New Year’s Eve: Welcome 2013 in style, from flip-flop drops to champagne toasts

By Stratton Lawrence  Special to The Post and Courier – Thursday, December 27, 2012

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Charleston Unmasked at Memminger Auditorium will wow revelers with Cirque du Soleil and Barnum & Bailey Circus acts.
  • The aircraft carrier Yorktown will be transformed from museum to party place for the Yorktown Countdown.
    ( File/Grace Beahm/staff )
    The aircraft carrier Yorktown will be transformed from museum to party place for the Yorktown Countdown.

  • File/staff
Happy New Year, Charleston! in Marion Square is kid-friendly, offering a fun, festive environment that is alcohol-free.
    ( No Credit )
    File/staff Happy New Year, Charleston! in Marion Square is kid-friendly, offering a fun, festive environment that is alcohol-free.

  • Local “ ’80s cheese” band Weird Science will have those at The Windjammer partying like it’s 1989.
    ( Provided )
    Local “ ’80s cheese” band Weird Science will have those at The Windjammer partying like it’s 1989.

Dig in to New Year’s

A number of restaurants, bars and clubs in the Charleston area are hosting notable New Year’s Eve events:

Barsa Tapas Lounge & Bar

Local band Whiskey Diablo performs at a masquerade party featuring the Babe Rouge photo booth. Sponsored by Cathead Vodka, this New Year’s celebration and second anniversary party will feature a champagne toast at midnight and a prize for best masquerade costume. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Barsa is at 630 King St. 577-5393 or

Charleston Grill

The restaurant in Charleston Place Hotel will offer a choice of multiple tasting menus. Four courses, with choices, will be served 5:30-7 p.m. for $105. Seatings 9-10:30 p.m. will be served five courses, including choices, for $155. Live jazz plays until 1 a.m., with party favors handed and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Charleston Grill is at 224 King St. 577-4522 or

Circa 1886

End the year with a six-course meal priced at $125. Reservations are required. Circa 1886 is at 49 Wentworth St. 853-7828 or

The Cocktail Club

Limited tickets are available to this $100 party ($80 for members) featuring an open bar, complimentary hors d’oeurves and a champagne toast at midnight along with five hours of live music by Eric Penrod & Tim Davis and Brent Pace for Mayor. The Cocktail Club is at 479 King St. 724-9411 or

Cru Cafe

Cru’s annual “New Year’s Eve Celebration” will feature two seatings with wine pairings. The 6:30 p.m. seating offers a five-course dinner with wine pairings for $65. The 8:30 p.m. seating offers seven courses with wine pairings and a champagne toast for $115. Cru Cafe is at 18 Pinckney St. 534-2434

The Glass Onion

Reservations are required for a locally sourced $50 four-course meal. Wine pairings are an additional $25. The Glass Onion is at 1219 Savannah Highway. 225-1717 or

J. Paul’z

The restaurant and Plane Jane will present the “Bangin’ New Year’s Eve Spectacular.” Tickets are limited and include a midnight buffet, champagne toast, and singing and dancing with Plane Jane. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. J. Paul’z is at 1739 Maybank Highway, James Island. 795-6995 or

Mad River Bar & Grill

A $100 entry to this Market Street hot spot gets attendees access to a top shelf bar, a champagne toast, balloon drop, party favors and a DJ keeping the dance floor moving. Mad River is at 32 North Market St. 723-0032 or

Mercury Bar

This New Year’s party features dance music by Mike-Tech and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets range from $30 to $600 for VIP. Mercury is at 547 King St. 793-2964


The club celebrates with music by DJ Sudz, an open bar and a full dinner buffet. Tickets are $100. Mynt is at 135 Calhoun St. 718-1598 or


This New Year’s party and 30th birthday bash will feature a five-course meal, champagne toast, dancing and a photo booth. Tickets are $100. Oscar’s is at 207 West 5th North St., Summerville. 871-3800 or

Red’s Ice House

An all-inclusive “bash” includes live music from Dave Landeo, Homemade Wine and the Secrets, performing on two stages. The $80 admission includes an open bar, party favors and dinner. Red’s is at 98 Church St., Mount Pleasant. 388-0003 or

Republic Reign

This new venue will celebrate its opening with a New Year’s Eve bash featuring a DJ and a live band in its outdoor garden throughout the evening. The $35 tickets include complimentary champagne and lights hors d’oeuvres. VIP service is limited and ranges in price from $500-$1,500. Republic Reign is at 462 King St. 724-7400 or

Torch Velvet Lounge

King Street’s swanky club hosts DJ Magnetik and Amanda Boze for a celebration priced at $70 that includes an open bar and party favors. Torch is at 545 King St. 723-9333 or


The sushi spot’s annual New Year’s party will feature complimentary food and drinks, along with live entertainment for $100. For $150, receive all of the above plus a six-person lounge with table-side service and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to toast at midnight. O-Ku is at 463 King St. 737-0112 or


Choose between five ($85) and seven courses ($125) for a New Year’s meal, complimented by free champagne and live jazz by A Touch of Class. Tristan is at 10 Linguard St. 534-2155 or

Resolutions can wait for the morning. On New Year’s Eve, it’s time to party.

Whether you’re clinking crystal at an all-inclusive soiree or shaking your rump to a rock band’s midnight countdown, we’ve got you covered.

From restaurants offering elaborate prix fixe menus to countless champagne toasts, the Holy City knows how to celebrate another memorable year of local success stories and international acclaim.

What’s the toughest part of New Year’s Eve?

Making resolutions is easy, the challenge is choosing between so many options for the night before, ranging from the classy to the downright epic. So we’ve pulled together a list to help you make your decision.

Make your choice, and don’t fret if a friend heads elsewhere, you can always reconvene the next day for a chilly plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.

Charleston Unmasked

When: 8:30 p.m. until

Where: Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.

Price: $125

More info:

Across three stages within the Memminger Auditorium, local event planner EPIC Charleston has planned a spectacle, including Cirque du Soleil performances, feats of strength and dexterity by Guinness Book of World Record holders, Barnum & Bailey Circus acts, ice carving, tarot readers, snake charmers, contortionists and numerous DJs.

“Our unbelievable nonstop roster features strolling acts, stage acts, as well as stationary performers that will amaze and intrigue you all night long,” claim the planners.

An in-house ball drop will occur at midnight, “followed by the best dance party and audio/visual celebration Charleston has ever experienced.”

Kelly G. of 95SX radio station plays host for the evening, which is co-sponsored by Absolut Vodka.

All tickets include complete access, premium open bars, a full menu of local fare and a secure coat and handbag check.

Portions of proceeds benefit the Lowcountry Food Bank.

The Rose Ball

When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Where: Johnson Hagood Stadium, The Citadel

Price: $100, $150 VIP

More info:

Taking advantage of The Citadel’s $42 million renovation of the Johnson Hagood Football Stadium, this inaugural event may be the marquee party of the year.

Organizers Camille Key of Charleston After Dark and Boris Van Dyck of IceBox Bar are creating an “illustrious spectacle” complete with DJs and a projected and laser light show by Big Hair Productions and local artist Banks Pappas.

“Picture what Warhol would be doing these days with our digital video technology,” Pappas said of his show. “It’s going to be an illuminated study in the manipulation of contemporary fashion videography, color negotiations for color’s sake, as well as infusing some juxtaposition of the imagery of vanity with unexpected aesthetic.”

Local group The Dubplates and San Francisco-based DJ Ron Reeser will supply the soundtrack, along with DJs and musical acts including Mateo, KlipArt and Jake B in rooms along the stadium’s various levels. South African vocalist and producer Circe Electro will perform at midnight, as well as violinist Seth Gilliard.

In addition, Art Magazine will curate an exhibit of local artists and the Charleston International Film Festival will screen previews for next year’s event.

Key and Van Dyck have previously teamed up to throw the last two years’ official Charleston Fashion Week finale parties, as well as four consecutive late-night after-parties at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, and they’re striving to create a similar upscale club atmosphere for the Rose Ball, encouraging guests to “dress to impress.”

Tickets include all-inclusive bar service featuring specialty cocktails. A portion of proceeds benefit the Tanzanian Education Foundation, a Charleston-based nonprofit that provides funding for elementary education in Africa.

Snyder Grand Ball

When: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

Where: South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf

Price: $135

More info: or 763-2462

Snyder Event Rentals hosts this popular annual gala at the aquarium for the 12th year, “the biggest dance party in S.C.,” according to organizers.

The event includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar, all overlooking the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and Charleston Harbor.

Quiana Parler and Friends headline the main hall, joined by DJ R Dot and DJ Natty Heavy mixing it up by the shark tank.

Black tie is optional for men, while women are asked to wear their “finest cocktail or formal dresses.”

Proceeds support the Darkness to Light organization, working to end child sexual abuse.

Platinum Ball

When: 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Where: The Hippodrome, 360 Concord St.

Price: $95, $150 VIP

More info:

Now in its third year, the Platinum Ball at the Hippodrome merges music, fashion and film, with performances by live band DTSMB and DJs Cilo, Jeff ET, and Y-Not.

Actor Kevin Phillips (“House M.D.,” “Lost Ship,” “Red Tails,” “Shameless”) hosts the evening’s festivities, which will include surprise performances, a champagne toast at midnight, an open bar and light appetizers.

“Classy cocktail attire” is requested, and portions of proceeds benefit the Youth Power Initiative and RBI Baseball Program of Charleston organizations.

Yorktown Countdown

When: 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Where: The aircraft carrier Yorktown, Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant

Price: $99, $149 VIP

More info:

Part of the Yorktown’s transition from an aging tourist attraction into a multipurpose event facility, Brightsound Entertainment’s Yorktown Countdown seeks to bring up to 1,500 revelers to the ship to enjoy multiple stages of DJs and live funk, rock and dance bands.

Headlining the event is Liquid Pleasure, a 12-piece veteran party band that performed at Bill Clinton’s presidential inaugural ball. They’re joined by Athens, Ga.-based rock band Mama’s Love, Charleston group High Society, and DJs Fullhaus, Kilgo, Travis Myers and John Kutter.

General admission patrons will enjoy an all-inclusive full service bar and music inside the shop’s airplane hangar and outdoor fantail area, while VIP guests will have access to a heated tent and bar on the flight deck, private DJs and a large-screen ball drop at midnight.

Co-sponsored by Ciroc Vodka, the event is open to those 21 and older only. Like the Rose Ball, the Yorktown Countdown benefits the Tanzanian Education Foundation.

New Year’s Eve at The Point

When: 7 p.m.-midnight

Where: Omar Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point St., Mount Pleasant

Price: $55, $99 VIP

More info: or 606-2110

The East Coast Party Band, featuring special guest Donnie Weaver (lead singer of The O’Kaysions), will headline this bash at the Omar Shrine Temple, also featuring local band Permanent Vacation.

Presented by 101.7 Chuck FM and Ketel One Vodka, tickets include food, drinks, and party favors. Proceeds benefit the Omar Shriners.

New Year’s Eve Beach Bash

When: 8 p.m. to close

Where: Tides Folly Beach and Blu Restaurant and Bar, 1 Center St., Folly Beach

Price: $90

More info:

An open bar, “lavish buffet” and music from DJ C Nile and EnTrace highlight the festivities at Tides Folly Beach and Blu Restaurant.

In addition to the requisite champagne toast, the hotel will launch fireworks at midnight.

Folly Beach Flip-Flop Drop

When: Just before midnight

Where: Center Street, Folly Beach

Price: Free

Folly Beach will continue what became an “instant tradition” last year, lowering two sparkly giant flip-flops from the firetruck’s ladder at Center Street and Ashley Avenue.

Attendees may enjoy drinks from area bars on the street during the event, thanks to a temporary waiver of the open container law.

Noon Year’s Eve

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, 25 Ann St.

Price: $7 (museum admission)

More info:

Little tykes who can’t quite make it to midnight can enjoy a “glitzy, glittery ball drop” when the clock strikes high noon on New Year’s Eve, along with “rainbows of confetti,” art projects and all the family fun of the Children’s Museum.

Recommended for all ages.

Happy New Year, Charleston!

When: 4-10:30 p.m.

Where: Marion Square

Price: Free

More info:

The city of Charleston’s official celebration, hosted by the Office of Cultural Affairs, includes comedy shows, dancing, live music and children’s activities all evening long in Marion Square.

Festivities include an opening ceremony at 5 p.m., followed by jazz music from Rochelle Whitney Green Trio and the Missing Links break dancers.

At 7 p.m., the Mt. Zion Spiritual Singers will perform, followed by the RBM Dancers.

Ralph Longshore, aka The Man in White, performs at 8 p.m., displaying his “living statue” and performance art skills, coming to life as he plays original songs on guitar.

Headlining the event is the East Coast Party Band at 8:30 p.m.

A separate kids’ tent features the performing dog variety act Dynamo Dogs, as well as magician John Tudor, sing-alongs and dancers.

Also onsite will be a caricature artist, stilt walkers and LED-lit Poi and hula-hooping.

The event is alcohol-free and there is no charge for admission.

Holiday Festival of Lights Winter Carnival

When: 5:30-10 p.m.

Where: James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive

Price: $12 per vehicle, $10 unlimited carnival rides

More info:

Families looking to celebrate before bedtime will appreciate the 9 p.m. “spectacular” fireworks show at the Holiday Festival of Lights, as well as the assortment of amusement rides and inflatable jump castles brought in for the night.

And that’s in addition to the old-fashioned carousel, portable climbing wall and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe in place at the Festival of Lights.

New Year’s Eve is also the last chance to view the 2 million lights spread over 700 displays and the 50-ton sand sculpture before they’re taken down and put away until next year.

New Year’s Eve with Sol Driven Train

When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Where: The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway

Price: $15

More info:

In what has become a New Year’s Eve tradition, Sol Driven Train returns to The Pour House for its sixth consecutive year.

Expect some level of costumes and zany antics from the fun-loving crew of world-beat musicians, as well as creative covers and songs off its forthcoming release, “Underdog.”

Weird Science

When: 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m.

Where: The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms

Price: $10-$15

More info:

Can’t wait until New Year’s Day to jump into the ocean for your polar bear plunge?

Celebrate on the beach at The Windjammer and you don’t have to, although you may want to keep a blanket handy to ward off hypothermia.

Then head inside and party like it’s 1989 again at The Windjammer with local “favorite ’80s cheese” band Weird Science.