FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Businesses on Folly Beach have decided to hold their own Mardi Gras festivities, despite their biggest event being cancelled.
Last year, city officials cancelled Folly Gras for good following numerous arrests, and videos of violent fights surfaced.
Some people said the event grew too big for the island, which resulted in the issues they experienced.
Although the event is no longer happening, some business owners hope to still celebrate the holiday on a smaller scale.
"We've had Mardi Gras celebrations out here for years even before Folly Gras, obviously before Folly Gras got big," said DJ Rich, co-owner of Planet Follywood and Folly Beach Council member. "Even if Folly Gras is canceled on a city-wide level, we can still our Mardi Gras fun on a smaller scale without any problems and be able to control everything ourselves."
Rich says four businesses have gotten together to form their own "block party." They will have drink specials, a costume party, and a walking parade.
Because it is not a city-sponsored event, Rich says the streets will not be blocked and there will be no alcohol allowed outside of the businesses.
"It's not going to be Folly Gras. We're still going to have a lot of the same features and fun without any of the problems, that is our goal," Rich said.
Chris Marley believes the "block party" is a bad idea.
“The fact that four local bar businesses would cash in on the reputation of bacchanalian excess that caused such distress to residents says a lot about the businesses and their concern for the residents’ concern,” Marley said.
Chief Andrew Gilreath, director of public safety for Folly Beach, says police will be doing extra patrols during these events and are also considering a DUI check point.
“Folks will be expected to behave themselves and have designated drivers,” Gilreath said.