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Palmetto Parent

Join Thousands of Revelers at Famously Hot New Year in Downtown Columbia, S.C. on Dec. 31

Dec 29, 2017 05:07PM ● By Lori Coon

Famously Hot New Year, South Carolina’s largest New Year’s Eve party, is ready to roll in downtown Columbia, S.C. on Dec. 31. Join revelers from across the nation, around the world and even neighbors from down the street for S.C.’s free party of the year with a full-length concert from double GRAMMY-nominated artists Elle King and Nappy Roots, and performances from local hip hop artist FatRat Da Czar and alternative rock band SondorBlue from Charleston, S.C. Plan your #FHNY at

The holiday celebration continues during a long weekend for visitors and residents alike in Columbia, S.C. ­– The Real Southern Hot Spot – culminating in the free Famously Hot New Year celebration on Main St. with the biggest NYE fireworks display in South Carolina, regional food vendors, beer, wine and bubbly in a fun, festival environment on the streets of Columbia’s downtown districts. Thanks to an attractive combination of affordability, an exciting yet manageable urban atmosphere, and things to do around every walkable corner, Columbia, S.C. is the perfect place to settle in for a long weekend leading up to the Famously Hot New Year celebration. Locals planning a “staycation” are scheduling babysitters and out-of-towners are booking their hotels and making travel plans to visit Columbia, S.C. to ring in the New Year at Famously Hot New Year. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly as cold temperatures are expected on New Year's Eve.

 Dance in the streets at Famously Hot New Year to the music of major national acts, under the cover of the biggest NYE fireworks display in South Carolina in 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 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.

About the Bands


Elle King

Singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist and banjoist Elle King is a musical force to be reckoned with. King encapsulates a variety of genres — from blues, soul and country to rock and pop — adding a personal flair to all styles of music she performs. Her debut album “Love Stuff,” released in 2015, includes hit songs “Ex’s and Oh’s” and “America’s Sweetheart.” Her hit single “Ex’s & Oh’s” was nominated for two GRAMMYs, two Billboard Music Awards and was certified double-platinum; she made chart history when she became the second female artist in 18 years to reach #1 at Alternative Radio, following Lorde’s #1 with “Royals” in 2013. 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.

Nappy Roots 

Two-time Grammy nominated hip-hop group Nappy Roots is an American alternative Southern rap quartet that is best known for their hit singles "Po' Folks," "Awnaw," "Roun' The Globe" and "Good Day.” The group is made up of artists Skinny DeVille, Fish Scales, B. Stille and Ron Clutch. Nappy Roots has been an active part of the music scene since 1998 and prides itself on constantly producing music that is real and relatable, while maintaining an ambitious touring schedule. This four-man collective is a passionate storyteller with an undeniable Southern swagger). They have most recently and notably been featured on 2014’s Neighbors film track starring Seth Rogen and Zach Efron and on 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets, along with many others.

FatRat Da Czar 

As South Carolina’s godfather of hip-hop, FatRat Da Czar’s music career has spanned over two decades. Originating in Hampton Roads, VA and honing his skills in Columbia, S.C., Czar solidified his role as an acclaimed solo artist with the release of Da Cold War album trilogy (2007-2012). In addition to opening for national acts to include Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, and Lauryn Hill, Czar has also engineered sessions for national artists ranging from KRS-One to Kevin Gates at the Boom Room, the hip-hop focused enclave of South Carolina's legendary Jam Room Recording Studio. Through his role as founder and executive director of Love, Peace & Hip-Hop, Czar established World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day in 2013.


 Charleston, South Carolina’s SondorBlue is an alternative/indie pop rock band that is best known for their hit singles “Opinions” and “The Moon And You,” off of their 2016 REALOMETER EP release. The band is comprised of three talented vocalists– Connor Hollifield on lead guitar, John Sheehan on guitar and keyboards and Andrew Halley at center stage on bass – with drummer Drew Lewis holding down a clockwork backbeat.  They share a love for performing live and come together to create unique and evocative harmonies with subtle intricacies in arrangements. The Huffington Post muses of SondorBlue, “How much talent can be crammed into one band?”

Famously Hot New Year Celebration Schedule

6:30 p.m. | Concert gates open

7:00 p.m.—7:30 p.m. | SondorBlue 

7:50 p.m.—8:45 p.m. | FatRat Da Czar 

9:15 p.m.—10:15 p.m. | Nappy Roots 

10:45 p.m.—11:55 p.m. | Elle King 

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

 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. 

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. Busses 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:

·       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, 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 all city parking deck facilities from Sunday, Jan. 31, 2017 at 3 a.m. (late Saturday night) until Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at 3 a.m. (late Monday night.) 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


Photo by Jeff Blake