Perfect New Year’s Eve Celebrations for Families in Charleston

The Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents “Happy New Year, Charleston!” on Dec. 31 from 4  p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration features a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m.

The event is non-alcoholic, admission-free and is open to everyone in the community. All events are in Marion Square, except the Classical Concerts, which will be held at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, located at 405 King St.

The program includes children’s activities, African drumming and dancing, organ and brass, chamber music, gospel music and jazz.

Main Stage:

  • 4 to 4:10 p.m., Drum Circle with Adande
  • 4:15 to 4:40 p.m., Opening Ceremonies and the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa with Art Gilliard
  • 4:45 to 5:05 p.m., ballerina Gaylyn-Lareese Singletary
  • 5:15 to 5:45 p.m., musical Performance by vocalist Trudy B. Grant
  • 6:45 to 7:15 p.m., Adande African Drum and Dance
  • 7:15 to 7:40 p.m., musical Performance by vocalist Trudy B. Grant
  • 8 to 10:15 p.m., 7 Once Band (headliner)
  • 10:15 p.m., fireworks

Kidsfest Tent:

  • 4:30 to 4:45 p.m., music and sing-a-longs with Folk singer Kathy Livingston
  • 4:50 to 5:30 p.m., storytelling with Minerva King
  • 5:30 to 6 p.m., RBM African Dancers and Drummers
  • 6:50 to 7:15 p.m., music and sing-a-longs with Kathy Livingston
  • 7:20 to 8 p.m., RBM African Dancers and Drummers

Also under the Kidsfest Tent:

  • 4:30 to 8 p.m., Arts & Crafts coordinated by The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and Office of Cultural Affairs staff
  • 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Merry Making Face Painting with Kathryn Johns

Classical Concerts at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 405 King St.:

  • 5 to 5:40 p.m., classical performance for children: Dr. Bob and His Fabulous Flying Circus
  • 6:30 to 7:10 p.m., The Glory of Gabrielli: Music for Organ and Brass Quintet
  • 8 to 8:40 p.m., The Glory of Gabrielli: Music for Organ and Brass Quintet

Gospel and Smooth Jazz under the Tent:

  • 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Great Horns of Charleston: Lonnie Hamilton & Friends accompanied by the John Tecklenburg Trio
  • 5:35 to 6:20 p.m., Voices of Deliverance
  • 6:25 to 7:30 p.m.,Great Horns of Charleston: Lonnie Hamilton & Friends accompanied by the John Tecklenburg Trio

Another perfect, family-friendly activity to ring in the New Year is the Holiday Festival of Lights Winter Carnival on Dec. 31 at James Island County Park.

The whole family will have the chance to experience carnival rides, including swings, slides and mechanical bull attractions, as well as inflatables.  Plus, enjoy the nightly attractions at the festival, including the old-fashioned carousel, the portable climbing wall, children’s activities and much more.  The fireworks show at 9 p.m. welcomes 2011 with a bang.

Wristbands providing unlimited rides on the attractions will be available for just $10 (does not include rides on the festival train).  Individual ride tickets also will be sold for $1 each. Attractions average three tickets per ride.

The Holiday Festival of Lights featuring over 600 light displays and 2 million lightsstill will be in full swing. Stroll down the enchanted walking trail, see the 50-ton sand sculpture and hop aboard the festival train. Roast marshmallows and visit the North Pole Diner for a hearty snack or Santa’s Sweet Shoppe for a holiday treat. The Holiday Festival of Lights is open now through Jan. 2, 2011.

Festival hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sundays to Thursdays,  5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fees are $10 per vehicle for 1-15 guests.  On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only, bring a canned food item for donation at the festival for a $2 discount on regular Holiday Festival of Lights admission.

For more information about the Holiday Festival of Lights or the Winter Carnival at the Holiday Festival of Lights, please call 843-795-4FUN or visit www.holidayfestivaloflights.com.

Information collected by CharlestonCurrents.com

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