Party hopping is a year-round hobby in Charleston, a city with a well-established tradition of spirited revelry. Each New Year’s Eve offers amateurs and veterans alike a multitude of parties to ring in the new year.

NYE 2011 was bid an elegant farewell at the Crystal Ball at Omar Shrine Temple, hosted by Other Brother Entertainment and Stage Presence. Two of Charleston’s most popular cover bands, the East Coast Party Band and Plane Jane, roused guests to dance early in the evening. The all-inclusive admission price featured several beverage stations with high-end liquors, wine, and beer. Buffet tables offered an assortment of crudités and canapés like pickled okra, baked salmon, carved flank steak and turkey breast, and sweets to complement the midnight champagne toast.

At downtown Mellow Mushroom’s private party, Club Mellow, we found karaoke and a photobooth downstairs and a DJ upstairs. Hors d’oeuvres quickly disappeared, but the fun continued late into the night.

The next stop on our agenda was favorite local dive Big John’s Tavern, featuring DJ Adam, who announced that he’ll be leaving Big John’s and Charleston in a few weeks. VIP guests enjoyed the open bar, and everyone enjoyed the go-go dancers on the bar, upholding a long-held Big John’s tradition. The Grand Marnier tree, left over from Christmas, is a sight to behold.

Ushering in the new year, Dante’s Camaro rocked the Tin Roof again for their annual NYE prom. The Honky Tonk Hootenanny included PBR and cranberry moonshine. Insulting the crowd in between covers of their favorite hard rock bands, Dante’s Camaro kept the cowboys and farm girls frolicking ’til closing.

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