En Vogue and fireworks help welcome 2019 in Columbia

En Vogue performing for Columbia crowd. Allen Wallace photos.

2019 arrived in style in downtown Columbia as tens of thousands of people gathered on Main Street and Gervais Street for Famously Hot New Year.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine were among those on hand to greet the event’s headliners En Vogue, one of the five highest-selling female American music groups in history.

En Vogue then took the stage, performing hits like “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Hold On” and “Don’t Let Go (Love)” for a cheering crowd.

Their set was followed by South Carolina’s biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks show, which lit up the sky above the State House.

The new year will bring particularly big changes for one couple in attendance Monday night. Ben Stiles asked Kelley Craven to marry him and she accepted, giving them two reasons to celebrate at midnight.

New Orleans-inspired jazz and brass group Soda City Brass Band and Charleston’s indie hip-hop group Little Stranger opened the show for En Vogue.

The celebration also featured food and drinks from local vendors as well as all sorts of party favors for sale.

Famously Hot New Year is a nonprofit organization founded in 2011 and sponsored by the City of Columbia, Richland County and many local businesses.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County