FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach is gearing up to welcome in the new year with a flip flop drop and Bill Murray look-a-like polar plunge.

The annual tradition of the flip flop drop has ushered in the new year at Folly Beach since 2011. A giant pair of sparkling flip flops will descend from high above Center Street as a crowd of celebrators count down to the new year on Saturday, December 31st.

Crews with Folly Beach Public Safety were practicing for the big event on Wednesday.

“The crowds, they keep coming to the Flip Flop Drop- they normally stop off at the business establishments and get revved up as we get closer to about 11 o’clock or so. The crowds begin building up around the ladder truck in anticipation of the flip flop drop,” said Deputy Director Rocky Burke with Folly Beach Public Safety.

There will also be a Bill Murray look-a-like polar plunge that happens on New Year’s Day. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best Bill Murray costume before jumping into the cold Atlantic Ocean in front of the Tides hotel.

“A lot of brave souls come out for that and jump in that cold water,” said Burke. “You know, on January 1, dressed in bikinis and things of that nature and a lot less clothing, braver than me.”

And of course you can always enjoy the brand new Folly Beach Pier which opened on the day after Christmas. A lot of people are already taking advantage of what is once again another beautiful place to spend some time enjoying Folly Beach.

“We just want people to come have a good time. Spend your money, have a good time and do it in moderation- be safe about what you’re doing and enjoying the flip flop drop,” Burke said.

Festivities for the Flip Flop Drop start at 11:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve with the drop happening at midnight. Meanwhile, the Bill Murray costume contest takes place New Year’s Day at 10:00 a.m., following by the plunge at 11:00 a.m., and a party at the Tides hotel at noon.