Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration may be the one that our city is best known for, but our New Year’s festivities also rival the best of them. From an outdoor street party to fireworks displays, and many things in between, The Hostess City knows how to up the excitement when it comes to putting the old year to bed. With that said, here are popular ways to welcome in the New Year.
Savannah has mastered the art of hosting a street party with gusto, and the one at City Market on New Year’s Eve is a prime example. Plenty of drink specials are to be had at watering holes and restaurants in and around this commercial and social hub. The music cranks up at 9:00 o’clock when a band takes the stage, and continues until 1:00am with a pause to ring in the New Year of course.
You can also raise a toast to the New Year in true Savannah style at the “Up the Cup” Countdown on historic River Street. This event is Savannah’s twist on the traditional “ball drop” and suffice it to say that the countdown involves the ceremonial raising of a six-foot to-go cup to mark the final seconds of the year. And when the clock strikes twelve, fabulous fireworks begin.
Out on Tybee Island, the New Year is ushered in with a bang as a spectacular fireworks show vividly paints the night sky over the Atlantic. You can enjoy the eye-popping display from your vantage point at one of Tybee’s beachfront restaurants or bars. Or take your beach chair, a blanket or both and stake your claim along Tybee’s broad stretch of sand to watch the show.
If a high-energy variety show is more your “cup of tea,” take in the 2-hour Rocking New Year’s Eve performance at the historic Savannah Theatre. Then stick around following the curtain call to join the band and cast on stage to dance until midnight when the grown-ups do a champagne toast.
If you’d get a kick out of dining and dancing while cruising downriver, Savannah Riverboat Cruises offers three options on New Year’s Eve. You can do a 2-hour, family-friendly Dinner Cruise starting at 6:00pm and spend the rest of the evening as you like. Or pick the 4-hour Gala Cruise that departs at 8:30pm and celebrate with a sumptuous dinner buffet, live entertainment and dancing. If you’re celebrating without the kids, hop aboard the Party Cruise that shoves off at 10:00pm.
On Hutchinson Island, The Westin offers a couple of celebratory choices to greet the year to come. An elegant dinner party starts at 7:00pm at their acclaimed Aqua Star restaurant. Sip champagne, savor gourmet cuisine, and shimmy the night away to live music by one of Savannah’s best bands. The hotel will also host an upscale party from 8:00 o’clock to midnight in the Harbor Ballroom. A full open bar, delectable desserts, party favors, a champagne toast and front-row seats to midnight fireworks come with the price of admission. And you can boogie down to tunes spun by a DJ.
How does a “wild night” with nature sound for ringing in the New Year? You get to do just that on Ossabaw Island, a Georgia Heritage Preserve. Spend the afternoon touring this beautiful, unspoiled place that has a maritime forest, tidal wetlands and wide beaches along the Atlantic. Gather around the campfire after a Pig Roast Dinner to enjoy island stories and toast in the New Year. Then retire for the night and return to the mainland on New Year’s Day after a mid-morning breakfast.
What if you’re looking for a festive, family-friendly activity that doesn’t keep the kids up way past their bedtime? Why not bring your skates or rent a pair and take to the ice at Skatefest 2015. This is the 42nd anniversary of this event, which has become a tradition for many locals. There are six skating sessions throughout the day (each lasting 90 minutes); the last session starts at 10:30pm.
Now, if you’re feeling gutsy on New Year’s Day, join more than a thousand others who will take the plunge into the chilly Atlantic as part of Tybee Island’s Polar Plunge, which has been a tradition for 16 years. Polar Plunge 2016 welcomes the return of the wacky and fun “Gang of Goofs” Contest and Parade. So if you’re feeling whimsical as well as brave, put on your craziest costume and get at least two others to do the same; then parade in front of a panel of judges to compete for cool prizes.
Throughout this holiday season, be safe and be merry. And, Happy New Year from the Live Love Savannah family! We look forward to putting our knowledge of real estate—and Savannah—to work for you in the coming year.