Dec 26, 2018

Ringing in the New Year

 I always felt that New Year’s Eve was amateur night. Most years we stayed home putting puzzles together. It became a tradition.  In fact, we receive a 1000-piece puzzle from Santa each year. However, there are a plethora of ways to ring in the New Year. 

If you want to see how lucky you are in 2019 both Turning Stone and Del Lago casinos have a variety of New Year’s Eve activities and entertainment and, of course, offer packages that include accommodations.  I think it is best to stay off the highways on New Year’s so, if you have to celebrate away from home, then staying at a hotel is a
great option.  Most of the Syracuse hotels offer staycations packages for New Year’s Eve including the Crowne Plaza, the Genesee Grande, and the elegantly restored Hotel Syracuse.

There have been occasions when we have ventured out of the house and area to celebrate New Year’s.  One of my favorite events was the Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia.  It caught us by
surprise because I had heard of the mummers and knew of their traditional string bands but what really amazed us were the Fancies in their elaborate float-like costumes. The Mummers have been doing the “Mummers Strut” down Broad Street in a parade that includes more than 10,000 men, women, and children in lavish, glittering costumes and can last eight hours! Besides the String Bands there are the Comics, Wench Brigades, Fancies, and Fancy Brigades. Watching the parade is free unless you want bleacher seats.
Before the parade we visited the Mummers Fest at the Pennsylvania Convention Center where there are many activities including watching the Fancy Brigades practice for their four-minute performance held after the parade. I was blown away by the performances which were like watching lavish four-minute Broadway-quality shows.  Of course, like most major cities, Philadelphia has other events such as the Macy’s Light Show and fireworks on the Delaware River waterfront.  I would love to go again.

Another family favorite on New Year’s was when we attended the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl floats are more spectacular in person because, on the TV, it is hard to appreciate the size of the floats. They were infinitely larger than I thought. However, it wasn’t the parade that was the best part; it was helping to build a float.  Each year, La Canada allows people to help build their float.  There is pre-registration but they also allow walk-ins if they need people.  Volunteers first watch a demonstration video and then go to their station to work – for a few hours or the day.  When our
family participated, John and I put the flowers in vials of water – a no-brainer job. It takes a lot of flowers to create a float.  There can be 18 million flowers on the Rose Bowl parade floats. For many the major event of New Year’s must include a football game and the Rose Bowl always hosts top-seed teams. There are other bowl games; last year our family went to the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix. 

If you are looking for an iconic celebration head to Times Square in NYC and celebrate with about one million of your friends waiting for the crystal ball to drop. Another way to ring in the New Year is to take a cruise to a sunny place.  We often book our flights to Asia on New Year’s because they tend to be more reasonable.