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Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Guerneville

Monday, December 17th, 2012 | Posted by | no responses

Brulee at Main Street Station

Brulee at Main Street Station

If you can imagine a hip Parisian cabaret, illuminati and Bohemians mesmerized by the silky sounds of a polished jazz quintet, alluring blonde sitting, legs crossed on the piano,  weaving a web of enchantment and mystery, intimate conversations punctuated with the bell-like tinkling of champagne glasses – and if you’d like to be in this tableau instead of on the outside looking in, you might consider dropping by Main Street Station on New Years Eve.
Brulee, will be there making music, and usually a duo, on this night they will perform as a quintet.
If you could taste Brulee’s sets as well as listen to them you might understand why they’re named after a rich custard topped with caramelized sugar.
In another life, Julie Weiner nee Lester has been an R.N. and health educator, and as an  actress/dancer, one of River Repertory Theater’s brightest lights. Now she’s Julie Crystel, accomplished Chanteuse and a smooth, hip and polished spell binder.
Keyboardist Doug Onstad, known as the other half of Brulee, records and mentors singer-songwriters in his studio, Owl Productions, and has investigated  pop tunes, movie themes, and the standard classical fare of Bach, Beethoven,  Chopin and Rachmaninoff  since he began lessons at the age of eight on a baby Grand, but what he really got into was stride piano. On this night, Julie and Doug will be joined by Don Watanabe on bass, Gus Garelick on violin and Alec Axt on percussion, producing diverse and well-rounded sounds to listen and dance to.
Main Street Station will feature balloons, party favors and Champagne enough to toast New Years Eve in New York at 9 p.m., Chicago and Denver at 10 and 11 p.m., and in Guerneville at Midnight.
If you’d like to toast New Years Eve in Paris at 3 p.m. PST you’re welcome to start your own N.Y. Eve party earlier but the music begins at Main Street Station at 7:30 p.m.
There’s also a varied menu and a full bar, and the price is $15 per person or $25 per couple and includes a bottle of Champagne. Brulee has developed a loyal following and Reservations are recommended.

Hogmanay fireballs

Hogmanay Hootenany featuring The Fargo Brothers at Guerneville Vets Memorial Hall.
A Hogmanay (Scottish for ‘last day of the year) Hootenany will be held on New Years Eve at the Guerneville Veterans Memorial Hall, currently under the management of River to Coast Children’s Services. Starring the Fargo Brothers (who have been practicing for this for 30 years and have 3000 performances under their collective belts!), there will also be dancing, a champagne toast and a light breakfast will be served. A bar will be available and the $25 admission will benefit the Vets Hall. The celebration will be from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Scotsman David Cameron of R.C.C.S. put it together and word is he’s a Hogmanay scholar.
The word Hogmanay has roots in either French, Norse, Goidelic (or Gaelic) and was first recorded in the Elgin Records in 1604. It is written that  “It is ordinary among some plebeians in the South of Scotland to go about from door to door upon New-years Eve, crying Hagmane”
There are customs attached to Hogmanay. both local and national, including the popular national practice of first-footing which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbor and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt, coal, shortbread, whiskey (ouisce) or fruitcake, all of which will bring different kinds of luck to the householder. The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.

Fargo Brothers

Another local practice native to northeast Scotland is fireball swinging. ‘Balls’ of chicken wire filled with old newspaper, sticks, rags, up to two feet in diameter are attached to a non-flammable rope or chain and as the Old Town House bell sounds to mark the new year, the balls are set alight and the swingers set off up the street  swinging the burning balls around their heads as they go and eventually casting them into the harbor. 12,000 people enjoyed this event in Edinburgh some five years ago.

Hogmanay Fireworks in Edinburgh

Other regional Hogmanay celebrations include torchlight processions, carrying a decorated herring and baking special cakes for the children. Of course the old year is piped out with bagpipes, the livestock are blessed and magic water from a ‘dead and living ford’ is sprinkled around houses after which burning juniper branches are carried around the house causing much coughing and sneezing until doors and windows are flung open and everyone passes whiskey bottles around and sits down to the first breakfast of the New Year.
David Cameron, manager of the Vets hall came up with the idea for a Hogmanay and although he promises a lively affair, he hasn’t disclosed what kind of surprises he’s hiding under his kilt.

Guerneville Vets Hall. First Street, Guerneville.


Free Fun and Treats at R3 Resort
The indomitable and ever lively R3 Hotel is hosting a FREE New Years Eve party and considering every night at the R3 is a party, you can expect something extra-special. They’re calling it “Reflections” The Red Party and if Sen, Joe (“Tailgunner Joe) McCarthy were with us, you can be sure the name alone would motivate him to bring his “untouchables” by and wait “till the ball drops.”

One of 75 Disco Balls

Speaking of balls, the R3 will feature 75 “Disco Balls” all with dozens of tiny mirrors which will be reflecting green and red laser lights, so if you have a physical condition which may be aggravated by this flashing staccato polychrome spectacle you might want to take measures to reduce its impact.

You’ll have a chance to air your tonsils courtesy of Country Dan Hartman, the Karaoke King, there will be an abundance of nosherei (appetizers), party favors, champagne toasts and videos appropriate for a celebratory evening.

All of this is free and since you may choose to let loose, you might want to check for room availability, The ever-popular Rodger Jensen, the Driving Wheel who keeps the R3 tracking along with hospitality, joy and good will, is going to be

Bob St. Clair and Rodger Jensen at the R3

undergoing surgery early in 2013 and you might want to drop by and wish him well.
Where: R3 on Fourth and Mill Streets, Guerneville
When: Monday, December 31, 9 p.m. until you hear nothing but snoring.


The Rio Nido Roadhouse, a bastion of fine entertainment and community service is celebrating the dawning of 2013 with The Billy Mac All Stars featuring Bill McCubbin, Billy Rivera, Ron Lacey, and Chris Pimentel.  They’re also known as Billy Mac and the Fog which lends itself to a variety of interpretations.
Far from novices, these seasoned musicians have played with Bobby Darin, The Drifters, The Coasters, Eric Burdon, Little Anthony, Glen Campbell, all of whom can afford to be picky. The band will begin playing at 9 p.m. but the fun and festivities will start lighting up the evening earlier.
For  $25 you may enjoy all-you-can-eat appetizers, Champagne (bubbles

Rio Nido Roadhouse

included), dance the night away and be served breakfast after Midnight.
The Roadhouse, known for its warmth, hospitality and relaxed atmosphere, also has big-screen TVs which will help you ring in the New Year in a variety of prime locations as the evening progresses.
When: 8 p.m., December 31 until everyone is done partying
Where: 14540 Canyon Two, just off River Road, Rio Nido

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