It’s time to start planning how to celebrate the New Year. Since it falls in the middle of the week, some people will opt to spend it at home, even though New Year’s Day is a holiday for most people. A number of local establishments will offer live music or karaoke. There are also options for a fancy dinner, or entertainment which includes a food buffet or potluck.
Having a small gathering of close friends in your home doesn’t take intense organization and can be pulled together on short notice. Make the appetizers potluck and let your guests contribute to the festivities. A few simple things like a cold-cut platter, chips and dips, a cheese and cracker board and veggies with dip are things you, as the host, can pick up at the store. Try to get a list of dishes from your guests so nothing is duplicated.
If you want to make your food a bit more exotic, smoked salmon on toast points with sour cream and dill or pesto and mozzarella crostini is an option.
Don’t send your guests out on the road if they’ve had too much to drink. Integrity Taxi service opened here Dec. 9 and a ride is available by calling 751-1111.
The other option is to keep the appetizers light and offer a breakfast buffet or a midnight supper before your friends head home.
Food Network’s Ina Garten has a program titled “Barefoot Contessa.” Garten’s programming covers all things entertaining, where she draws on her years of catering to help the viewer get through hosting a party with little fuss. Her advice for setting up a bar is to include white and red wine, vodka, whiskey, rum, simple mixers plus sour mix, leave the garnishes in the pantry and only bring limes, lemons, oranges and olives to the party. Glass or plastic is optional, and trash receptacles are a must.
If your Christmas decorations are still up, you don’t need to worry about the house. Add party hats and squeakers for the big moment and a couple of bottles of champagne can be opened for the final toast.
Entertainment for the evening can be a hurdle, especially if your guests don’t know each other well. Keep the party lively with games. Several websites have lists of games for adults, which facilitate getting to know each other or just having some light-hearted fun. Use the keywords “party games for adults” to bring up the top sites. Some of the suggestions begin as your friends come through the door.
The web is also the place to find simple appetizer recipes.
Should you decide to go out, the Pahrump Valley Times has tried to round up a list of choices.
For live music:
Eric Stillman, a local guitarist, will play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Off 160 Coffee House, 1330 S. Highway 160.
Lil Elmo &the Cosmos will start the party at 8 p.m. at the Pahrump Nugget Stagebar Lounge.
Hard Rain will be on stage from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Longstreet Inn &Casino, Highway 373, Amargosa Valley. The Longstreet has a steak and lobster dinner special for $29.95 and rooms are still available if you book for a two-night stay.
Cole and Matt Reeves, 8 p.m. to midnight, tickets are $20, Maverick Saloon &Dance Hall, 340 E. Mesquite Ave. The Maverick will be serving ham, black-eye peas and cornbread as well.
Pablo Tecopa and the Dusty Butter Band, and Craig Hill and Yestyn Griffith will be on stage beginning at 3 p.m. at Tecopa Hot Springs Resort, Tecopa, Calif.
A couple of bars are brining in karaoke for New Year’s Eve. The entertainment will begin at 8 p.m. at both the Stagestop Lounge &Casino, 100 Stagecoach Road, and the Bounty Hunter, East and Second streets. Both bars will also offer potluck munchies and drawings.
Dinner service at the Pahrump Nugget’s Stockman’s Steakhouse is booked solid as is Symphony’s Restaurant at the Pahrump Valley Winery.
The Pahrump Nugget will offer the customary champagne toast.
Mountain Falls Grill Room is taking reservations for a steal of a deal. The restaurant will offer a 10-ounce prime rib with a choice of starch, vegetables, dinner rolls and a choice of soup or salad for $9.99. The bar will serve $1 domestic draft from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 537-6553 for reservations.
The VFW is hosting a steak dinner to benefit the veterans’ food pantry. Steak, baked potato, green beans and dessert are included with the $25 ticket price. Call 727-6072 for reservations. Music and karaoke will be from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Unfortunately, none of the Mexican restaurants will be open New Year’s Day to serve menudo, a sworn cure for a hangover.