Why the Ball Drops Here

Why the Ball Drops Here

The excitement builds all through the holiday season, here at the Harbour Town Lighthouse. Even after Christmas, from December 27 through 29, we’ll be gathered around the Liberty Oak for classic holiday movies and roasting marshmallows. Admission is complimentary with the donation of a canned food item to The Deep Well Project. A mini train ride for the children is $5 a passenger.

For those who enjoy the custom, a polar bear swim takes place at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Eve at the Harbour Town Pool. After the plunge, hot chocolate and refreshments are served, and if this sounds kind of “out there,” consider that this year will mark the 20th of these – uh – invigorating events to see out the old year.

What We Share with Broadway

A lot of folks wouldn’t call it New Year’s Eve without watching TV for the ball drop from the top of the Allied Chemical building in Times Square. Just so, Hilton Head Island visitors and residents alike look forward to attending our own kind of ball drop on New Year’s Eve, right here from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse. It will surprise almost no one that our ball looks a lot like a golf ball. Just the biggest one you’ve ever seen.

Why here? Well, just as Times Square was once known as “the crossroads of the world,” our Harbour Town Lighthouse has drawn to its spell millions of people from all around the world and has made memories that most of them say they find unforgettable.

We hear many remark how the view here at the lighthouse inspired a life-changing realization, an inspiration, or – in true lighthouse navigational tradition – a change of course. Not such a bad spot to consider the departure of an old year and begin charting the course of a new one.

Festivities and Fun

It is not only the significance of this landmark – this icon of America’s favorite vacation island – that magnetizes it during the holidays. It is just a lot of fun. And perhaps one factor we do not share with Times Square is how family-friendly the fun of our New Year’s Eve can be. In fact, we stage an additional 7 p.m. countdown and ball drop, so that all the family can take part in the observance. The main event, as midnight approaches, is all the more accommodating because of the earlier family offering.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, a homegrown band known as The Nice Guys begins performing at the Liberty Oak stage. The Nice Guys met up in high school here on Hilton Head Island, and before they set off for college in Charleston, they had been voted Hilton Head’s best show band. When they return at holiday time, it’s a celebration for old friends and new ones alike. The Nice Guys’ repertoire seems to encompass every genre that makes you happy, and they know how to adapt to a space and an audience, so, as song says, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.” Lollipop the Clown and juggler Rick Hubbard will be performing for the kids there, too, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

As the Hour Approaches

The musical duo known as Just Keith and Tommy perform from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., and then DJ Craz-E takes over with the music that sees the old year out and the new year in, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Liberty Oak.

Times like this are when the true brilliance of our neighborhood shines through. All this music is easily heard from the Harbour Town Lighthouse, because Harbour Town was designed to be a neighborhood – just a neighborhood based on the design of a seaside resort on the Italian Riviera. As a result, it’s a strolling place, a sitting place, a listening and enjoying place, and a legendary people-watching place.

Yes, our home is a place to have fun. And the perfect place to see in a brilliant new year.