Judging from the number of texts and emails we received asking if we could help score tickets, the Charleston City Paper’s Best Of Charleston party was the place to be on Wednesday. Driving up to the Johnson Hagood Stadium, we spotted emergency lights flashing in front and were concerned the party was already shut down. As we got closer, we were relieved to see the fire truck was actually a Fireball Whiskey vehicle — this was sure to be an interesting evening.

We were greeted with vodka shots as soon as we walked in — already there was a boozy theme developing at this party. Boarding the elevator, we could hear the pulsating party upstairs, and as the doors opened to the Club Level, we were greeted with what could only be described as controlled chaos. Girls in skimpy dresses, men in cowboy hats, penis bouquets from Guilty Pleasures (Best Adult Toy Store), and an abundance of vendors were crowded into the space. Groups were hugging and congratulating each other on their new accolades.

We spotted Craig Deihl (Best Charcuterie, Cypress Lowcountry Grill) and pondered for a moment if he might have any mortadella hidden under his jacket. Learning from past BOC parties, we knew that food could be a quick disappearing commodity, so we dove for the Cru Café and Catering (Best Caterer) table. Their famous mac and cheese in hand, we stepped outside to find the booze. We found the crew from EVO (Best North Charleston Restaurant) at the Crown Royal Maple table. They encouraged us to take a bite of bacon followed by a shot of maple-flavored whiskey from the ice luge, and then chase it all with orange juice. It looked like fun, but we opted for the less aggressive daiquiri option from Naked Turtle rum.

Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ (Best Ribs) was offering pulled pork sandwiches, so we quickly swallowed a few to soak up the inevitable moonshine shots we spotted from Firefly (Best Local Spirit). Johnny Battles (Best Food Product, Sweeteeth) was in the crowd and we forced him to try a swig of the pie-flavored hooch with us. To calm the burning, we got in line for a chaser of Pluff Mud Porter from Holy City Brewing (Best Local Brewery) and moved toward the stage to watch The Royal Tinfoil (Best Local Band) and Righchus (Best Local Hip-Hop Artist) perform. Taking a break from kicking up our heels, we saddled up to the group from Distil Union (Best Excuse to Sleep In) and discussed their latest Kickstarter success. Just then, DJ NattyHeavy (Best Club DJ) walked by and encouraged us to get back to the dance floor because he was about to start his set.

It was an amazing night of everything that makes Charleston such a vibrant place to live. If you’ve never been to a BOC party, we can only compare it to the best high school party you’ve ever attended. Not only because everyone is letting loose like their parents are out of town, but also because all the different cliques are represented. The artists, jocks, foodies, fashionistas, and even the weird kids from far out in Summerville come to celebrate. It’s a chance to meet some of the locals that make our town better and have a drink with the best of them. We all had so much fun that even @justhaveaseat (Best Drunk Twitter Feed) didn’t make any snarky comments that night.

Now forgive us, we must go nurse a hangover.