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story.lead_photo.caption News Tribune file photo: Master of Ceremonies, Tom Cwynar, right, leads the Grand March to start the festivities during last year's New Year's Eve gala at the Capital Ritz Banquet & Dance Center.

It's finally coming to an end — the year that has brought a flurry of less-than-positive coronavirus coverage, school worries, reckonings on race and a historical presidential election.

In a week, 2020 is over.

After such a year, who wouldn't want to celebrate?

The year was brought in with the glitter and glam of the "Roaring '20s," but it leaves with quieter celebrations of local music, board games and humble pops of champagne as we turn the page to 2021. Whether you choose to stay at home and watch the ball drop in Times Square (it will be virtual this year, so you're not missing out on a finger-freezing experience) or join your friends at the local bar to listen to music, remember to stay warm, safe and create memories to treasure well into 2021.

Check out our list of some of the area's New Year's Eve celebrations, and let us know of any we missed at

Jefferson City

Seasoned performers Faded Youth will be ringing in the new year through music from 6:30 p.m.-1 a.m. at Capital Ritz Banquet and Dance Center, 2716 Plaza Drive. The New Year's Eve with Faded Youth will feature music of the '50s, '60s and '70s for a throwback in time, and the wide, glossed floors of the Ritz could be the perfect spot to dance while socially distanced. Tickets are $16 cash or check, or $18 with credit card. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 573-808-2086 or 573-228-9397.

If you find comfort in familiarity and a tight-knit crowd, Starlight Memories Band is once again playing the New Year's Eve Celebration from 8 p.m.-12:05 a.m. at American Legion Post 5, 1423 Tanner Bridge Road. Tickets are $10 per person for the night.

Need a change from the country and blues? Join rock 'n' roll band Notorious as they play 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. New Year's Eve at Twin Bridges Bar & Grill, 4205 Route CC. No cover charge is listed for the event.

Limited space at this event means you'll want to reserve your tickets quickly to see The Dave Baker Band during the Capital Bluffs New Year's Eve celebration. The night starts at 6 p.m. at the Capital Bluffs Event Center, 1616 Oil Well Road. A $35 ticket purchased through Eventbrite covers dinner, served at 6:30 p.m., of steak and Cajun shrimp. You can also purchase space for a table of six, listed at $180. Tickets, however, are limited to the first 250 respondents, and Capital Bluffs is taking extra precautions in light of COVID-19, using an ionizer to "take viruses out of the air," according to the event Facebook page. Ionizers help improve indoor air quality, but they are not a foolproof method to defending against the coronavirus.

Your future is truly what you make it at the Let's go Back to the Future New Year's Eve Celebration from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at Cork and Board, 124 E. High St. Dress to impress from your favorite decade while you sit around a board game sipping champagne and finger foods. Or, if you're not into board games, sit back, relax and get your mind off of 2020 while watching "Back to the Future" at Capitol City Cinema next door at 126 E. High St. A photo booth and prizes are also included throughout the night. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased on Eventbrite, and space is limited to 60 people.


If you're looking for a show to end 2020 with a bang, you're sure to get one at the Nclusion+Drag2Nite NYE BASH from 8:30 p.m. at Twaddle Orthodontics, 4600 Executive Drive, Columbia. A handful of performers will make the night loud and colorful, including "the energetic duo" Luna Steelheart and London Starr Dior, from Kansas City. Amanda Lay, the reigning "Ms. Gay City of Columbia," will toast to the upcoming year. The event is 18 and older with ID required, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own beverages. Masks are required at the New Year's Eve drag night. Tickets are $10 in advance on NclusionPlus's website or $15 at the door.

Not comfortable going out just yet? Bob Ross has your back — well, "Joe-Bob" Ross, that is. The New Years Eve Paint-along and Party, an online event hosted by Jabberwocky Studios in Columbia is from 9:30 p.m.-midnight as you follow along to Joe Schlottach via Zoom. Schlottach has been drawing since second grade, according to the organization's website, and is currently illustrating a graphic novel. His guidance, the organization hopes, could help you create your own Ross masterpiece. And you don't need your own art supplies. The $30 ticket will guarantee a specially created package dropped off at your door including all necessary painting supplies and additional refreshments; however, participants are required to live within a 35-mile radius of Columbia. Jefferson City sits at about 32, so make sure to check your location before signing up.

Elsewhere in Mid-Missouri

Watch the ball drop and pop bottles to ring in 2021 from the Camden on the Lake Resort in Lake Ozark. The celebration, beginning at 7 p.m., will feature a performance by local musician ChristiAna, fresh off the release of her new song, "Loaded Gun." Since the event is held at the lakeside resort, guests can buy stay packages with promo codes, but tickets to the event itself are only available at the door on the night of the show for $25, according to a Facebook post by H. Toad's Bar & Grill, one of the two hosts. As with other large events, take precautionary measures, including wearing masks and staying socially distancing, suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep yourself and your party safe.

Bring the family out for a game of bowling at the Knock 2020 Out 8 Pin at 8 p.m. at Eldon Lanes, 401 W. 19th St., Eldon. A $25 entry fee pays for four games, and a midnight champagne toast (the younger ones will have to skip out on this, of course) will get the ball rolling for 2021. Space is limited to the first 40 paid bowlers, so don't waste spare time if you're hoping to get in line.

If you're in Centertown, stop by the Outpost Bar & Grill on New Year's Eve night at 8 p.m. to "kiss 2020 goodbye." Musician Norman Jolly and friends will be there to provide entertainment as the countdown to midnight approaches and the champagne is served. There will also be party favors and pizza. The Outpost Bar & Grill is located at 9705 Lookout Trail in Centertown.

Veterans organization AMVET Post 153 is hosting its New Year's Eve Party at 7 p.m. at AMVET Post 153, 306 Broad St., Mokane. The Facebook event encourages attendees to bring an appetizer to share as they enjoy games, drinks, food and "good times" as the clock strikes midnight.

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