By Laini Abraham and Katie Vogel
1. Allentown NYE Gala and Community Celebration
Saturday, 7pm to 12am, Holiday Inn Center City, 904 Hamilton Street, Allentown
I suppose you could drive into New York City for New Year’s Eve, but why would you want to when you have Allentown’s NYE Gala to go to. Avoid the masses of traffic, and enjoy cocktails, dining, and dancing while also celebrating Allentown’s 250th birthday. There’s even more fun outside with fire dancers, ice carvers, carriage rides, a hot chocolate station and musical entertainment. Of course, no NYE would be complete without the countdown to midnight where you can watch the ball, or in our case, bell, drop.
2. Start Making Sense NYE Celebration with Great White Caps
Saturday, 8pm to 11pm, Musikfest Café, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem
Maybe you’d prefer to celebrate the New Year by going back a few with Start Making Sense and Great White Caps. This Talking Heads tribute band is a popular group, always providing one of the most energy-filled performances you could ask for. Tickets are $15 in advance. But don’t wait, this could sell out soon.
3. Peeps Fest with the Peeps Chick Drop & Fireworks
Saturday, 12pm to 5pm, ArtsQuest Center, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem
Midnight can be a little late for some of the kids to stay up, but that doesn’t mean they can’t ring in the New Year, and the Peeps Fest is packed with celebratory fun. Enjoy a scavenger hunt, photo opportunities, and various other activities throughout the day. Then at 5:15, in traditional NYE fashion, enjoy the Peeps Chick Drop and a fireworks display to top it all off!
4. 2012 NYE Party
Saturday, 2pm to 9pm, The Crayola Factory, Centre Square, Easton
Still drawing up ideas on what to do with the family? Why not check out all the New Year’s Eve fun at The Crayola Experience! This event will feature artist performances, creative exhibits and live music, including the Easton School of Rock. Then gather outside later for the crayon drop and fireworks display. Tickets for the event will be $19 in advance and $23 at the door.
5. Katie’s Pick: Jimmy and The Parrots – Holiday Parrot Party
Friday, 6:30pm, ArtsQuest Center, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem
Already have plans for New Years Eve? Well then you can still go out on Friday, and with all this cold weather, why not enjoy a beach time favorite with Jimmy and The Parrots, the Jimmy Buffet cover band. Spend the night feeling like you’re in the islands, enjoying a cheeseburger in paradise. We might be getting to the middle of winter, but there’s no better way to warm up than thinking about the beach.
6. NYE Party at Sangria
Saturday, 9pm to 12am, Sangria Restaurant, 840 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown
Watch the ball drop and enjoy some delicious food at Sangria Restaurant this year. You can get in early or stay late and enjoy their dinner menu from 4pm to 1am or opt for the 4 course Chef’s menu complete with wine pairings for a truly classy evening. Music will be provided by DJ Express and VIP tables will be available. Reservations are not necessary but if you want to reserve a table you’ll have to hurry up because they will fill up faster than your wine glass.
7. Psych CD Release Party at the Riverside
Saturday, 9:30pm to 2am, Riverside Bar & Grill, 5801 North Delaware Dr., Easton
Ring in the New Year with the Psych CD Release Party. Voted “Best Original Band” at the 13th Lehigh Valley Music Awards, PSYCH is quickly gaining popularity locally and abroad. Free “Psych 101” CDs will be given away as well as a t-shirt raffle. In traditional Riverside fashion, a bonfire will also be built to ring in the New Year as well as a champagne toast. Come on down and check out some of the recent renovations that have been made too!
8. Mario Swings in the New Year
Friday, 7pm to 9:30pm, Upstairs at the Café, 221 W. Broad St., Bethlehem
If you’re looking for a more low-key atmosphere to celebrate New Year’s Eve, why not stop in at the Café when Mario Swings in the New Year. Enjoy music by Mario & Carlo Acerra, and Patti Sakdiponephong with special guest Sonja Fenstermacher to stop by. This is a nice way to enjoy the New Year in a more relaxed environment.
9. First Day Hike on the Delaware Canal Towpath
Sunday, 1pm, Wy-Hit-Tuk Park, Rt. 611, Easton
New Year’s Eve might be over, but it’s just the beginning for those resolutions! Start the new year off on the right foot with the First Day Hike along the towpath. Hike will leave from Wy-Hit-Tuk park, 2.3 miles south of Easton on Rt. 611 at 1 pm, and will be less than 3 miles in length. Remember to dress warmly!
Be safe this Holiday!
Many people will be out for parties this weekend and we would like everyone to be as safe as possible. Please make sure you designate a responsible driver for the ride home, have a place to stay the night, or call a cab or friend to drive you if you can’t. Holidays are a lot less fun when something bad happens. Here is a list of local cab companies that can get you home this weekend. Go ahead and put them in your phone right now!
Anytime Taxi by J & J – (610) 439-9241
Quick Service Taxi Co Inc – (610) 434-8132
Premium Taxi – (610) 433-7550
Easton Taxi Inc – (610) 258-9141
Tipsy Tow (by AAA) – 1-800-222-4357 (1-800-AAA-Help) *not available in all areas