County preparing to celebrate New Year’s

ADDISON COUNTY — This New Year’s Eve, thousands will watch the ball drop in Times Square. Here in Vermont, there won’t be police barricades or headlining pop singers, but there will be plenty of other events around the county to ring in 2010.
Bristol’s fourth annual Best Night celebration will feature a series of concerts and activities in three town venues — Holley Hall, First Baptist Church and the Walkover Gallery. Events will run from 3 until 11 p.m., starting with a fire organ on the Bristol Green and finishing with a dance party in Holley Hall.
Many local businesses, including Vermont Family Forests, Bristol Friends of the Arts, and Connor and Buck Builders, sponsored the evening’s events. Entertainment will include performances by the Vermont Ukulele Society, O’hAnleigh, and Deb Flanders and Pete Sutherland, and there will be a raffle and free face painting.
Alice Leeds, one of the event’s planners, said that based on past years she anticipates between 300 and 500 people to attend.
“People don’t really want to drive on New Year’s Eve,” she said. “This is something local, so people don’t have to drive far.”
One $10 ticket is valid for all of the evening’s concerts and events, and tickets are free for children under 12 and seniors over 75. Food will be available at an extra cost.
In Middlebury, the Town Hall Theater and the Middlebury Inn will host “A New Year’s Eve to Remember.” The evening will kick off at 6 p.m. with a reception, dinner and entertainment by Bill Bickford at the Inn. At 8, the Doughboys will take the stage for a dance party at the Town Hall Theater. And at midnight, the crowd will share a champagne toast to the chimes of the theater bells.
Dinner and dance combination tickets are $100, and tickets for the dance, which include a champagne toast at midnight, are $20. Tickets are on sale at the Town Hall Theater.
The American Legion in Vergennes is also hosting its annual New Year’s Eve gala, complete with dinner, a DJ, party favors and champagne. The evening will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday with a choice of chicken cordon bleu or stuffed roast pork, and the dancing will go from 8:30 p.m. until the toast at midnight.
Tickets are $15 each or $25 per couple, and are available through the Legion at 877-3216.
And for a celebration of a different sort, bundle up and head out to the parking lot of the Middlebury Union High School athletic fields on Creek Road in Middlebury, where the fireworks will start at 7:30 p.m.
Following the fireworks, there will be free public skating at the Memorial Sports Center from 8 until 9:30 p.m.

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