You could close out 2018 in a Symphony Hall-sized singalong or by HART-district hopping from Todd Eckart to Laura Velvet and the Bookhouse Boys. You could make an award-winning mask, then strut it all over Barker's Island or finally press the flesh with one of the city's most recognizable news anchors.
New Year's Eve, man. So much potential.
Whether your a semi-formal sort or an Americana music fan or have an early bedtime, we've got options for how to say goodnight to the past year. Not included: the age-old option of worn sweaties, nacho cheese dip and moving pictures on a screen.
YOU DON'T WANT ANYONE TO EVER STOP BELIEVING. EVER.
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra has become a NYE sure thing. This year, they are swapping out classical music for classic rock. Or at least classic roll. The orchestra's annual pops concert will feature Jeans 'n Classics performing the music of Journey. This London-based group has also performed the music of Elton John, The Beatles, U2 and more. Expect to hear big, soul-wringing singalong songs like "Faithfully," "Lights" and, of course, "Don't Stop Believin'." Brian Dowdy of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra is the guest conductor.
YOU WANT TO RUN THROUGH THE STREETS OF THE HART DISTRICT
New Year's By the Lake, in its first year, is a multi-venue event with a mix of ways to toot your noisemaker. It starts with a four-course meal at Greysolon, then "A Tribute to the Golden Days of Las Vegas" starring retro crooner Todd Eckart at the NorShor Theatre. Think: Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Elvis and more. The Whiskey Trail Band follows. Other music includes Laura Velvet & The Bookhouse Boys in the Moorish Room and a DJ at Black Water Lounge.
There will be a balloon drop, appetizers, champagne.
YOU WANT TO PARTY WITH A PURPOSE, WITH FLAIR
CASDA's annual NYE gala at Barker's Island is themed "Behind the Mask." It includes music by the Circuit Breakers, a silent auction, hors d'oeuvres, a signature drink and more. And for the competitive sorts, there is a mask contest that includes: best use of feathers, most creative, most elegant, and funniest.
Info at casda.org
YOU WANT TO START EARLY AND NEVER STOP NEW YEAR'S EVE-ING
Per usual, Beaner's Central is starting early and staying late - providing like 18 consecutive hours of on-stage entertainment. Folk singer-songwriter Hewitt Station opens the marathon at 6:30 a.m. and it closes with The Cuckoo Bees, Cory Coffman and Mikayla Haynes, who describe themselves as having a "poetic and peculiar take on pop music." In between: Mama's Stolen Horses (10 a.m.), Jacob Mahon (12:45 p.m.), Ryan Lane (7:30 p.m.) and Jeffrey James O'Loughlin (10:30 p.m.) Listen. You don't have to stay for the whole thing - but you could.
Info: Beaner's Central Facebook page
YOU WANT TO FINALLY MEET DAN HANGER
Which is a bigger draw: Free Bent Paddle beer or Dan Hanger. That's the NYE question of the year - but you don't even have to pick. The New Year's Eve Party at the Depot has both. Lake City Smoking Section plays the Great Hall and DJ Ron will take requests in the Railroad Museum. The Underground will be open for eating and chilling. (The free beer part only happens for an hour, so sharpen your elbows.)
There will be champagne at midnight and it's hosted by Hanger and on-air partner Nikki Davidson.
YOU WANT TO PARTY LIKE IT'S OLD-SCHOOL GRANDMA'S MARATHON WEEKEND
GB Leighton, known for his ability to whip a party up into a dancing, swirling, hip-checking mass, performs at the New Year's Eve Party at the Pier. Leighton, a ball cap and flannel guy, is a long time Minnesota rock musician who is known for his mix of ear-friendly originals and covers. For years he was a mainstay at the tents during Grandma's Marathon weekend.
YOU WANT A NIGHT AT THE BAR, AND YOU WANT IT NOW
Dubh Linn Brew Pub has also become a go-to for the the semi-formal seekers. This year's event includes a three-course dinner, Dueling Pianos, Billy Barnard and the Hot Club of Duluth.
Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, the Americana band of Teague and Ian Alexy, play at Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake.
Spurs on First will have music by DJ Ru2 and a champagne toast.