By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
— Area establishments are gearing up for New Year’s Eve celebrations as residents bid adieu to 2012 and welcome 2013.
“I see a lot of people that are very close to here,” said Brenda Galloway, owner-manager of Lake Erie Beverage on Lake Road in Geneva-on-the-Lake.
“Nobody wants to drive (New Year’s Eve),” Galloway said.
Many people are looking for a night at home with a few adult beverages to celebrate the New Year.
“It is pretty much Bud and Bud Light and this time of year we have the Christmas ales,” she said.
Across the street at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake there will be a variety of party opportunities this evening.
Lodge workers were busy decorating for the Rock Around the Clock event this evening in the main ballroom.
Most rooms are already booked for the event which includes a night’s accommodations, dinner at the main restaurant followed by heavy hors d’oeuvres, a live band and dancing, said Joe Lucas, banquet supervisor.
Mark Judd operates the hotel bar and the lodge and saw a lot of people dressed up for last year’s big event.
“Usually New Year’s Eve they are looking for some Crown Royal or high-end whisky.” he said..
Lucas said 250 people are already signed up for the event with only eight not staying at the lodge. He said there are a few spots available for people hoping to attend but not in need of a room.
He said most of the people attending are Ashtabula County residents looking for a unique evening without having to drive. “We don’t do much advertising. It is mostly word of mouth,” he said.
Many establishments are planning early specials and then closing to get people home at a decent time.
“We are a family owned business and we like to spend time with our family on holidays,” said Dave Froehlich, owner of the Old Mill Winery in Geneva. He said the restaurant will be open till 9 p.m., giving people plenty of time to get home to watch the ball drop.
Quinn’s Bar and Grill on Route 45 in Austinburg Township has a similar plan with specials available from 4 to 9 p.m. featuring lobster and filet mignon. “We kind of close up and have everyone get home,” he said.
Froelich said the Old Mill Winery celebrated the New Year Saturday evening with a special party, complete with party hats. He said the main party is always held on the Saturday closest to New Year’s Eve.
Austinburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center followed a similar plan with a resident New Year’s party Sunday afternoon, complete with non-alcoholic champagne.
“They (the residents) love a party no matter what the day. They love the music; being able to listen to old songs that bring back good memories,” said activities director Cindy Becker.