It may not have the same hype as the millennium, but tickets to local parties are going fast as district residents prepare to ring in the new year.
This New Year’s Eve is the first for “Warp 9,” the newest night club in town.
“New Year’s plans are going very well,” owner/manager Attila Ambrus said last week. “We’ve got half of the  tickets sold now and the tickets are going fast every day.”
Though tickets cost $35 apiece, Ambrus said he’s confident his club will be full when the clock strikes midnight Monday. “People are walking in and buying 30 tickets at once,” he remarked.
Those who attend will receive a bottle of champagne or non-alcoholic equivalent, appetizers, and party favours.
“We’ll be open until 3 a.m., which is an extra hour of fun,” Ambrus enthused. “There’s going to be two DJ’s playing all types of music from classic to current rock, country rock.”
Across the street, the Rainy Lake Hotel also is expecting a great evening. The dining room is serving everything from prime rib to chicken cordon rouge, while the lounge is hosting an open party, with admission being $3 until 8 p.m. and $15 after that.
“We just started selling them and they just started to move,” said owner/manager Larry Syrovy. “We usually sell out and we expect to have a good party this year.”
He said the band “Wise Guys,” which plays everything from the 1970s to today, will be performing there live.
“Some places are shooting fairly high and I don’t know how well they will do,” Syrovy added. “But I expect to do well.”
Meanwhile, the Red Dog Inn is inviting people to come as they are to their New Year’s party. “Instead of getting all dressed up, they can come here and have a lot of fun,” manager Tammy Hayward said.
“We’re drawing for a trip to Las Vegas. We’ll have a live band and a midnight snack,” she added.
Tickets cost $20, but almost 75 percent of them already had been sold more than a week before the event. And Hayward said she expected the rest wouldn’t last long.
The Red Dog also is offering special room rates.
Those who prefer to ring in the new year savouring delicacies should head to La Flambée. The Scott Street restaurant is featuring a menu of lobster, rack of lamb, and steak with mussels and escargot, and triple chocolate fantasies or cream brulet for dessert.
Owner Achour Cheblaoui said last week 75 percent of the space available already has been reserved, and he also expected to be completely sold out soon.
“We usually fill up and it seems like we’re heading towards that same direction again this year,” he said.
“It’s been a good Christmas despite all the sad news,” he added. “Fortunately, people realized that life must go on.”
Out in the district, the Borderland Racing Association is hosting a “country rockin’” New Year’s special—featuring local band “Milestone”—from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Emo Arena.
There also will be a midnight lunch, and bus service east and west afterwards.
Tickets cost $15 each, which are available from board members, Busch’s, Sight and Sound, the Fairway Store in Emo and Tompkins Hardware in Emo, and the Village Restaurant in Barwick.
Proceeds will go towards new lights and track improvements at the Emo Speedway.
Not all parties are open to the general public, such as the MEC’s annual New Year’s Eve bash at La Place Rendez-Vous.
Co-owner George Blanc said the Rendez-Vous is completely booked for New Year’s as usual. In fact, he said the slowing economy hasn’t affected Christmas parties hosted there, though it has altered the number of guests who stayed at the lakeside hotel.
“It’s affected travel and hotel sales,” he noted. “That’s what’s felt the most. If I had to quantify it, there is no doubt that room sales are down because fewer people are traveling.”
He said September and October were very good, but November and December experienced sharp decreases.
“Overall, it’s still been very good and people are still in an up mood,” Blanc remarked.