Several small businesses are hosting events Saturday to help people ring in 2017 in downtown Laramie.
Laramie Main Street Alliance Executive Director Trey Sherwood said she’s pleased with the variety of events.
“There’s a nice variety of venues and types of entertainment happening in the downtown district, and what I love about it is that it’s all walkable,” Sherwood said. “Year-round, downtown is the heartbeat of the community. Ringing in 2017 in the epicenter of Laramie culture seems appropriate.”
No matter what people do to celebrate New Year’s Eve, a Laramie resident is offering a free service in hopes of preventing people from driving intoxicated.
2016 marks the 19th year that A-1 Recovery and Towing owner Shane Swett has offered free rides to anyone who calls him at 760-1213 on New Year’s Eve.
The tradition started after Swett’s wife and A-1 Recovery and Towing co-owner Nicole Candelaria lost her brother in a drunk driving incident.
“He got in the car with someone who was drinking and it cost them both of their lives,” Swett said.
When he started, Swett said he would go to bars or parties to pick up people and tow their vehicle home and give them a ride. For the hundreds of people he expects to call this year, Swett said they won’t even have to think about getting in their cars.
“I’ll pick you and your family up and take you to the bar,” Swett said. “I’ve taken parties of 20 people to the party, they partied, then took them to the bars. We’ll take them anywhere they want to go.”
Swett’s goal this year is ambitious, but it’s achievable.
“One year, we had zero DUIs in Laramie,” he said. “Boy, I’d love to see that again.”
Digest: Keeping it casual
In its first New Year’s Eve since opening, 8 Bytes Game Cafe is inviting residents and visitors to join in on the Business Casual party being hosted at the bar, restaurant and entertainment venue.
In addition to the usual offerings of food served late, a full bar, board games and the arcade, two musical performances and Lunchables eating contest are scheduled.
“We’re hoping to celebrate with everyone that’s supported us with everything thus far,” said co-owner Zac Kelsey.
Kelsey said he’s hoping to entice some people that maybe haven’t explored everything 8 Bytes has to offer.
“Come in an check out the place,” he said. “We have a huge variety of entertainment for the general public.”
DJ Scrumcap is expected to wrap up the night after local band Elk Tongue bring their danceable musical stylings to the event.
“It’s going to be a rootin’, tootin’ good time,” said Seth Linegar, Elk Tongue guitarist.”You don’t have to dress up or anything. Just good, clean fun with lots of good tunes and dancing.”
Digest: Staying open late
For those looking to drink local beer, along with a variety of other offerings, Coal Creek Tap is offering specials and extending hours.
“We’re staying open late to ring in the New Year,” said Rose Curtis, manager at Coal Creek Tap.
From 4 p.m.-midnight, happy hour pricing is applied to all beverages, including wine, cocktails and locally produced beers.
“We will have some party favors and complimentary champagne for a midnight toast,” Curtis said.
And Curtis said the party won’t necessarily have to stop at midnight.
“We are leaving it up to the workers that night how late they want to keep serving post-midnight,” she said.
For residents and visitors that need a coffee or some hair of the dog that bit them, specials are planned to continue into Sunday for New Year’s Day.
“We will have happy hour pricing all day on cappuccinos Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and beer,” Curtis said.
Digest: Spice up the night
It’s expected to be a wild time at the Cowboy Saloon & Dance Hall as the Laramie Burlesque Nonprofit is hosting the Naughty New Year’s Eve Party.
“There will be music, dancing, games and a chance to win prizes,” said Baby Dino, public relations representative of Laramie Burlesque.
In addition to performances by Princess Bubblegum, Queen Elizatis, Iron Angel and more, Dino said special appearances by musical artists John Poland and DJ Shmeeka are scheduled for entertainment.
“Say goodbye to 2016 in style with a balloon drop and $1 Coors Light draft and a free champagne toast at midnight,” Dino said.
Laramie Burlesque are also offering their limited 2017 calendars for sale at the event.
Laramie Burlesque currently consists of about 25 active members who donate their time at local fundraisers, volunteering and performances, Dino said.
“Performers like Princess Bubblegum joined Laramie Burlesque because sexually giving back to the community in a creative way is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in Laramie,” Dino said.
In 2016, Laramie Burlesque donated to veterans, the Carbon County Fire Department, Laramie Reproductive Health, the Albany County Public Library and the Rock River Volunteer Fire Department, she said.
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