more in the “New Southern Hot Spot.” In 2015, more than 35,000 guests attended from 36 states and ten countries. Plan your #FHNY at www.famouslyhotnewyear.com.