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It’s a New Year…when our lives turn a page from the past and look forward to the future. Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions to improve our lives…things like losing weight or getting more exercise. But newscaster, Ann Curry suggests a way for all of us to impact not only our lives but the lives of others in her “26 Acts of Kindness” campaign.

The terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary still weighs heavy on my heart. Whether it is the senselessness of the violence, happening so close to the holidays, or the thought of 26 lives whose futures are unfulfilled, this event has made me, like so many others, reflect on the impact my decisions have on the lives of others. My Irish grandmother always taught me that any act…good or bad…would return to us “three-fold”. She did this to show us the importance of every decision we make.

It is with this in mind that I fully embrace and wish to expand on Ann Curry’s vision – in which she invites us all to commit 26 acts of random kindness…one to represent each life lost that terrible day. I propose that we expand on that idea and make it our New Year’s Resolution to commit 26 WEEKS of Random Kindness.  Six months of committing simple acts that will brighten and improve the lives of others. It can be as grand as a sizable monetary donation to a local charity, or as humble as holding the door open for an elderly person. These acts can be committed every day of the 26 weeks, or just one per week…the choice is yours. Are you with me?

Greenville has had a long tradition of helping others. It should come as no surprise to most that our hometown was recently recognized as one of the “Most Giving Cities in the US.”  It is…after all…”The Greenville Way”.

So, I hope that you will join me in taking part in this mission. To find out more about the “26 Acts” Campaign, visit their Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/26acts. Join thousands of others who have committed themselves to this cause. ..You’ll be glad you did!

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Well, we’ve made it through 2012…despite the Mayans’ (& others) predictions to the contrary. Now you are looking for ways to ring in 2013 in style. No worries…Downtown Greenville offers several events to help you make this New Year’s Eve an evening to remember!

Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues “Blue Year’s Eve” Parties at The Handlebar have taken on an almost mythical status. Nothing welcomes a whole new year quite like the incendiary blues of Mac Arnold and his “juke-joint rockin’” band. This celebrated bassist, who played with the legendary Muddy Waters, can definitely be considered a beloved musical institution here in the Upstate. Joined by his fellow bluesman from Chicago, Mr. Joe Moss, Mac aims to rock in 2013 in style!  Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the genius of this blues icon! Tickets are $16 ($18 for those under 21) and are sale now at The Handlebar. For more information, visit www.handlebar-online.com.

For a chance to see a blues star in the making, swing on by Mac’s Speed Shop and rock out to the blazing guitar licks of teenaged phenom, Marcus King. This very talented young musician and his band will be ringing in the New Year with some wicked tunes that’ll be impossible to sit still through. This special NYE performance is free to Mac’s customers, and starts at 10PM. For more information, see www.macsspeedshop.com.

Flashback to the 80’s at Wild Wing Café with Greenville’s favorite retro band, Retro Vertigo!  Featuring big hair and sunglasses at night, these sharp dressed men perform everything from The Talking Heads and Devo to REO Speedwagon and Cheap Trick.  For only a $5 cover charge at the door, you too can rock out to…well…U2! There will be drink specials and party favors galore, as well as a free champagne toast at midnight! For details, call 242-9453.

RockHouse Greenville says “Why limit the festivities to just ONE location, when you can have the NYE Bash to end all NYE Bashes at TWO locations?” This year, their New Year’s Eve Party will take place at both Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen, as well as The Lofts at Falls Park. The $20 cover charge will get you a Hollywood-style Red Carpet Arrival, free Champagne toast, pulsating dance music from 2 DJs and drink specials unlike any other club in Greenville. To purchase tickets and for more info, visit www.rockhousegreenville.com.

If you prefer to welcome 2013 in a more relaxed, laid-back manner, then head over to Smiley’s Acoustic Café for their Smilin’ New Year’s Eve.  Chill out to the indie tunes of Kelly Jo Connect, followed by those Downtown faves, The Swingin’ Richards. As always, there is no cover charge…just a good time with good people. For more information, see www.smileysacousticcafe.com

For those looking for a hot NYE party with some cool jazz, you are in luck! Two of Downtown’s premier jazz clubs are ringing in the New Year in their own stylish manner. High Cotton will be serving a special New Year’s dinner, with music provided by the Jamie Wright Experience. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 335-4200. Not to be outdone, the Brown Street Club will be ushering in 2013 with a little help from the smooth sounds of  Dan Z followed by The Shane Pruitt Band.  For more information or to make reservations, see www.brownstreetclub.com.

For Downtown thespians looking to start 2013 in a dramatic fashion, the Greenville Light Opera Works invites you to join them for their 2013 New Year’s Gala and Fundraiser at Centre Stage. This benefit event for Greenville’s Light Opera Works will feature an open bar, a dessert buffet, dance music provided by Innfusion and both silent and live auctions. Opera and musical theatre lovers will also be treated to a special cabaret performance by Ms. Andrea Leap as well as a sneak peek performance of GLOW’s 2013 season. Tickets for this swanky soiree are $100 per person/ $180 per couple and can be obtained through www.greenvilleopera.org.

So there you have it Downtownies…eight ways to ring in the New Year…to suit every party style and budget. And, as always, if you’ve enjoyed too much revelry of the alcohol-related manner, please take a cab home. We want you around to enjoy all the fun Downtown Greenville has to offer in 2013. Happy New Year!

Just in case you’ve had too much fun, here are numbers to some of the area’s Cab Companies. Please remember that this is their busiest night, so be patient and expect delays …

Yellow Cab – 864-233-6666

Greenville Metro Cab – 864-235-8807

Budget Cab – 864-233-4200



{December 30, 2011}   Ringing in 2012 DTGVL Style!

It’s that time again…when we say goodbye to the past year and usher in a new one! Time to gather up your friends – both old and new and celebrate 2012! For those looking to ring in the New Year, Downtown Greenville offers a diversity of events that will allow you to bid adieu to 2011 and kickstart 2012 in style!

For many Downtownies, New Year’s offers the opportunity to get dressed up and celebrate with sophistication. Blu Martini invites one and all to “Party Like a VIP” at their red-carpet NYE Bash! Guests are encouraged to “dress to impress” and dance the night away to tunes provided by VJ Rodney. Complimentary Hors D’oeuvres and a midnight champagne toast are all a part of the $20 cover. Reservations are suggested for those desiring a table at this affair, as space is limited.

Looking to Jazz up your New Year? High Cotton will be serving a special New Year’s menu starting at 5:30PM. Local jazz songtress, Tameka Diaz, will grace the stage at 9PM to provide sultry jazz classics as background for your refined evening. Champagne will be provided for your midnight toast. Not to be outdone, Brown Street Club will be ringing in the New Year with not one, but two great jazz acts. Antonio Gambrell will be providing dinner music starting at 6:30PM. Then the good times really start to roll when The Craig Sorrells Project take the stage at 10PM to help you count down to 2012!

Want a little more blues in your New Year? Then head over to The Handlebar for their Blue Year’s Eve with local blues legend, Mac Arnold and his Plate Full O’ Blues. For only $16, guests have to opportunity to experience the genius of a blues guitar master who has performed with the likes of B.B King, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. And don’t worry, free champagne will be provided for your midnight toast.

New Year’s Eve is not only a time to look to the future, but also to relive the past. If you want to time travel back to 1985, Wild Wing Café invites you to “Wing in the New Year” with everyone’s favorite ‘80’s cover band, Retro Vertigo! You can do your best moonwalk into a New Year’s that will be anything but quiet!

Do you want to just kick back and ease into the New Year with some great live music? Downtown Greenville aims to please with a diversity of local talent performing in your favorite venues. The Swingin’ Richards will give you a “Roxxin’” New Year at On The Roxx, The WestEnd String Band will entertain you with their own unique sound at Smiley’s Acoustic Café, Milli Fungus will groove into 2012 at Corner Pocket and Chicora Alley offers a plethora of talent with their power line-up which includes Everlasting Earle, JoJo Taterhead, Red Against Green and King Dixon. That outta put the “Happy” in your New Year!

If you and your friends are looking to shake your thang – then groove with DJ Kenyon (aka Black Caesar) at Nose Dive, sizzle to hot tunes provided by DJ Sizzle at The Basement and rock on with DJ Fred Rock at Liberty Tap Room! That’ll kickstart 2012 big time!

But no matter how you choose to ring in the New Year, please do it safely. If you’ve indulged in too much fun of the alcohol-related sort, PLEASE take a cab home (or have a designated driver). We want you around for many New Years to come. Happy New Year, Y’all!!!



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