Some of our best nights in college ended in a booth at the Waffle House, so it's only natural that using the late-night eatery as a party theme would result in success. Technical Event Company took a cue from the diner for their annual holiday party last Tuesday at their North Charleston headquarters. Todd St. Onge, lead designer at TEC, greeted us and urged us to check out the food. We spotted a sign, "Toddle House," on the bar and the iconic yellow and black lettering immediately conjured memories of laminated menus and waitresses that were as surly as our friends were drunk. Cru Catering served up their version of "Scattered, Smothered, and Covered" hash browns, pancakes, and pimento cheese sandwiches. Though the inspiration was campy, the party was nothing of the sort. Glamorous lighting, white leather seating, and champagne gave the party such an opulent flair that we forgot we were actually standing in a parking lot. We ran into DJ Natty Heavy who told us about his own holiday party that Friday.
Not one to skip out on a good time, we bucked our conventional Friday night of Chinese takeout and Netflix to hit up NV on Market Street. Natty Heavy and the rest of the Clubbullies South Crew — DJ Precise, DJ R-Dot, and Y-not — planned a takeover of the dance club to celebrate Christmas. Confession: we haven't been to a club in more than five years, so we forgot that you don't show up until close to midnight. The party started at 9 p.m., but walking in an hour late, we were still the first people there. Being an early arriver does have some advantages: first pick of the snack platters, building rapport with the bartenders, and time to practice any new dance moves without your friends laughing. By the time we finished our "Where are you?" texts, NV filled up with patrons excited to get down on the dance floor. In an era of disenchanted hipsters and jaded divas, the Clubbullies found a way to make everyone dance and have fun.
With our ears still ringing from the night before, we packed up our camping gear and headed toward Awendaw for Fiddle Tree. The event was held at Farmbar owner Tara Der Webb's farm, Deux Puces. The first half of the day gave participants a chance to stock up on goods from local makers like New Primal, Candy Shop Vintage, and Jack Rudy Cocktail Company. We arrived to a bit of rainfall, but the garage made for a perfect hideout from the precipitation. A few brave ladies even lined up for some fresh ink with tattoo artist Danny Romo from Los Angeles. We set up our tent (guests were encouraged to spend the night) and then looked for provisions.
Tables of roasted oysters and blue crabs were laid out for all to snack on before dinner. A guitarist played for the attendees who didn't mind standing in the rain, and children ran around the farm, sneaking peeks at the adorable goats. Once night fell, the weather cleared up and it was time for dinner. Many gathered around the bonfire to eat the hearty starter, a vegetarian-friendly rutabaga chili. The second course of sausages from Two Boroughs Larder and fresh farm vegetables required a bit more maneuvering, so guests found seats on the lawn and porch. After having our fill of vittles, we were treated to live music from Olu Olu, a vintage Hawaiian-style band led by local Sarah Bandy. Later on, smelling like oysters and campfire, we crawled into our sleeping bags as the stars peeked through the clouds. And even if our neighbors were snoring, it was satisfying to be comfortably sleeping in the great outdoors.