Participants and businesses 'cheers' to Bridge Run together

Runners who completed the Bridge Run celebrate success with beer pitchers at Kickin' Chicken.

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Crowded around a large table at Kickin' Chicken on King Street at 11 a.m., a group of friends held up Fireball shots to toast Bridge Run success.

Not all of them ran the race, but they're all happy to celebrate - in typical Bridge Run day and Charleston fashion.

"There was a run today? I thought we were just day drinking!" joked Mary Lee Hutson, 26.

Hutson never ran in the Cooper River Bridge Run, but she partied with her friends who did for the last four years.

Traci Weis was also at the table. She finished the race, and celebrated with a cup from one of the table's Bud Light pitchers.

"I'm drinking a beer to celebrate an accomplishment with friends," she said.

Kickin' Chicken is one of many bars on King Street that anticipated packed crowds for the post-Bridge Run mania. Server Lucy McNerny said they had extra staff working and called it the "busiest day of the year."

The "party" atmosphere equates to dollar signs for many local businesses like Kickin' Chicken as well as King of Pops. King of Pops is a local vendor that sells all-natural popsicles. They come in flavors like "banana puddin'" and chocolate sea salt.

"Our product appeals to health-conscious people, like runners," vendor Danny McCarthy said, as he sold pops from a small cart to participants at Marion Square.

McCarthy said the Bridge Run kicks off King of Pops' season. This week was the company's busiest this year. At $2.50 a pop, he said the weather helped them Saturday.

"We're busy. It's a great day," he said.

Other vendors like Firefly Vodka, based on Wadmalaw Island, also geared up for a busy week.

The company's Wadmalaw headquarters were packed with out-of-town visitors Friday, marketing representative Sara Linton said. And the company expected to be busy Saturday afternoon with locals looking to escape the downtown crowds.

"We expect to sell $12,000 worth of cases at the distillery Saturday," Linton said.

The company would sell about $7,000 in cases on a normal Saturday, she said.

For the group at Kickin' Chicken, the feeling of winning was priceless. But they were happy to pay for several pitchers and shots, before they headed home for an afternoon nap.