How much do you think it costs to rent out the flight deck of an aircraft carrier? A few different figures were tossed out at Sunday’s Memorial Day Top Gun ’80s party on the USS Yorktown, but the number provided by Mix Premier Bartending owner Craig Heichberger, who sponsored the event with Snappy Events’ Paul Farrell, was $3,000. That ain’t cheap, especially since a portion of the proceeds were donated to Lowcountry Environmental Education Programs (LEEP).
Tickets cost $20 for ladies and $30 for men, so we were a bit surprised by the cold hot dogs and barbecue sandwiches. However, the novelty of drinking anything surrounded by fighter jets and Tom Cruise lookalikes, high above the Charleston Harbor began to register as the sun set and the Old Crow whiskey seeped into the blood streams of Ice Men and Cyndi Lauper wannabes.
Then another awesome thing happened: The Plaids started jamming out. The band kept true to the ’80s theme for the majority of the evening, though there were definitely a few legit hip-hop songs thrown in, to the delight of the crowd. The movie Top Gun was appropriately projected onto the Yorktown’s belly, as a beach ball was bounced above the heads of the mini mosh pit paying well-deserved homage to the band.
Farrell explained that he really wants to bring more events like this one to Charleston, and he’s scoping out the Aquarium. He wants to break out of Charleston’s oyster roast rut (his words, not mine). When asked what he would change about next year’s party (and yes, he assured us there will be one and it will be better), he said he would work on spreading the word. It’s really hard to make a flight deck look packed, but it was a strong first showing, with a guestimated few hundred in attendance. The Plaids ended on the high notes of songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Shout.”