Old Year, New Year — get out, and have some fun

The last night of the year.

Either you wipe your brow with the back of your hand and say, “Whew. I’m glad that’s over!” or you shout, “It’s party time!”

The first option simply requires kicking off your shoes, grabbing some refreshments, plopping down in front of the TV and taking in the plethora of New Year’s Eve celebrations on the various on-air, live streams, or cable networks.

The second option is to get all duded or dolled up and prepare to dance the end of the year into total submission — hopefully, to live music, but if you really have to, even a DJ is better than sitting on your hands.

In a big city, you may have a wide array of options. Here on the beach, in the dead of winter in 2018, and with no Kelly’s Tavern this year, it’s a tad easier to pick your NYE poison.

That is, easy in the sense that you have somebody else, like me, compiling the choices.

For the faint of heart and those who need to be home to watch the ball drop at 12, let’s start with the early options:

The Saltbox Cafe in Collngton has the über-talented Kim Kalman performing live acoustic music to enjoy with your NYE meal. Kalman has been gracing the OBX with her talent for years, and she’s well worth listening to on any day of the year. That’s something you need to know. She’s on from 6 to 9 p.m.

Duck Woods Country Club features the lovely and talented Graham Outten from 7 to 10 p.m.

Duck Woods is a private club, but if you know a member, Mr. Outten is worth having one sneak you in. They’ll have to sneak you out, too.

For family entertainment, the Town of Manteo is presenting its “New Year in the New World” celebration. It appears as if they will have something for everybody in the family, with not only a s’mores station for the kids, but an early Ball Drop for them, too. DJ “Mixin’ Mike” kicks it all off at 5 p.m., and The “Songs From The Road Band” starts at 7 p.m. After the 8 p.m. Kids Ball Drop, “Mixin’ Mike” keeps ’em dancing until the world famous “Original Rhondels” take the stage at 10 p.m. With the late, great Bill Deal, the Rhondels are the original beach music band. With hits including “May I,” “What Kind of Fool,” and “I’ve Been Hurt,” they started it all. On the West Coast, the Righteous Brothers epitomized “blue-eyed soul,” but on the East Coast, Bill Deal and the Rhondels ruled.

It’s all finished off with fireworks beginning at the stroke of midnight.

For traditional revelers, Trio in Kitty Hawk is open until “2019:30” with music starting at 7 p.m. featuring Marc Murray until 9 and The Conch Shells from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. There is no cover charge, and the regular Trio menu is available.

Trio’s sister ship — the Village Table and Tavern in Duck — is offering a special 3-course menu, which includes an appetizer, entree, dessert and a glass of bubbly. There are two dinner seatings: one at 5:30 p.m. and the second at 8:30 p.m.

The ever-so-excellent Mama’s Black Sheep perform live music and begin at 9:30 p.m. and promise to keep the joint jumping until 1 a.m. The restaurant also has what is called “communal tables” and a bar where seating will be on a first come, first served basis. There will be an a la carte menu in those areas.

The Outer Banks Brewing Station’s NYE celebration will feature, arguably, the best local band on the beach, Zack Mexico. Or, at least, the most widely-travelled band that was locally spawned. Being fresh off of their tour of Europe — opening for the internationally known, Future Islands — ZM kicks major butt.

Further south, in beautiful downtown Avon, Turner’s High Moon will feature live music with the band, or bands, to be determined closer to the event.

Even further south, on Ocracoke Island, Gaffer’s will present a Roaring ’20s-themed party featuring music by “Emma’s Lounge,” beginning at 9 p.m. There’s a $5 cover charge per person. There will also be a balloon drop, champagne toast and party favors. A prime rib dinner will be available and drink specials all day long.

Sandbars Raw Bar & Grill in Kill Devil Hills is in the midst of planning its own New Years Eve hullabaloo, and — in case you haven’t been there lately — the restaurant has a new party room — available for private function rental other nights of the year — with loads of amenities. (They host a weekly pool tournament Mondays through Dec. 17). For details about the new Year’s Eve bash, check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

New York Pizza Pub is finishing out the year with DJ Fresh spinning the dance music. If you want to cut a rug before the midnight kissing, the Pub appears to be your best bet. No cover and complimentary champagne at midnight. Festivities begin at 10 p.m., and drink specials will be served until 2 a.m.

I would remiss in my duties if I told you this is the “end all, be all” of available OBX New Years bashes. Hardly.

In Southern California, where I hail from, venues have their next NYE celebration booked and ready to go on Jan. 2. On OBX, we take things a little slower. A lot of restaurants and other venues shut down for a couple of months during the winter. That restricts things a little — but keep your eye out for last-minute events that pop up. Lots of restaurants, including Ocean Boulevard, will have a New Years Eve special.

As for me, the closest I will get to an NYE gig is on Sunday, Dec. 30, at Aqua in Duck — so if you’d like to get the jump on the NYE revelers, feel free to join me. I start at 6 p.m.

No matter what you do to close out 2018 — have a safe and Happy New Year.

Transplanted to the Outer Banks from the wilds of the L.A. area, singer-songwriter Scott Sechman has shared stages with Bill Medley, Tom Rush, Al Wilson and the Grass Roots during his ongoing music career. He has contributed to Mojo and various online outlets. His regular column, Beyond the Music, appears Fridays in COAST.

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