MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) While New Year's celebrations happened across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, a new tradition kicked off at Market Common. Thousands people came out for Southern Times Square.
"I think it's a brilliant idea. I'm glad somebody came up with it," said Michelle Perritt.
Michelle Perritt, owner of Dixie Divas, hoped Southern Times Square would bring a fortune into her shop.
"Shop small. Small businesses owners need your support,"said Perritt.
Perritt said the New Year's celebration in the Market Common should help advertise and drive up sales for all of the businesses keeping their doors open during the event.
But she's also glad there is finally something in our area for the entire family to enjoy.
"You can bring your kids out and they have face painting and stilt walkers and hot dogs," said Perritt.
And for the adults, several beer gardens were placed throughout the Market Common.
Local law enforcement was out checking to make sure you were not driving drunk, and to help you out Diamond Cab gave those that called a lift for free.
"It will get real busy; it's the busiest night of the year," said Joshua Rauzi.
Joshua Rauzi said around nine o'clock, Diamond Cab began taking those wise people who decided not to drink and drive home. In all, Rauzi expected within several hours, Diamond Cab would have gotten more the700 people home for the night.
"The number one thing tonight is safety. So we have the safe ride program and of course anyone who drives themselves to a bar, and have had too much to drink. They can just give their keys to the bartender and have the bar tender call diamond cab," said Rauzi.
"843-448-8888, I'll send a driver out to them get the key we will check the car and make sure it's secure and give them a ride home," said Rauzi.
Event organizers at Market Common said nearly 5,000 people turned out for the event. It was packed shoulder to shoulder as the clocked ticked down to midnight, but not just out on the streets.
"It was slammed," said Britni Gaddy who worked New Year's Eve at King Street Grille.
The restaurant was only scheduled to be open until 10:00 New Year's Eve night, but Gaddy said the manager decided to keep it open since business was so good. Gaddy said she has never seen it that busy.
"It was busy a few years ago for a UFC fight but this was that times two," added Gaddy.
It was the same story just up the street at Gordon Biersch. General Manager William Morris said it was the busiest night ever since the restaurant has been open.
"It was six deep at the bar with an hour and a half wait but people were willing to wait sitting on the patio in 40 degree weather," said Morris.