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Published on December 6th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Dance in the Streets this New Years Eve

Columbia, S.C. hosts 7th year of largest NYE party in the Palmetto State

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Tens of thousands of guests will dance in the streets of downtown Columbia, S.C. at the free Famously Hot New Year celebration, S.C.’s largest NYE party, on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Leading up to the biggest NYE fireworks show in the state, GRAMMY nominee and Top 40 rock/blues maven Elle King will hit the stage for a free, full-length outdoor concert, along with GRAMMY-nominated American alternative Southern rap quartet Nappy Roots. Make plans for #FHNY at

Visitors are arranging for getaways over the long holiday weekend in Columbia, S.C. – the Real Southern Hot Spot – as part of plans to attend Famously Hot New Year, thanks to the city’s attractive combination of affordability, an exciting yet manageable urban atmosphere, and an abundance of things to do.

Midlands residents often take the opportunity to plan “staycations” surrounding S.C.’s free party of the year, taking the opportunity to enjoy the vibrant, walkable downtown districts of South Carolina’s capital city alongside visitors from all over the nation and the world.

Famously Hot New Year offers a unique, festive way to ring in the new year, with major national acts, the biggest NYE fireworks display in South Carolina, a fun, friendly street festival with food vendors, beer, wine and bubbly, street entertainment by local musicians, the Palmetto Swing Dancers and live painting by Trahern Cook (a.k.a. Easel Cathedral), free parking in select City of Columbia garages, $10 Alert Cab discounts, COMET park-and-ride lots and more.

Sponsored by the City of Columbia, Richland County, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Aflac, WLTX, Q 93.5, HOT 103.9/93.9, Spirit Communications, Pepsi of the Carolinas, Colonial Life, KW Beverage and other corporate citizens, Famously Hot New Year is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Now in its seventh season, the event drew approximately 24,000 people from 48 states and 11 countries to the heart of Columbia, S.C. for the 2016 event. 44% of the event’s guests came from outside of Richland County.

The Concert

Elle King, a Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist and banjoist, will headline Famously Hot New Year’s free, full-length outdoor concert. Elle King’s accolades include two GRAMMY nominations, two Billboard Music Awards nominations and a double-platinum certification. She made chart history when she became the second female artist in 18 years to reach #1 at Alternative Radio. King’s single “Ex’s & Oh’s” also claimed the #1 spot on the AAA and Hot AC charts and the #1 spot on the Billboard “Hot Rock Songs,” making her just the fourth female lead act/artist to top this chart in its six-year history. Learn more about Elle King at

Leading up to King’s performance, two-time GRAMMY nominated hip-hop group Nappy Roots, an American alternative Southern rap quartet that is best known for their hit singles “Po’ Folks,” “Awnaw,” “Roun’ The Globe” and “Good Day” will take the stage.

Local hip-hop artist and community leader FatRat Da Czar, known as South Carolina’s godfather of hip-hop, and SondorBlue, an alternative/indie pop rock band from Charleston, South Carolina, will open the free concert.

The stage is located at Gervais Street and Sumter Street in front of the S.C. Supreme Court building – steps away from the midnight fireworks above the S.C. State House. Sumter Street will remain open before, throughout and after the event. There will be easy access to Main Street merchants, festival food and drink vendors.

While all ages are welcome at Famously Hot New Year, guests are encouraged to leave small children with a babysitter and enjoy a “parents’ night out.” For family friendly fun, on Dec. 31 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department will host its free New Year’s Eve Party for Kids, adjacent to the Main Street Ice skating rink at Main and Hampton Streets.

Live Broadcast, Celebrity Emcees

Famously Hot New Year will be broadcast live on TV by WLTX News 19 and via radio by Q 93.5 and HOT 103.9/93. WLTX anchor Darci Strickland, Emmy-award winning journalist and University of South Carolina alum, will co-emcee Famously Hot New Year, along with HOT 103.9/WHXT DJ Neek and Q 93.5/WARQ DJ Croghan.

Famously Hot New Year Celebration Schedule

6:30 p.m. | Concert gates open

7:00 p.m.—7:30 p.m. | SondorBlue performs

7:50 p.m.—8:45 p.m. | FatRat Da Czar performs

9:15 p.m.—10:15 p.m. | Nappy Roots performs

10:45 p.m.—11:55 p.m. | Elle King performs

11:55 p.m.—12:10 a.m. | Midnight countdown & fireworks

12:15—12:30 a.m. | Elle King finale

12:30 a.m. | Beer, wine and bubbly sales end

1:00 a.m. | Gates close

How to Get There & Back Safely  


Organizers urge locals to utilize the affordable, clean and safe transportation system of The COMET for just $3 flat, with unlimited rides to and from Famously Hot New Year 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 p.m. Dec. 31, with the last pickup from the event 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: View a full list of bus stops, routes and park-and-ride locations online:

This year’s park-and-ride locations include the following:

Alert Cab Discounts

Those who need a safe ride home can take an Alert Cab, for 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 Street, between Main and Sumter Streets.


Public parking will be complimentary at the following city parking deck facilities from Sunday, Jan. 31, 2017 at 5 p.m. until Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at 3:00 a.m. (late Monday night): Lady Street, Washington Street, Cannon Street, and Taylor Street garages. Citywide on-street meter operations will also be complimentary on Monday Jan. 1, 2018. Guests are encouraged to take a safe ride home via The COMET, Alert Cab or other means and may leave their vehicles overnight in the above mentioned City of Columbia garages for pickup on New Year’s Day. See a full list of parking garages online:

Street Closures

Guests who drive to Famously Hot New Year are encouraged to note the following street closures and openings in downtown Columbia, S.C.

Saturday, Dec. 30, Closures

8:00 a.m.: 1200 block of Gervais St., between Main St. and Sumter St., closes.

Sunday, Dec. 31, Closures

7:00 a.m.:  1100 and 1200 blocks of Gervais St., between Assembly St. and Sumter St., close. Half block area of 1200 block of Main St., south of the entrance to the NBSC parking garage, closes.

9:00 a.m.:  900 block of South Main St., from Pendleton St. to College St., closes.

4:00 p.m.:  Remainder of 1200 block of Main St., between Lady St. and Gervais St., closes.

11:30 p.m.:  1100 and 1200 blocks of Pendleton St. close. 

Monday, Jan. 1, Reopenings

12:30 a.m.:  1100 and 1200 blocks of Pendleton St. reopen.

2:00 a.m.:  900 block of South Main St., from Pendleton St. to College St., reopens.

8:00 a.m.:  1200 block of Main St., between Lady St. and Gervais St., reopens.

9:00 a.m.:  1200 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. 

Security and Gate Screenings

Public safety officers will be on duty throughout the event, with patrol cars at entrance points. While admission is free for all ages, all bags will be subject to security screening. Guests are encouraged to leave bags at home or use clear, see-through bags to expedite entry at the gates. For more information on what not to bring, view FAQs here:


Past performers have included Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue with Sister Hazel (2016); Ms. Lauryn Hill (2015); The O’Jays and Misterwives (2014); Kool and the Gang and Z.Z. Ward (2013); The Wallflowers, Atlantic Starr and Biz Markie (2012) and George Clinton (2011). What started in 2011 as a NYE street concert and fireworks show has grown into a major statewide celebration, set amid the capital city’s historic downtown dining and shopping districts, with multiple hotels within blocks of the festivities. Plan your #FHNY weekend at

Elle King Live on NYE along w/ Nappy Roots at Famously Hot New Year in Columbia, S.C.

S.C.’s Largest Free NYE Celebration

Date: Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017

Time: 6:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

Location: Gervais at Sumter in downtown Columbia, S.C.

Price: Free 

About Famously Hot New Year

Famously Hot New Year is South Carolina’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration, with a free, concert by an international headliner and the biggest NYE fireworks display in South Carolina, 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 friendly festival atmosphere and more in the “Real Southern Hot Spot.” In 2016, more than 24,000 guests attended from 48 states and 11 countries. Plan your #FHNY weekend at

2017 Headliner: Elle King (blues, country, rock, pop singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist and banjoist)

2017 Supporting Entertainment: Nappy Roots (Southern hip-hop, rap, electronic dance music, pop, ambient, new wave and jazz); FatRat Da Czar (hip-hop, rap); SondorBlue (alternative/indie pop/rock)



Twitter: @FamouslyHotNYE

Instagram: @FamouslyHotNYE


HANDLE: @FamouslyHotNYE



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