Lots to do tonight

December 31, 2013

new years eve ball dropThis story was posted Monday, but was quickly moved down our site due to other breaking news stories. We wanted to re-post in case you missed it. 

By Carrie Klemm. MCP Correspondent.

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Though you may be thinking of staying in to watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV, if you get the itch to head out, there are several holiday specials and live music happenings all around Ludington.

The fifth annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, featuring west Michigan’s largest New Year’s ball will be taking place at the intersection of Ludington Avenue and James Street. Beginning at 9:30 p.m., Ludington Avenue will be shut down between Rath Avenue and Harrison Street and will house an entertainment tent for visitors to enjoy music and dancing prior to the ball drop, as well as an exquisite post-midnight fireworks display to celebrate the new year.

New this year, attendees of the legal drinking age will be allowed to have alcohol on the streets, within the designated areas. There will be entrance check points at various areas where those who wish to have an alcoholic beverage will be checked for ID and receive a tag denoting the legal drinking age. The event is free and otherwise open to all ages.

As part of the celebration, fifth anniversary commemorative cups and drink token packages are available for purchase before the event. Packages are as follows:

Single Package: $15 for one cup – includes three drink tokens and a chance to win a VIP tent.

Couples Package: $25 for two cups, includes six drink tokens and a chance to win a VIP tent.

Early Cup Purchase: $8 or one cup, no tokens included

Day of Event Cup Purchase: $10 one cup, no tokens included.

Drink tokens may be purchased in advance, buy eight drink tokens in advance for $20. For more information, visit www.downtownludington.org.

For families in the area, SandCastles Children’s Museum is holding a New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop Party. On Tuesday, Dec. 31st, between 6 and 9 p.m. the party will feature face painting, special New Year’s Eve crafts, live music by Chad Rushing, as well as the Lakeshore Children’s Choir. Ice cream sundaes will be served at the House of Flavors exhibit and other refreshments as well as an opportunity to take a few fun family photos. At 8:30 p.m., a huge balloon drop is scheduled to commemorate the new year. Tickets for the event are $10 per person or $35 per family and can be purchased at the museum between 9 a.m. and noon on Tuesday or in advance by emailing Kristin at sandcastleschildrensmuseum@gmail.com. Tickets are limited so get them before they are gone.

In addition, the Ludington Public Library will be hosting a Light Up the Lake Family Party from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Head into the library for children’s activities, teen activities, crafts, stories, board games, and video games then depart with the crowd to parade to the downtown ball drop at 11:30 p.m. The event is free but keep in mind, children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

When the winter winds are too much to bear, be sure to stop into Redolencia Coffee right on Ludington Avenue for a warm cup of joe. The coffee shop is expected to be open until midnight.

For last minute dinner plans, many local restaurants are preparing special menus for the last night of the year.

The Blu Moon is featuring a special New Year’s Eve four-course menu with several delicious options for each course at two separate dinner seatings. For early diners, the first seating will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. and reservations are still available. The second seating at 9 p.m. will be set alongside the musical stylings of Awesome Distraction, an acoustic trio from Manistee. Though the second seating is already fully reserved, one can venture to the bar for a cocktail with some great music. Awesome Distraction will play both before and after the ball drops, until roughly 1 a.m.

Luciano’s Ristoranti will also feature a special menu for the evening. For $28 per person, hungry bellies will be filled with a delightful three course meal while pianist Eddie Lamire accompanies throughout the evening and after the ball drop. Reservations are recommended.

As for other special dining options, Jamesport Brewing Company will feature an enticing holiday menu, while reservations are encouraged, walk-ins are welcome. For a home-cooked feel, head to Old Hamlin on Ludington Avenue where normal hours of operation will be extended to 11 p.m.

For the music lovers out there, several businesses will be hosting live entertainment throughout the evening.

The Sandbar of Ludington will be having food and party favors starting at 9:30 p.m. and will host  the country/rock band The Whiskey Rebels with a champagne toast later in the evening to ring in the new year.

Tangle Eye, the country/blues band will be returning to Bud’s Tap Room, with music starting at 9 p.m.

The American Legion in Ludington will be hosting Shotman Band from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. The band’s repertoire features a little bit of everything from Classic Rock, to Modern and Pop Rock and even a little Country.

Join Wild Car and the Tim McGraw Tribute Show at 9 p.m. at Michaels’ Bar and Grille for a rockin’ good time both before and after the ball drop.

The most important thing of the evening: Stay Safe! Drive Safe, Drive Sober, a collaboration between Mason County law enforcement agencies and several local businesses will be providing New Year’s Eve rides to those celebrating with alcohol. Quinn’s Tire & Tows, Oceana Auto, Abrahamson’s Towing and Ludington Mass Transportation Authority are teaming up to provide free transportation for the evening, free tows will also be available. To make reservations, call the corresponding numbers:

LMTA 231-845-6218

Quinn’s Tire & Tows 231-843-3877

Oceana Auto 231-843-6500

Abrahamson’s Towing 231-843-2990

Whether you plan on staying in or heading downtown for the festivities, have a safe and Happy New Year!


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