Despite having no fireworks and no outdoor event downtown at the clock tower this year, there are still plenty of things to do and ways for families and individuals to enjoy New Year’s Eve in Tillsonburg.
To begin the night, the first free public skate on New Year’s Eve is taking place from 7-9 p.m. Monday at the Tillsonburg Community Centre.
“It’s open to the public and it’s free of charge,” said Brad Slade, program coordinator at the Tillsonburg Community Centre. “It’s a great opportunity to come out with the family and it’s open to kids of all ages. There’s skate aids for those families that want a skate aid for their young one or for anybody that needs a little help skating.”
The event is being held in the Kinsmen/Memorial Arena and is sponsored by Frank Cowan Company Ltd., an insurance company in Princeton. Families must bring their own skates and all are encouraged to wear helmets on the ice for safety reasons.
Bryce Sibbick, regional manager for Frank Cowan Company Ltd. said they agreed to sponsor the public skate after Tillsonburg Parks and Recreation director Rick Cox contacted them.
“We’re really happy to do this,” said Sibbick. “Rick Cox sent us a request and I thought this would be a great opportunity for Frank Cowan Company Ltd. There may be other things that they’re going to do as well to make it a fun night for everybody.
“This is going to be a great event - we’re very hopeful that we’ll get a good attendance out. We realize that there aren’t any fireworks this year so this will give the kids something to do New Year’s Eve night.”
For those wishing to dine out on the last day of 2012, several local restaurants are hosting a New Year’s Eve menu, but not all places have openings. The Mill Tales Inn has a New Year’s Eve dinner planned from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. but is completely booked and has no spots available. The Bridges at Tillsonburg and Niko’s Eatery & Bar are both open for service in the evening – the Bridges has a special New Year’s Eve buffet dinner with sittings at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. - some seats may still be available but people are advised to call ahead at (519) 842-4142 to confirm or reserve a table. Niko’s in downtown Tillsonburg welcomes reservations for meals from its regular menu, at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Adults looking to hit the dance floor can enjoy a New Year’s Eve dance at the Tillsonburg Soccer Club banquet hall at 275 Quarter Town Line.
The evening will feature music by a DJ, party favours, door prizes and a late lunch served later in the evening.
“We did it last year for the U14 boy’s team and this year the dance is a fundraiser for two teams – it’s for the U14 girls and the U15 boys (soccer) teams,” said co-organizer Jeannine Richter. “We figured we’d hold a fundraiser and that will give us enough money to cover gym rentals during the winter season, we purchase new soccer bags, we purchase equipment for training and start-up money for tournaments.”
The dance begins at 8 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m. Tickets for the 2nd annual New Year’s Eve dance are $15 and must be bought in advance.
“We will provide champagne for the toast at midnight and we have some door prizes too,” said Richter. “I think it’s a great event for a reasonable price. Last year we had a very good response and judging from last years’ experience, I think people will have a great time.”
For more information or tickets call (519) 842-2081.