The beginning of a new year has been celebrated at least since 2000 BCE, but not necessarily on a date that matches what we think of as the first calendar day. Until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar by Western cultures in 1752, New Year’s Day was a slippery designation, sometimes even landing in September or March.
The beginning of our next orbit around the sun will be marked on December 31 in the Village of Saugerties starting at 10 p.m. It will be the fifth annual “stay local, stay safe” event, which draws thousands of people out into the crisp winter air.
A stage will be set up on Main Street, where deejay Riley Cornelison will play music from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Many restaurants and bars will stay open later than usual, some with special offerings, New Year’s Eve menus and live music. Look for roving Boy Scouts with beverages, noisemakers and treats available for purchase (proceeds to benefit their programs). Then, at midnight, a countdown video and ceremonial ball drop at the intersection of Main and Market will bring in the New Year with raucous fanfare. Be sure to dress warmly and bring a folding chair. Main Street between Partition and Market Streets will be closed off from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m.
The Saugerties Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a night of Catskill Mountain Rock with the Paul Luke Band on New Year’s Eve. A $25 ticket will get you into the doors at the American Legion Post 72 for banquet-hall seating, hot and cold finger foods and a complimentary glass of champagne to bring in 2019. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. at 30 John Street in the Village of Saugerties. All proceeds will go to local veterans’ programs and community projects.
Fifth annual New Year’s Eve in the Village, Monday-Tuesday, December 31-January 1, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Main/Partition Streets, Saugerties; (845) 246-2321.