An outdoor street celebration on New Year’s Eve at 41.9270° N, 73.9974° W is a bold move. It can get pretty cold out there in Uptown Kingston. For the revelers, there are plenty of places to duck in an out of, dense human scrums and the dangerous, false-grail warmth of booze. But what about those onstage? I remember poor Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones headlining outdoors on a four-degree night and wondering how they got their fingers to work and their lips to not stick to the mesh grille of their SM58s. But that is exactly that kind of take-all-comers, gut-it-out determination that landed that band a long tour as direct support for the Brian Setzer Orchestra this very season.
In Uptown Kingston, the corner of Wall and North Front Streets is the place to congregate at 11:50 p.m. on December 31. There will be merrymaking in the streets, capped by a fireworks display, sponsored by Basch and Keegan.
The Uptown street celebration has all but monopolized NYE in Kingston. So what do you do if you like to go out for the occasion but can’t handle the climatological caprice of a street party? The little-city-that-could has a few attractive options for you.
323 Wall Street, Kingston
For late-night revelers aged 21 and over, the fun moves indoors beginning at 9 p.m. at BSP’s cavernous back theater. The BSP New Year’s Eve Extravaganza features Brooklyn funk band Shareef Keyes and the Groove, hip hop performance poet Decora and DJ Khaje, plus special performances by Miss 360, Hudson Valley Circus Arts and Loosey Goosey Drag and Company. Dress up for Esther Joy’s Photobooth; sample the all-night food menu from PAKT and beers on tap from the Southern Tier Brewing Company.
Tickets for the BSP party cost $20 in advance at http://bit.ly/2Eci1qL, $30 at the door. BSP is located at 323 Wall Street in Kingston’s Stockade District.
Monday, Dec. 31
BSP Back Theater
323 Wall St.
The Stockade Tavern
313 Fair Street, Kingston
Just around the corner from the hoopla, the warm, elegant but unpretentious Stockade Tavern, where cocktails are taken very seriously, will be throwing a party. There will be dancing, flaming punch and live music courtesy of Caprice Rouge, an irresistible Balkan/Roma ensemble, starting at 8:30 p.m. DJ Ali will keep the party going until the wee hours of 2019. For more information, visit www.stockadetavern.com.
240 Foxhall Avenue, Kingston
Lis Bar, a new establishment in midtown, celebrates its first NYE in Kingston with a theme party of sorts. Artist/DJ Raven Fox will take celebrants on a music journey. Raven is a native New Yorker, associated with the ’80s Downtown New York City art and club scene, and especially with the late artist Keith Haring, whose work will be on display. Raven will start spinning at 10 p.m. There is no cover charge, and there will be a new winter menu in the house style: Polish-inspired, tapas-style food. For more information, visit www.lisbar.com.
586 Broadway, Kingston
A new and hip joint on Broadway, Tubby’s is explicitly describing their NYE offering as preparatory and complementary to the uptown celebration. “On your way uptown,” the management suggests, you can stop in for a meal of shepherd’s pie (vegan or meat) and good luck black-eyed peas, with a champagne toast at the premature hour of 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.tubbyskingston.com.
100 Rondout Landing, Kingston
Down on the waterfront of the Rondout, the industrial cathedral Ole Savannah will be ringing in the New Year with its menu of Southern-inspired cuisine plus specials and music by DJ Boomie starting at 9 p.m. Make a reservation. For more information, visit www.olesavannah.com.