By Emilie Kefalas
“Maybe it’s much too early in the game…” Contrary to what Frank Loesser’s 1947 hit says, you can never be too early when it comes to planning your end-of-the-year shenanigans. Luckily, no city knows shenanigans like Savannah. Savor 2018’s final hours before starting 2019 off on a festive foot with Savannah’s colorful calendar of upcoming New Year Eve’s events. To help you out in your pursuit to party and part ways peacefully with this year, here are Savannah's top five hottest goings-on for December 31st.
1. Savannah City Market New Year’s Eve Celebration
Celebrating outside doesn’t mean freezing to death in the South, especially in Savannah. Even with a bit of a breeze, the air in City Market is always vibrant, warm, and welcoming. Come New Year’s Eve, this hub between Broughton and River Street will transform into a nucleus of outdoor merriment. Located next to Ellis Square, City Market’s New Year’s Eve Celebration will feature live music beginning at 9 p.m. and lasting until 1 a.m. No tickets are required, and the event is free and open to anyone looking for a memorable place to share midnight kisses, sample local spirits and food, or commemorate a great year with friends.
Home to the late Lady Chablis, star of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this LGBT inclusive club knows how to throw a party! In addition to drag shows at 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., you’ll ring in the new year with a complimentary champagne toast and their famous balloon drop with over $5,000 in cash and prizes! This event is 21+, and their Showroom Bar is cash only, but cards are accepted on the other two floors.
3. Up the Cup on River Street
New York City may have an iconic, sparkly ball, but Savannah has a giant solo cup. Sponsored by Wet Willie’s on River Street, the Fourth Annual Up the Cup Countdown will commence at 8 p.m. sharp and continue through the new year (AKA 1 a.m.) at Rousakis Plaza on River Street. As the cup comes down and fireworks go off over the river, raise your own cup to a hopeful and prosperous 2017.
4. Tybee Island New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Welcome 2019 in with a true “bang.” Nothing compares to a New Year’s Eve bash on Tybee Island, and the proof is in their annual fireworks display. Tybee’s beaches and boardwalk set the scene for a lovely evening of seaside dining. When the stars come out and the clock nears midnight, head to the shore with a blanket and a drink and prepare to witness Tybee’s own New Year’s Eve firework spectacle.
Speaking of celebrating near the water, why not ring in 2019 on the Savannah River? Set sail on a New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the two main cruise ships, the Savannah River Queen and the Georgia Queen. These old-style sternwheel riverboats offer an alternate mode of holiday celebration, complete with killer firework viewing, elegant dining, drinks, and live music. For families, a special New Year’s Eve Cruise tours the river from 7 p.m. through 9 p.m. Tickets start at $59.95 for adults and $32.95 for children.