7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Cherryville North Carolina New Year’s Shooters Event

Cherryville NC Shooters New Years event

Looking for a unique event to ring in the 2024 New Year? Cherryville North Carolina, has a rather wild tradition going back hundreds of years—the annual New Year's Eve Shooting Event. Complete with a raucous chant, this is a loud, rowdy way to shoot in the new year.

How To Get the Most Out of the Cherryville North Carolina NYE Shooter's Event

Cherryville NC
Image Credit: Rusty Wise and The Cherryville New Years Shooters, Inc.

According to the event's official website, German, Scotch-Irish, Swiss, Dutch, and French immigrants settled in the Indian Creek and Howard's Creek area north of what is now Cherryville, North Carolina. These early European colonists brought their age-old traditions, which is how Cherryville residents ended up shooting muskets to ring in every new year.

Visitors looking to enjoy the fun might benefit from a few special tips and tricks before packing up and heading to the Tar Heel State. We've got you covered—whether you're looking for travel tips, event details, or a little more history about the New Year's Eve shooters.

Attend a Pre-Shoot Meeting

Cherryville NC
Image Credit: Rusty Wise and The Cherryville New Years Shooters, Inc.

All December, the Cherryville Shooters have pre-shoot meetings where dues are collected, shooters can obtain ID badges, merchandise is sold, and the group holds safety meetings. There's also an exhibition pre-shoot, giving visitors another opportunity to get involved before the big day. Check the Cherryville, North Carolina event's website for the complete schedule. If you're only coming to the event, this isn't necessarily a requirement—but if you're hoping to get in on the fun, it can only help to be prepared.

Get Your Shooter's Membership ID Ahead of Time

info on membership from Cherryville Shooters official website
Image Credit: Rusty Wise and The Cherryville New Years Shooters, Inc.

Speaking of preparation, it would behoove you to grab a membership ID if you plan on joining the shooting. According to the event's website, dues are collected to continue historical preservation efforts, which makes sense given the New Year's Eve shoot has been going on for at least 250 years. Memberships are only $15 annually, and you don't have to be a shooter to join officially.

However, it's worth noting that children under the age of 18 must have parental consent and insurance should they choose to join the New Year's Eve event as a shooter. No matter what your age, though, all shooters are required to have a membership ID—so attending a pre-shoot meeting or calling ahead to arrange your membership is ideal.

Check Out the Shooter's Event Documentary Online

Screenshot from Cherryville NC documentary: Cherryville New Years Shooters Documentary Movie
Image Credit: Rusty Wise and The Cherryville New Years Shooters, Inc.

Want to learn a little more history about the Cherryville, North Carolina, area or about the New Year's Eve shoot specifically? Binge the full experience by watching a documentary online! While you can purchase a physical copy on the shooter's website, you can easily watch the entire thing for free on YouTube.

According to the site, the footage was filmed in 2000 and edited in 2021, including photos from the last 100 years of the New Year's Eve Shoot. Between the archival footage, photography, interviews with shooters, and clips of previous year's celebrations, you'll be a Cherryville expert in plenty of time for the 2024 event!

Book Your Cherryville Hotel

Downtown Cherryville, NC
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If you're coming from out of town, accommodations are a must. There are multiple recognizable hotel chains with locations close to Cherryville, North Carolina, each with amenities. Nearby Shelby, NC, is only 20 minutes from downtown Cherryville and has a Country Inn and Suites with free wifi and a gym. A Comfort Inn is also located in Shelby and features free wifi. Both options are budget-friendly.

Alternatively, White Rose Manor is a bed and breakfast situated in Lincolnton, NC, a short 16-minute drive from Cherryville. Note, though, that this location has an upstairs shared bathroom for all guests. If you're looking for a boutique experience, this might be the choice for you—especially for visitors looking to extend their trip and double up on the other beautiful seasonal Christmas destinations North Carolina has to offer.

Practice Your Cherryville Chant

Cherryville revelers gather
Image Credit: Rusty Wise and The Cherryville New Years Shooters, Inc.

Along with shooting muskets, the New Year's Eve shooters also take part in a traditional chant. If you're heading to Cherryville for the shooting, you might as well practice the other half of this famous event! The chant is several lines long, so it'll take some memorization—or, perhaps, an index card with notes. According to the event's website, early Cherryville pioneers would walk house to house, crying the chant to welcome in the new year.

Much like the rationale behind musket shooting, it was believed that loud noise would drive out bad luck or any demonic spirits lingering about. The chant's opening begins with a cheerful sentiment: “Good morning* to you, sir. We wish you a happy New Year, great health, and long life, which God may bestow so long as you stay here below.” There's plenty more to learn, but you'll love shouting the benevolent and well-meaning verses with everyone in the chilly New Year's air.

Pack Your Bags Accordingly

Child wearing ear protection
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Being outdoors on New Year's Eve may require some thinking ahead for visitors and return shooters alike. Those with sensitive ears will undoubtedly want to bring ear plugs or ear muffs to dull the sound of the muskets' live fire. Coats, thick socks, scarves, gloves, and other cold-weather gear are also a must-have.

Because the festivities start at midnight and last until 6:30 pm the following evening, you may also want to bring snacks, drinks, and other items that'll keep your energy up if you plan to stay throughout the entire event. Check the full schedule to see which parts you'll be attending, as this will also help you pack thoroughly. Be sure to check your airport and airline rules about carry-on bags and banned items, as well, to prevent common but serious travel mishaps!

Pick up Some Merch

Cherryville NC New Years Shooters official patch
Image Credit: Rusty Wise and The Cherryville New Years Shooters, Inc.

What's a musket-shooting event without some memorabilia? Luckily, visitors can pick up Cherryville shooter's patches from the event's online store. Merch can also be purchased at the pre-shoot meetings, and there will surely be a few items for sale during the festivities on New Year's Day. Whether you're joining as a shooter or a spectator, take home a piece of history and support the ongoing tradition with a merch purchase.

For more than two centuries, Cherryville North Carolina, has rung in every new year with a musket-shooting, rabble-rousing shooting event. If you're looking for something different this year, the New Year's Eve shooters might just be the group for you. Visitors and outsiders are certainly welcome, and you might just end up with a new favorite annual tradition. You'd be joining thousands of shooters who've come before you in the last 250 years—so join in the fun and “shoot in” the beginning of a new year!

Author: Lonnie Lee Hood

Bio:

Lonnie Lee Hood is a Tennessee-based, queer Appalachian journalist who has primarily covered issues affecting everyday rural residents. With bylines in the New York Times, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Smithsonian, Tennessee Lookout, Daily Yonder, Huffington Post, MTV, IGN and more, they've covered everything from natural disasters, policy, economy and corruption to games, digital culture, AI and crypto. Lonnie is also working on their debut nonfiction project with the West Virginia University Press, called "Redneck Revolution."

At Wealth of Geeks, Lonnie is currently a travel team writer.