One last shift for retiring fire chief

North Charleston Fire Chief Leonard Judge decided to work his last day before retirement by pulling a shift at Station 1 on Jenkins Avenue, where he began his career in 1974.

Despite the cold, many were dressed to impress in Gaga gear.

Near-freezing temperatures greeted the hundreds of people who attended Saturday's Gaga Day at Joe Riley Park. It was so cold that organizer Joe Quinn decided to end the event half an hour early.

Women wore short skirts and glitter, one guy took off his shirt and danced, another guy wore white lace on his head. One young lady attempted to replicate the pop star's famous meat dress.

"Right now I'm cold," Quinn said. "I think it's better than last year, though. The music hasn't stopped yet. People are freezing their butts off and they are still dancing. I'm happy with that."

All in the name of Gaga.

"Yeah, it's cold here. But you have to make do," said Jamison Johnson, wearing blue star-shaped glasses and a huge afro.

Charleston's Gaga Day has humble beginnings: Quinn and friends got the idea after watching "500 Days of Summer" and created a Facebook event. The first Gaga Day was held last year at Marion Square, and it was an inspired event. So inspiring that it was included in Johnny Morgan's book, "Gaga."

The event is more evidence of the power of social media. And the power of Lady Gaga's music in Charleston.

"Her music is from the heart. She's really different, and trying new things all of the time," said Vivian Bui, in a straight blond wig with the Gaga lightning bolt glittered on her face .

"I'm her biggest fan ever," said Ashley Brooks, winner of the costume contest. "Everything she does stands for music and fashion."

This year's Gaga Day aimed to be bigger than the first and featured a costume contest and an emcee -- Charleston Magazine's Ayoka Lucas.

Former 95SX personality Brooke Ryan even drove 9 hours from Washington to attend the event, which benefited the Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention in gay and questioning youth.

Even though the energy wasn't as electric as last year, dancers still got into the groove on the field at Joe Riley Park.

"My wig is keeping me warm," Gervais Hagerty said.

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