The city of Folly Beach is turning 50

The Edge of America has some exciting celebrations in store.

folly beach

Folly Beach | Photo by @lukescraftpizza

As a Charleston native, one of my favorite places by far is the Edge of America, also known as Folly Beach. Known for its slower pace and funky and eclectic style, the city is approaching an exciting milestone this month — it’s turning 50 years old.

Keep reading to explore its past + see how the city will celebrate from Friday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Here are just some of its historical facts:

  • Its name came from an old English term, “folly,” a name for an area with foliage.
  • Home to the Bohicket tribe before European settlers forced them out.
  • Served as a temporary home to survivors of shipwrecks.
  • During the Civil War, it was occupied by Federal troops. After the Civil War, it became deserted.
  • Post-1940 — construction of various buildings occurred.
  • In the 1960s — Ocean Plaza was built and featured amusement rides, stores, a boardwalk, and a pier.
  • 1980s — suffered impacts from Hurricane Hugo.

50th anniversary festivities

Folly’s 50th Gala | Friday, Sept. 22, 6-9:30 p.m. | Tide Ballroom, 1 Center St., Folly Beach| $100

  • This 1920s-themed gala will have a seated dinner, a DJ, and dancing. We hear there will be a marquee display, photo booth, and Folly memorabilia.

Folly Through the Decades | Saturday, Sept. 23, 12-4 p.m. | $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and free for Folly residents who show their ID.

  • A classic car show will close the street, bars will have cars + decade-themed memorabilia on display,and there will be jumping castles, live music + a kid zone.

Beach Day Games | Sunday, Sept. 24 , 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Beachfront from 3rd West to Tides Hotel | Free to watch (team registration fees apply)

  • This day is all about beach games like bocce, volleyball, tug-of-war, an obstacle course, and kickball. You can sign up to play or just watch the action.

Kids Day | Wednesday, Sept. 27, 5-7:30 p.m. | Folly Beach Riverfront | Free

  • This family-friendly event will have tie-dye, bubble house play, oyster shelf crafts, a dunk tank, fisherman stilt walkers, and more.

Shagging + Disco | Thursday, Sept. 28, 5-10 p.m. | Folly Beach Pier | $20 in advance, $25 at the door

  • Come party on the pier. Enjoy a night of shag + disco dancing. Cool features include food trucks and a 360-degree photo booth.

Folly’s 50 Street Party | Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Center Street | $15 in advance, $20 day of | free for Folly residents with ID.

  • Center Street will be closed to traffic as the community cheers for 50 years. This street party will include 80+ vendors, three stages of live music, fun drinks, a kid zone, and more.

Classic Carnival Rides | Friday, Sept. 29-Sunday, Oct. 1 | East Second St. + Arctic Ave. | Priced per ride

  • Stop by for all the nostalgia. There will be carnival rides, including a Ferris Wheel that looks out over the water.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the event’s website.

Proceeds from the event will benefit SC Aquarium Reef Research.
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