Friday of this week is shaping up to be pretty significant. First, it's the beginning of the last Christmas-shopping weekend of the year and, secondly, it marks the winter solstice.
And, oh yeah, it's also supposedly the end of the world.
Why didn't the world end? Read more.
Well, at least some people around the world believe so. Friday, Dec. 21 marks the last day of the Mayan Long-Count Calendar, a 5,125-year cycle that many around the world believe will herald the end of life as we know it or, for the glass half-full crowd, the beginning of a new age of peace and enlightenment.
Despite years of buildup and speculation surrounding the end of the calendar, and what it all means, scientists and scholars are pretty much in agreement: It's all bunk. Friday, they say, will be just another day. No pole shifts, no worldwide cataclysms or collisions with Planet X.
To mark the day, however, many here and around the world figure the end of the world, real or not, is as good an excuse as any to party.
"If you're going to go out, might as well go out with a drink in your hand," laughed Sara Heymore of Simpsonville. Haymore will be hosting a party at her home on Friday. She's been planning for two weeks, she said, with special emphasis on the drink menu.
"Everything from Zombies to Hurricanes, and shots of red hots," she said.
The end-times party spirit extends from house parties to local bars and restaurants as well. A number of Upstate establishments also plan "end of the world" parties. Here is a sampling:
The bar/restaurant, located at 1178 Woodruff Road, will kick off its party at 9 p.m. Among the highlights, 98.5 FM will host a live remote, and the establishment will be giving away a free trip to both Hawaii and Las Vegas. Friar's party, which happens to be on Ladies Night, also will feature a "Mayan Wheel of Doom." A lady will be chosen every 15 minutes from the crowd to spin the wheel, which will feature cash prizes, gift certificates, and paid bar tabs. The wheel also features drink specials. Should the wheel stop on a particular special, the entire bar enjoys the reduced price until the next spin of the wheel.
The popular restaurant and taproom, located at 25 W. Washington St., in Greenville, will kick off its party (co-sponsored by Left Hand Brewing) at 6 p.m. The bar will feature a special batch of Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout. "We’ll have 1 of 20 kegs in the entire U.S. on tap and a limited number of very special “End of the World/Wake Up Dead” goblets available while supplies last," according to Barley's.
The Work's 11th Annual Christmas Jam - "Celebrate the Mayan End of the World," begins at 7 p.m. at The Handlebar, one of the Upstate's premier music venues. Bands scheduled to perform include The Work, with Acoustic Syndicate, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Millifungus, The Bad Popes, Doug Jones and more. Tix are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, and proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross.
The End of the World Show at Gottrocks, located at 200 Eisenhower Dr. in Greenville, begins at 2 a.m. on Friday. Several bands will be featured. Cover is $5.
Skatepark of Greenville
The End of the World "Doomsday" Lock-In at Skatepark of Greenville, located at 17 International Court, will be held beginning Friday night from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Admission is $30, and the event will feature games, skating, prizes and more. Dinner and breakfast provided with admission price. For info, call 864-329-0302
The Grey Eagle
Head up the mountain to Asheville for the "End of the World Party" at The Grey Eagle. Festivities at the popular music hall and bar begin at 9 p.m., and will feature Town Mountain and The Shawn Camp Band. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of the show. Advance tickets available online.
Club South 29
"The Last Rave — End of the World Party" begins at 9 p.m. at the popular Spartanburg dance club, located at 9112 Warren Abernathy Hwy (Hwy 29). The show is billed as ONE LAST NIGHT OF THE BEST HIGH ENERGY DANCE MUSIC IN THE UPSTATE! With DJ Scarlett, Tony Karma, and The House Hunters.
The Cellar of Spartanburg
The End of the World Party with The Consumers (a popular Spartanburg band) begins at 2 a.m. The Cellar is located at 1071 Fernwood Glendale Road in Spartanburg.
Chiefs Wings & Firewater (Spartanburg location)
Chiefs hosts "The Last Annual End of the World Party" at 10 p.m. at Chiefs in Spartanburg, located at 1519 John B. White Sr. Blvd. For info, call 864-574-0371
NuWay Restaurant & Lounge
Spartanburg's popular dive bar and restaurant, located at 373 E. Kennedy St., says "we are going to party like there's no To-Maya - the Mayans say the End of the World is Friday, Dec 21st ... so if we're going to go, let's go out with a PBR & cheeseburger and some great music from Big Folk." The bar also will feature a special $5 "Armageddon Shot."
Know of any other "end of the world parties" going on in the area? Let us know in the comments.