It’s been quite a year to say the least. A protest on Wall Street spread to a worldwide movement, Steve Jobs left his final mark on the world, and R.E.M. called it quits. 2011 may have felt like it ended faster than Kim Kardashian’s marriage, but it still deserves a proper farewell. Say goodbye without going further into holiday debt with this week’s free parties.

TUESDAY. Celebrate Charleston’s African heritage with the St. Julian Devine Kwanzaa Festival. The day starts with a parade of African drumming to the St. Julian Devine Community Center, where they’ll have guest speakers and a dinner.

THURSDAY. Bringers of the Dawn will perform rock jams from Howard Dlugasch and Company at Loggerhead’s on Folly Beach.

FRIDAY. See the Deepwater Soul Society get funky with their roots-rock jams at Loggerhead’s.

SATURDAY. Celebrate the new year like a true freeloader at some of the free parties going on around town. Tattooed Moose is hosting 2011’s funeral with a Day of the Dead Goodbye party. They’ll have skull face painting, live music, and a free champagne toast at midnight. Island Bar and Grill will have a live performance by Rawberry Jam, Calhoun’s Calling will play the party at Mac’s Place, where they’ll have menu specials and giveaways, Big Gun Burger Shop is ringing in the New Year with metal-funk freaks Gangrene Machine, and at the Mill, they’ll be toasting along with music by Bare Knuckle Champions. Make sure you go to Loggerhead’s on a full stomach because their party is free if you’re not eating. They’ll have music by the Jamisun Trio, party favors, and a free champagne toast at midnight.

SUNDAY. Watch as participants shed their 2011 skin by freezing it off at the Dunleavy’s Pub Polar Plunge. The annual Sullivan’s Island tradition will raise money to benefit South Carolina’s Special Olympics.


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