Bill Murray is a big name anywhere, but with pun intended, sliding around Charleston, South
Carolina, he is a huge name. Famous for unexpectedly slipping in and out of parties and gatherings, during a rain delay at a Riverdogs' game, he ran unto the infield like a ground hog and slid all over the rain-drenched tarp to entertain the crowd who laughingly soaked up the Murray hijinks. As the owner of the Riverdogs, he has been seen on any given night during baseball season catching and throwing out ceremonial first pitches or coaching first base.
Recently, before it was auctioned off in November, a painting of Murray hung in Coastal Coffee Roasters of Summerville as part of a "Bring Bill to Summerville" event and countless numbers of locals and visitors sought to have their pictures taken with the painting depicting Bill hoisting a cup of java into the air--painted by April Aldrich. The money from the auction was given to a charity of Murray's choice. However, Bill is no stranger to Summerville. He was a show stopper when he visited the James F. Dean Theatre in Summerville for a performance of "Forever Plaid."
As 2014 comes to an end and 2015 begins, Murray's Charleston connection is honored in the "Annual Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Bear Plunge" at the beachfront of the Tides Hotel on Folly Beach. Why anyone would want to plunge into the near 54 degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean on New Year's Day is anybody's guess, but I imagine it could be useful in shaking off a night of partying. This is the second year for this event and all attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Bill Murray character and "freeze their Bills off." Murray's Bob Wiley character in "What About Bob" is my favorite followed by Phil Connors of "Ground Hog Day."
Registration for the plunge and contest begins at 11am at the information booth and judging of the Bill Murray Look-a-Like Contest begins at 12pm. The panel of judges will present awards for Best Guy, Best Girl, Best Team and Best Overall Bill Murray. The plunge takes place at 1pm.
Folly restaurants and bars will open early so that guests can enjoy pre-plunge Screwdrivers and Bloody Marys for just $4 each. And post-plunge festivities will be happening all day at restaurants
and bars all over Folly.
Not connected to Bill Murray, there are two other plunges taking place around the area. The "Dunleavy's Pub Polar Plunge" has been around for 19 years and since 2003 the Pub and their patrons have helped raise thousands of dollars for Special Olympics South Carolina. Dunleavy's Pub at 2213 Middle Street on Sullivan's Island will open at 9:00am and the plunge takes place at 2:00pm. For this cold dip, you are encouraged to create a costume for this one or simply show up in your favorite swim suit.
"Plunge into the New Year at Kiawah" is the third--no connection to Bill. The plunge takes place at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in front of The Sanctuary at 12:00pm. There is an "After Plunge Party at Loggerhead Pool Deck with music plus food and beverage offerings. Again, you are encouraged to dress up for Best Costume and Group Costume awards.
So, kick off the year shockingly right and slip into the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean Bill Murray style. It is a fun way to cap off a night of celebrations that will be taking place all over the Holy City. Let me know if you are going to be a participant and write a comment. For a list of end of the year celebrations go to Charleston events. Consider a visit to the Homegrown Brewhouse in Summerville and have a beer with Bill.