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Want a cheaper way to ring in the new year?
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Donald Waara holds a bottle of inexpensive sparkling wine while sorting through a display of wines at Vine & Cheese on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. Ringing in the new year doesn’t have to break the bank. - photo by Tom Reed

Honoring the 'Mother of God'

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New Year's Eve celebrations

Chicken Drop New Year’s Eve Bash

  • What: Dance music, hors d’oeuvres, balloon drop, breakfast buffet and champagne toast. Cash bar. Reservations recommended. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Ticket prices: $30 per person, $220 for a table of eight.
  • Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St. NE, Gainesville.
  • More info: 770-531-2394; www.jbjams.com


AJ’s Fun Food & Friends

  • What: Stealing 3rd will be performing at 9:30 p.m. and the cover charge will benefit Jim Eller. Champagne toast at midnight.
  • Where: AJ’s Fun Food & Friends, 322 Spring St., Gainesville
  • More info: 770-287-3030


American Legion

  • What: Music and dancing from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. For couples or singles. Business or dressy attire. $15 cover charge.
  • Where: American Legion, 2343 Riverside Drive, Gainesville.
  • More info: oldfashionedgagirl@yahoo.com


The Dam Bar New Year’s Eve Party

  • What: The Mike Veal Band will perform and at midnight there will be a champagne toast. $10 cover after 9 p.m. which includes champagne, party favors and hors d’oeuvres.
  • Where: The Dam Bar, 3280 McEver Road, Buford
  • More info: 678-546-7535


Grapes and Hops Bar & Bistro

  • What: Andre Bennett & Company will perform. Seatings start at 5 p.m. and are $65 per person.
  • Where: Grapes and Hops Bar & Bistro, 4856 Hog Mountain Road, Flowery Branch
  • More info: 770-965-9145


New Year’s Eve at Scott’s

  • What: A 6:30 p.m. dinner is $65 per person; entertainment by jazz guitarist Walter Biel. The 8:30 p.m. seating is $75 per person and features Eddie Daniel and The Ringerz.
  • Where: Scott’s on the Square, 110 Main St., Gainesville
  • More info: 770-536-1111 or www.scottsonthesquare.com


Wild Wing Cafe

  • What: Evening entertainment by 7 By Seven.
  • Where: Wild Wing Cafe, 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville
  • More info: 770-536-9177


Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

  • What: Activities for kids featuring magic with Jeff McClure. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. $8 per person for admission.
  • Where: Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, 999 Chestnut St., Gainesville.
  • More info: 770-536-1900


An Evening at Montaluce

  • What: A night of dinner, dancing and a Prosecco toast at midnight. A multicourse dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Black tie optional and reservations are requested. $85 per person includes one complimentary glass of Prosecco; $100 per person includes one complimentary bottle of wine per couple
  • Where: Montaluce Estates and Vineyard, 501 Hightower Church Road, Dahlonega
  • More info: 706- 867-4060 or www.montaluce.com


Lawrenceville Rings

  • What: Live bands, magic shows, face painting, rock climbing wall and fireworks. 7 p.m. to midnight
  • Where: Downtown Lawrenceville.
  • More info: 678-226-2639


Peach Drop New Year’s Eve Celebration

  • What: Free event featuring inflatable jumping toys, basketball throw, face painting and balloon art during the day. Singer Julianne Hough, fireworks and Peach Drop at midnight.
  • When: Noon to 4 a.m.
  • Where: Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St. SW, Atlanta.
  • More info: 404-523-2311

With New Year’s Eve just a week after Christmas, no doubt many will be looking for economical ways to celebrate the holiday.

Though New Year’s Eve typically conjures up ritzy images of champagne and tuxedos, a holiday get-together doesn’t have to be expensive.

Donald Waara of Vine & Cheese on Thompson Bridge Road said a good quality champagne or sparkling wine to toast the new year doesn’t have to be expensive.

One of his top sellers is a bottle of sparkling wine from New Mexico called Domaine St. Vincent.

"I’m selling it for $12.99, and I’d value it at twice that," Waara said. "This is as rich and full bodied as a white wine can be."

The cheapest bottles on the market go for under $5, but Waara said cheap, mass-produced sparkling wines are low quality and can cause headaches.

"I know everybody’s on a budget, but you can get good bottles for under $10," Waara said.

Waara said less expensive bottles from Spain, France or Italy likely will be good quality.

Another good way to make a New Year’s Eve celebration festive without breaking the bank is decorations.

Maria Ramos, a supervisor at Party City on Dawsonville Highway, said balloons are an inexpensive way to decorate for a party.

"It’s very decorative and I guess fun," Ramos said about balloons, which cost $8.99 per dozen at Party City. "A lot of people get a lot of balloons."

Another way to save is to take advantage of after-Christmas sales.

"We usually have a lot of sales," Ramos said. "You can put a party together without spending too much."

Party City also sells party packs, which include hats and noise makers in bulk. Each item costs about 79 cents.

There are also some inexpensive events happening on New Year’s Eve.

Those willing to drive can hit the free Peach Drop New Year’s Eve Celebration in Atlanta. The event takes place from noon Dec. 31 to 4 a.m. Jan. 1 at Underground Atlanta.

There also are a number of New Year’s Eve celebrations going on in Gainesville. They range in price from $10 per person cover charge at The Dam Bar New Year’s Eve Party in Buford to $100 per person for an Evening at Montaluce in Dahlonega. Both events include a toast at midnight, though the Evening at Montaluce event features Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and a multicourse dinner.

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