COLUMBIA, S.C. — Citing COVID-related health concerns, the non-profit group that has produced Columbia's Famously Hot New Year (FHNY) has decided to cancel the New Year's Eve event for December 31, 2021.
Over the past decade, South Carolina's largest free New Year's Eve celebration became a tradition where people could come out and mingle, enjoy live musical performances by popular groups and ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks show in front of the State House on Main Street.
“This was a tough call to make, but our region is resilient,” says Debora Lloyd, vice president of the Famously Hot New Year board of directors. “Every year, we look forward to bringing visitors from outside of the Midlands together with locals to showcase all that the City of Columbia, Richland County and the region have to offer,” notes Lloyd. “We need to prioritize the health and safety of our community based on the information we have today. While we will not be hosting an in-person or virtual event this year, we encourage travelers to make plans to visit the Real Southern Hot Spot.”
Last year, FHNY organizers dealt with the coronavirus pandemic by going virtual with taped performances.
The event began in 2011 as an idea of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and over the course of the decade has been sponsored by private partners such as BlueCross BlueShield of SC, Aflac, Alpha Media, Dominion Energy, Pepsi of the Carolinas, Segra, and WLTX.
In previous years, the event brought in well-known musical acts such as Salt-N-Pepa, Trombone Shorty, Lauren Hill, the Wallflowers, and En Vogue.