Those who will be celebrating New Year’s Eve in the Buffalo, New York area have plenty of options to choose from, including family events, parties and ball drops. Here’s a sampling of some of these events.
First Night Buffalo, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin St. in downtown Buffalo, is the area’s biggest drug- and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration, with family activities throughout the evening. Tickets are $8 in advance at WNY Wegmans stores, children 2 and under are free; tickets will be $10 at the door. From there, head over to the Buffalo Ball Drop, beginning at 10:30 p.m. at the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo. The free event, in its 25th year, will feature live music throughout the night and the ball drop and fireworks display at midnight.
If you’re in the mood for some music, head to the Hard Rock Café New Year’s Eve Guitar Drop, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Hard Rock Café Niagara Falls USA, 333 Prospect St. in Niagara Falls. The fourth annual Guitar Drop features a free outdoor concert from Everclear with special guests Eve 6 and The Albrights. Food and beverages will be available on the street and in the 103.3 The EDGE heated Party Tent, open to the general public.
Those looking for a big party can check out the New Year’s Eve Masquerade beginning at 8:30 p.m. at acQua, 2192 Niagara St. in Buffalo. Admission includes four hours of open bar (9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.), music, hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast and midnight buffets. General admission tickets are $80 (limited seating or standing room), and VIP passes are available for $120 (guaranteed seat, private food stations, waitress service and private bar).
If you’re looking for something with an ethnic flair, check out A Polka New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Millennium Hotel Buffalo, 2040 Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga. The party will feature music from the Polka Country Musicians and the Bedrock Boys. Packages ($229 and $259 per couple, including room) include food, five hours of open bar, music and a champagne toast at midnight. Another themed event is the Leid Back New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Rd. in Depew. The Manor will become a tropical paradise with a pig roast and buffet, limbo contest and music from Whirlin’ Disc Sound. Tickets are $85 per person, and packages are available at the nearby Comfort Suites. Call 716-684-8850 for more information.
More family fun can be found at the Gateway Harbor Ball Drop, beginning at 6 p.m. at Gateway Harbor Canal Park in the Tonawandas. Family activities include two alcohol-free kids’ fun zones and a merchant scavenger hunt, along with music from High Horse in the heated tent on Sweeney St. along with food vendors. For the 21-and-over crowd, there’s a Pub Crawl through Tonawanda and North Tonawanda ($10 pre-sale, $15 day of event).