New Year’s Eve events on tap in Mid-Missouri

Mid-Missouri’s premiere New Year’s Eve celebration has a new name but a similar schedule of local, regional and national entertainment events. Formerly known as “First Night Columbia,” the new event is titled “Columbia Eve Fest.”

The footprint of the festival will be slightly different from previous years; organizers will be compacting the event into a “block party” location, in an effort to make the event safer and easier for participants to manage in challenging weather conditions. Ninth Street — between Elm and Locust — will be closed to create a safe path for pedestrians.

Passes can be purchased at Columbia’s Gerbes grocery stores, the ARC and at the city’s downtown Parks and Recreation Office for $6 prior to the event and $8 on Dec. 31.

The event kicks off at 4 p.m. in front of Cyclextreme, 19 S. Sixth St., with a 5K run/walk.

Throughout the night, numerous venues — including the Missouri Theater, Columbia Art League and the Missouri United Methodist Church — will host performing groups, art and crafts, puppet shows and opportunities for dancing.

The event’s musical grand finale — no fireworks this year — is scheduled for 11:30 p.m. in front of the Missouri Theater.

In other events:

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 2693, will host a New Year’s Eve bash featuring live music by the band Road House from 8-12 p.m. Tickets are $20 and cover party favors, champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Groups that want to be seated together are encouraged to select their tables and purchase their tickets ahead of time, either by calling 573-636-2440 or stopping by the lodge in Jefferson City at 1411 Missouri Blvd.

For the 14th year in a row, the Capital Ritz Dance Studio and Banquet Center in Jefferson City will host a New Year’s Eve buffet and dance party from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $35 and include the meal, finger foods, a champagne toast and balloon drop. A professional deejay will keep the evening lively for all generations with a wide variety of pop, rock, big band and country hits.

The Mission, a live music venue in Jefferson City at 915 E. High St., will host a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring music provided by The Blackfoot Rangers and special guest Jessy Johnsen. The cover charge is $10 to get in and $15 for a table reservation. Party favors and champagne will be provided at midnight.

The American Legion Roscoe Enloe Post 5, at 1423 Tanner Bridge Road in Jefferson City, is hosting a karaoke night on New Year’s Eve. For $5, visitors can come and sing to their heart’s content. Participants are asked to bring snacks; champagne will be provided. “Just come on out,” said past commander, bartender and karaoke singer Mike Henry. “We’re going to have a good time.”

Twin Bridges Bar and Grill in Cole County is hosting a Toga Party on New Year’s Eve featuring live music by the band, Cut Loose. Festivities start at 8:30 p.m., followed by a toast at midnight. No cover will be charged.

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