First Night, Night Lights, and Hangovers: New Year’s Eve Revelry, Both Low-key and Loud

Filed in Local Events, Things To Do by on December 31, 2009 0 Comments

For the second year in a row, inclement weather is threatening to prevent Boston’s New Years fireworks display from lighting up the harbor.

Though the morning’s heavy snow tapered off by mid-afternoon, more snow is forecast overnight and through tomorrow. The snow is not projected to accumulate beyond a mere dusting, yet the very presence of snow is cause for concern. Any amount of precipitation could halt the fireworks from launching, and even if the display does go off as planned, swirling snow would make viewing it almost impossible from a distance; at best, revelers trying to view the spectacle from rooftops far from the harbor will see only hazy Technicolor blobs in the distance.

Perhaps I’m worrying too much about a teensy part of the overall New Year’s celebration. Last year’s fireworks fiasco, when extreme winds and inch-thick ice cancelled the entire display, has been creeping into my consciousness every time a friend asks where we’ll be watching from this year. The unexpected cancellation quickly extinguished waning interest in the holiday last year; we hadn’t thought to consult the Internet on whether fireworks would still happen, so around midnight we carefully crowded onto the sloping, iced-over roof, frigid weather be damned, and waited nearly a half hour before realizing the sky would stay dark. Our spirits sagging in unison with our champagne-weighted eyelids, we then called it an early night.

For now, I’m taking comfort in the fact that First Night is still in full swing, despite the weather. The fireworks are to cap off the festivities, and I’m hoping that with everything else still happening, so too will they.

As for First Night, there is still time to catch some of the events as you ring in the New Year. Live music, theater, and art exhibits are going on from Copley to the Common and all across the city.

For the more alcoholically minded, there’s always the option of dropping into any of Boston’s plentiful bars, or just drinking around the home. New Years is, along with Saint Patrick’s Day, one of the few times when it is not only accepted but actually encouraged to drink to excess; booze is to New Years what candy is to Halloween. And, as a bonus, any poor decisions made while thoroughly intoxicated can be written off the next day—“This year, I resolve to never do that again.”

Whatever you do, do it with relish. Gather your best friends, devise a winning plan, and enjoy yourself, even if the night is a made-up holiday of self-indulgence. At the least, New Years is the perfect night to spend with that special someone, what with the traditional midnight kiss. And as for that midnight kiss, if you’re like me then you won’t need the city’s fireworks at midnight; you’ll already be making some of your own.

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