New Year’s Eve

Ring it in, round two

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Last week, as I was compiling events for my annual roundup of New Year’s Eve musical what-doings, I quickly realized that the holiday action was greater than my limited space would allow.

I have a sneaking suspicion this increased number of parties, celebrations and other related confabs has to do with the fact that with New Year’s Eve taking place on a Thursday, meaning a whole bunch of people are on the receiving end of a three-day weekend (thanks, 2015) and are therefore ready to party.

From a personal standpoint, I welcome the plentiful parties as a means of bidding a proper farewell to a trying year (2015, I’m not holding anything against you, but I won’t miss you much) and the ushering in a year I have nothing but high hopes for (come to me, 2016). It’s likely some of you feel the same, while others are going to don your dancing shoes to celebrate a year done right and the coming of another to match.

It’s just as probable that many of you are saving taking stock of such things for future days and are just looking for an excuse to go out and get down, which is an attitude I have nothing but respect for. If you happen to be doing your kissing of 2015 goodbye in Skagit County, here are some entertainment options worth considering.

Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage: As I’ve gotten older and potentially wiser (jury’s still out on that one), I’ve come to realize that New Year’s Eve does not have to involve an embarrassing amount of debauchery. As such, the night Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage has planned is right up my sort-of maturing alley. The restaurant and music venue will offer up a special prix fixe dinner (call for reservations as space is limited) and at 6pm Ben and Mia Starner, the duo known as Crazy Like a Fox, will take the stage to entertain you while you eat, drink and make merry for one final time in 2015. As this is an event that concludes at a reasonable hour, you can still make it home in time to see the ball drop—or hit up another venue and continue to ring in the New Year. Where: 513 South 1st St., La Conner Info:

Brown Lantern Ale House: Generally speaking, Thursday is open mic night at the Brown Lantern, and so it goes with New Year’s Eve. But this isn’t just any open mic—the Brown Lantern promises a “very special” open mic, and although I may not know quite what that means, I’m inclined to believe them. Following that will be a performance by Ebb, Slack & Flood, who are no strangers to the stage at the 80-plus-year-old alehouse. The night culminates, as most New Year’s Eves do, with a champagne toast at midnight. Finding someone to kiss is optional, but always encouraged. Where: 412 Commercial Ave., Anacortes Info:

Conway Muse: New Year’s Eve at the Conway Muse can pretty much be summed up in three words: disco ball pinata. How I feel about that can be summed up with one question: Where has this been all my life? The man responsible for the disco ball pinata—not to mention the night’s music—is Jordan Rain, known to many of us as Yogoman. He’ll be playing with a full band, and dancing is sure to break out all over long before midnight. Joining him will be the Prozac Mountain Band, so if you’d like to ring in the New Year with excellent original live music, making your way to Conway is a must. Where: 18444 Spruce St., Conway Info:

Corner Pub: The Corner Pub, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere in the Skagit flats, is a place of many straightforward charms. I speak from experience on this point, having spent some time there. And if you’re looking for an excuse to seek it out, I can think of no better one than New Year’s Eve, when Knut Bell, who plays there weekly, promises a “honkahillarockabilly” finale to 2015. The Corner itself promises tasty grub and a midnight toast. Sounds like everything a person needs to make the most of New Year’s Eve. Where: 14565 Allen West Road, Bow Info:

Edison Inn: I have a longstanding fantasy in which I move to Bow and, after days spent engaging in rewarding pursuits, I spend the evenings hanging out and shooting the shit at the Edison Inn, one of my favorite places on Earth. Until such time as I can make that reality, I have to content myself with intermittent visits. New Year’s Eve sounds like a fine time to wend my way there, for DJ Tom, who has become something of a yearly tradition. A scatter of oysters, some shuffleboard and dancing, and 2015 will have been celebrated as it should be. Where: 5829 Cains Ct., Bow Info:

H2O: Among other things, H2O in Anacortes is home to Tony Mayo, deemed Skagit’s Best Bartender by Cascadia Weekly readers. And he has been known to go all out for the holidays, if his recent “12 Cocktails of Christmas” endeavor is any indication. I make no promises concerning New Year’s Eve, but it stands to reason that if you show up to dance to music by DJ Z, your odds of getting an expertly mixed cocktail are probably excellent. Where: 314 Commercial Ave., Anacortes Info:

Skagit Valley Casino Resort: Maybe it has something to do with my pull-tab-playing grandma, perhaps it’s my affinity for all things bright and shiny, or possibly I’m a gambler at heart—whatever it is, I love casinos. And the idea of spending New Year’s Eve at the Skagit Casino is appealing on many levels. For not much more than a price of a night on the town at a fraction of the inconvenience, you can score a tasty meal, live music in the Winner’s Lounge and cocktails. After ringing in the New Year, you can retire to your tastefully appointed hotel room. And I haven’t even mentioned the gambling to be done at the Skagit, which could see you ringing in 2016 with lady luck on your side and money in your pocket. The house always wins—until it doesn’t. Where: 5984 Darrk Lane, Bow Info:

Swinomish Casino & Lodge: During the ’80s, I sported the following regrettable looks that I in no way regret: mall hair (perm in the back, claw in the front, hairspray covering all), leg warmers, a neon one-shouldered sweatshirt, Normandy Rose jeans and green eye shadow—possibly all at the same time. While I am unlikely to bring back the perm or the claw for the Swinomish Casino’s “Back to the ’80s” New Year’s Eve party, but all the rest is definitely on the table. Don your best (or worst) ’80s fashion and dance the night away to the M80s while earning your chance to win cash and prizes. Sip some champagne at midnight and party like it’s 1985. Where: 12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes Info:

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