MONTROSE COUNTY AND REGION
There’ll be plenty of opportunities to get down this New Year’s in and around Montrose. Why not ring in the start of the holiday weekend, though, with something a little more vertical that the youngsters and parents can both enjoy? The Climbing Wall is open for family night this Friday, Dec. 30 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Montrose High School. Parents are required to assist their kids with harnessing and belaying before trying the wall themselves (drop-in fee, $5).
Keep that spirit of family flowing the following morning on Dec. 31 by going to the birds with the kids, literally, at the Hotchkiss Bird Count – a gigantic scavenger hunt in the outdoors. Birders meet in the parking lot of the Hotchkiss City Market at 8 a.m.; that is, unless you’d also like to observe some owls, which requires rising a tad earlier. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Beason at 970/310-5117.
Prefer to spread your wings inside? A New Year’s Dance will be held from 9:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at the Montrose Pavilion featuring the music of Ghost River Band. Admission is $10 per person; for more info., call 970/249-5644. Wingin’ It, featuring Jordan Carls, Levi Brown, Rodd Taylor and Zona, will be ringing in the New Year at the Horsefly Brewing Co. beginning at 8 p.m. (no cover).
If you’d prefer to celebrate just down the road, there’s plenty going on in Ridgway and Ouray (read on). Closer to home, The Cabin Fever Band will be at The Sports Lounge in Delta beginning at 9 p.m. For a more unusual getaway, Gateway Canyons Resort is hosting a New Year’s Eve fete with appetizers, a buffet dinner, dancing, fireworks and champagne at midnight ($98 per person, $199 per couple). For more information, go to gatewaycanyonsresort.com or call 970/931-2458.
Before parties come pets this weekend, in the form of Ouray Moviefest: Paws for a Cause, a fundraiser for the Last Chance Humane Society on Fri., Dec. 30 from 2-7 p.m. at the Main Street Theater. There’ll be movies (The Sound of Music at 2 p.m., We Are Marshall at 7 p.m.), popcorn, and New Year’s Eve gift baskets, sparklers and doggie treats from Artisan Bakery.
For more info. email Krista.email@example.com. Put those sparklers to proper use at the New Year’s Eve Fireworks display on Main Street in Ouray beginning at 5:30 p.m. As for the celebration later into the evening? It all depends on how interactive you want to get. If you’d prefer to take the stage yourself, Ouray Elks Lodge is throwing a New Year’s Eve party with karaoke beginning at 6 p.m., along with finger-food and drink specials starting at 7 p.m. ($5 cover, open to the public).
You can drink and dance for a good cause at the second annual Ouray County Fair Board Fundraising Gala beginning at 7 p.m. at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center with a silent auction, appetizers, and cash bar and continuing through dinner (beef brisket), many desserts, dancing and (of course) complimentary champagne with the New Year’s Eve Celebration. Cost: $35 per ticket or 30 per person for tables of eight. Tickets available from any boardmember or at the door. To order in advance, call 970/626-3304. Celebrate at 10 p.m. (with a live TV feed from New York) or at midnight local time.
If you raise a glass on the early side, it gives you a chance to ring in the New Year once again, this time with DJ Sunday Smith from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at O’Brien’s Pub in Ouray. Prefer your celebration on the swankier side? This is, after all, the evening of the year (2011, 2012, take your pick) for dressing up, and there’s no better place to do it than the Grand Ballroom of the Beaumont Hotel, Ouray’s grandest lodge, with a four-course surf-and-turf dinner beginning at 7 p.m. ($49.99, reservations required).
For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970/325-7000. If you’d prefer your celebration be more contemplative, Ridgway Community Church will hold a New Year’s gathering from 8 p.m. until 12 a.m. offering fellowship, refreshment, games, worship and prayer. Everyone is welcome. For more info., email email@example.com or call 970/626-5692. No matter how you ring in the New Year, you’ll be hungry New Year’s morning. The Beaumont Hotel will serve a New Year’s Sunday Brunch Sun., Dec. 31 featuring prime rib, Eggs Benedict, Bloody Marys and more. Tickets are $22.99 (guests of the Hotel save 50 percent). For more info., call 970/325-7000.
SAN MIGUEL COUNTY
If music is your passion, be sure to head to the Telluride area this weekend, where talent will be on offer for every taste. To start the weekend on a high note, the Wine Mine at Pacific Street Liquors is holding a free champagne tasting Thurs., Dec. 29 from 4-7 p.m. Fast forward to New Year’s Eve. In Norwood, Two Candles hosts live music beginning at 9 p.m. There’ll also be live music at The Hitchin’ Post.
If outdoor celebrations are more your style, the new ice skating rink at Pig Palace on Summit St. hosts a community gathering this New Year’s Eve. Over in Telluride, the rollicking Holiday Concert Series at the Sheridan Opera House has been carrying on since Tuesday. It continues tonight, Thurs., Jan. 29 through Dec. 31. On tap this evening: American rock and blues artist Justin Townes Earle; on Fri., Dec. 30, bluegrass band Head for the Hills stops by the Sheridan, and on New Year’s Eve, Canned Heat and the Fabulous Thunderbirds will storm the stage. For more info., including ticket prices and show times, go to sheridanoperahouse.com.
If you favor psychedelia, check out Octopus Nebula, which brings its trippy, sonorous sounds to The Llama this Thurs., Dec. 29 at 10 p.m. Prefer reggae? You too are in luck: Sister Carol will be at The Llama this Fri. at 10 p.m. ($15, tickets available at the Wizard and the door). Then hang on for a truly rockin’ New Year’s night. Two local bands –“electro-sonic, dope-a-phonic” The Great Funktier and Joint Point, which claims influences as disparate as Paul Simon, Radiohead, and “Talking Heads to the Grateful Dead,” will welcome the New Year this Sat., Dec. 31 in their home town, with 10 p.m. appearances at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon and The Llama, respectively.
Meanwhile, The Olora Brothers will take the stage at Bubble Lounge. The stage isn’t the only place that lights up this New Year’s Eve, however; the sky will, too. The Annual Torchlight Parade and New Year’s Eve Fireworks commence in Mountain Village at 6:30 p.m., and Telluride’s Countdown to New Year’s Eve takes place from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Colorado Ave. in front of the Courthouse. Events take a slightly more civilized turn at the Ah Haa School, which spotlights its featured artist Judy Hass with a champagne reception, followed by a four-course, wine-paired dinner catered by Eliza Gavin of 221 S. Oak. Music from the Mike Pale Jazz Trio will go down as smoothly as the champagne. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m.; for more info., call 970/728-3886. Speaking of civility, the Hotel Madeline hosts a special New Year’s Eve dinner in its restaurant M’s from 6-10 p.m. (Bar M’s will offer food and drink specials from 3 p.m-1 .m.).
There will be a New Year’s Brunch at M’s the following morning from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more info., contact the hotel at 970/369-0880. Finally, if you’d like a little alchemy to go with the weekend’s many harmonies, check out world-class Illusionist Jason Bishop. He materializes at The Palm Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 (7 p.m. both nights; tickets $33 adults, $25 students at the door), and makes this New Year’s Eve a truly magical night in the mountains.