Plenty of choices to ring in new year

IT’S the social shindig of the season, a night to bid farewell to the year that was and usher in a new one.

But for many, an occasion as momentous as New Year’s Eve brings with it a momentous amount of pressure.

Home party or venue? Quiet dinner with loved ones or all-out party assault?

To help readers untangle the maze of options around tonight’s festivities, The Leader has compiled a list of the Top 5 New Year’s Eve options for the region. 

1 Armidale New Year’s Eve fireworks: Tamworth might again be a fireworks free zone this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the explosive fun. Guyra Catholic priest Anthony Koppman – better known as Holy Smoke – is set to deliver another meteoric display at Armidale’s Rologas fields tonight. The event is free and there’ll be a 9pm show for families and another burst of colour at midnight.

2 Those Gals at Tamworth Services: No, it’s not a mirage, the Services Club will embrace the magic of the Middle East tonight. Tamworth trio Those Gals will hold one of their infamous costume parties at the club, complete with exotic dancers, culinary delicacies and even Bedouin photo tents. Guests are urged to come decked out in Arabian garb, with prizes on offer for best dressed. Event is free and no need to pre-book.

3 Party at the pub: Tamworth’s famous for its hotels so why not say goodbye to 2013 with a beer in hand at the pub. A host of hotels is putting on live music, including The Goodies, which will host renowned muso Brent Williams downstairs and have a DJ upstairs for the younger crowd.

4Music at Wests: For those keen to see in the new year in clubland, Wests League Club has the music vibe happening at both its venues. Heartland will play a free concert at the Legend Lounge in the main club from 9.30pm, with a spectacular countdown to midnight promised. At Diggers, Acoustic Convention will be on-stage from 9.30pm.

5 Home party: If hitting the town isn’t your scene, you can always celebrate at home. Crank up the barbie and flick on the box for the 9pm and midnight fireworks at Sydney Harbour.

Other options:

* Wallabadah races: Sick of waking up with a sore head on New Year’s Day. Have a quiet NYE in and save yourself for the historic Wallabadah picnic races tomorrow. Held every year since 1852, the day offers a traditional bush racing experience.

*  Hit the dams: For a unique New Year’s Eve, head out to Lake Keepit or Chaffey Dam and see the new year in close to nature. Bookings are essential at Lake Keepit, with a four-night minimum stay required.

*  Dinner with friends: Battling the maddening crowds not your thing? A quiet dinner at your favourite restaurant with friends might be the way to go.

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