Area residents make plans to celebrate New Year's Eve

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tiffany Thomas, 25, of Cape Girardeau has plans to "party like a rock star" on New Year's Eve. "We planned it out, but it never goes as planned. And, of course, I have a designated driver."

Thomas, who turns 26 on Jan. 13, considers New Year's Eve the springboard to her birthday. "The only time I drink is in January," she said.

Her plans begin at her cousin's home for drinks at 10 p.m., moving onto the Phat Cat at 11 p.m. where she'll stay until the New Year's countdown and then head back to her cousin's house. She said "by then the party's just getting started."

Partygoers will have several options locally, as bars and other venues around Cape Girardeau will host special New Year's Eve activities. And at least one will help people like Thomas in need of a designated driver -- Schock's Pub in Scott City has made arrangements with the Designated Driver shuttle service to give people at its New Year's Eve party with Drivin' Rain a free ride to and from home.

Most of the action takes place in downtown Cape Girardeau. "We do anticipate a busy night," said Old Town Cape director Marla Mills.

One New Year's Eve party, the celebration at Port Cape Girardeau with Memphis, Tenn., band Interstate 55, has been sold out for weeks. But owner Dennis "Doc" Cain said some openings may come up if someone cancels reservations.

Sit-down restaurants will likely be packed, and some might be totally booked.

Fine-dining restaurant Celebrations is already full for New Year's Eve, one of its busiest nights. The Royal N'Orleans is filling up fast. Other restaurants like Mollie's and Saffron are also booking tables in advance. Managers say some restaurants will take walk-ins, but those customers should expect a wait.

Some, like Bella Italia, don't even take reservations, except for people renting out their banquet rooms.

"Being on a Monday, it may not be as hard to get a reservation as people think," manager Susan Smith said.

Some locals don't have to worry about reservations at local restaurants or crowds at local parties.

Johnna Cutrell, 24, and Brigitte Neighbors, 22, both of Cape Girardeau, have plans to attend the Onething Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

"We've been planning for it since last year," said Cuttrell, who is a cousin of Neighbors. With seating for more than 10,000 people available, the conference is held at Bartle Hall for three days, beginning today. Cutrell was looking forward to the prophetic worship session. "Prophetic worship is a new area. It's all about letting God speak to his children," Cutrell said. She said she spent last New Year's Eve watching fireworks in St. Louis. Neighbors went to a Christian battle of the bands.

Others are just staying home. Cape Girardeau city councilwoman Deb Tracy said she was having guests for New Year's Eve.

"We're thrilled to have our Japanese friends that live in St. Charles come spend New Year's Eve playing games and cooking. It's always fun with children around. They have two daughters, one in fifth and one in third grade," she said. She wasn't sure what they'd cook yet, maybe French pepper steaks. "My son, Clint, is a Jan. 1 baby, and usually we're preparing for an open house on New Year's Day, but we'll probably have a small birthday party," she said.

Dorothy Points of Cape Girardeau said her plans included spending New Year's Eve with her three great-grandchildren for the first time. "I've gone to their baptisms but haven't been able to spend the holidays with them," she said. She will stay with her daughter, Carol Krueger-Adams of Tennessee, formerly of Cape Girardeau, over the New Year's holiday.

Val Tuschhoff of Jackson said she and her husband will do what they've done for the last decade. "We always do the dance at the Elks Lodge. We still party."

Her husband, Norman, has been in the Country Touch band for 50 years, and that's where they play on New Year's Eve.

"The dance is at 8, we stop at 10 for a meal and then dance to midnight," she said. Tuschhoff prepares barbecued food, smoked pork shoulders and turkey breasts, meatballs and little smokies among other things, for the dance.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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