January 1st, 2013 fast approaching! New Year’s Eve is just over one week away – time to decide what you’re going to be doing on the big night. If you’re hoping to get reservations for dinner somewhere, get a hotel room, or head to a planned party, make your reservations now. There are ticketed and non-ticketed events happening all over town. Here are a few celebrations that we think are fantastic traditions:

Have a Celebratory Dinner:

The Atlantic Hotel & Drummer’s Café: The Hotel Atlantic is hosting a New Year’s Eve event in their Victorian decorated hotel, café, and ballroom. Seatings are available for parties of 2 – 20 at several different times throughout the evening. The Atlantic Ballroom seats up to 125 people.  A live pianist will be playing in the cozy, majestic ballroom. The grand piano, normally located in the bar area, is older than the hotel itself. Because seating is limited, reservations are highly recommended. The New Year’s menu will be the same menu as usual, with no additional charges for dining on New Year’s Eve. Berlin’s New Year’s Eve Celebration and ball drop begin, just outside of the hotel, at 10:30 pm. Save seats for your party by calling 410-641-3589.
The Starboard: Dewey Beach’s hottest spot for entertainment is hosting a New Year’s Eve Party on Saturday night. From 7 pm – 1 am, entertainment will be provided by a local DJ, a seafood and beef buffet will be available, and champagne will be served. The creative and casual event costs $29.99 per person. Tickets can be purchased on the Starboard’s website.
The Globe Theater: Berlin’s Globe Theater will be open until 2 am on New Year’s Eve. There is no cover to hang out at the Copper Top bar or dine at the Globe on the celebratory day. The 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration will take place just a few steps away from the theater. Reservations, booked in 2-hour blocks, can be made prior to New Year’s. Visit the Globe’s website for more information.
The Shark on the Harbor: The Shark, in West Ocean City, is turning New Year’s Eve into a Wild, Wild West Extravaganza. The dinner party begins at 9:30 pm and includes a 7-course meal; Amuse, appetizer, soup, salad, fish, meat, and dessert. For $85, each attendee will enjoy the celebratory dinner, leave with party favors, dance to Opposite Directions, and participate in a champagne toast at midnight. An option to upgrade to a Gold Package is available. The Gold Package costs $110 per person and includes everything mentioned earlier plus an open bar until 1 am. The open bar, with drinks delivered to your table, includes beer, wine and premium cocktails. Regular dinner reservations are available on New Year’s Eve until 7 pm. For reservations, call 410-213-0924.

Watch the Ball Drop:

Berlin Ball Drop: Berlin, MD takes cue from the world-famous Times Square ball drop and recreates a similar atmosphere on New Year’s Eve. The square of Berlin will be filled with folks who want to see the shiny silver ball drop at midnight. Dancing in the streets, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages will be sold the bars off of Main Street, food stands, refreshments of all sorts, and live entertainment will make for an unforgettable New Years. Horse and carriage rides will be available and take guests on a tour of town beginning at 8 pm.
Princess Anne Muskrat Drop: The first-ever New Year’s Eve Street Party will fill the streets of downtown Princess Anne on December 31st. Starting at 9 pm, guests can enjoy live entertainment from local bands, musicians, and DJs. The Princess Anne fire department has chosen to lower a local, semi-aquatic rodent that inhabits nearby marshes to represent their community. A stuffed and preserved muskrat, on loan from the MD Department of Natural Resources, will be lowered from the back of a fire truck. The muskrat will be a site to see on Saturday night – top hat, bowties, and even gloves.
Easton Crab Drop: Easton residents will be ringing in the new year during the Celebration of the Arts on Saturday evening. Dancers will perform, puppet shows will take place, live music, fun crafts, and children’s events will be available. For the 6th year in a row, a giant red crab will be lowered as the clock strikes midnight and the new year rings. The giant steamed red crab will fall at 9 pm, for the kiddos, and at midnight, for the adults. More than 1,500 people attended the event last year and took pleasure in watching the beloved crustacean celebrate the New Year.
**Don’t forget to plan your ride home! If you plan to drink this New Year’s Eve, be sure to make a plan to get home safely. Don’t drink and drive. Free public bus service will be provided on New Year’s Eve to everyone ringing in the new year within the municipal limits of Ocean City, MD. Free bus service will be available from 6 am on New Year’s Eve until 6 am on New Year’s Day. Bus service will be offered every 30 minutes. Busses will follow normal routes. For more information about bus services, call 410-723-1606.

Check out the Fireworks:

Winterfest of Lights: Ocean City will be hosting a New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show at Northside Park to celebrate the beginning of 2013 and the 20th Annual Winterfest of Lights. The fireworks display, which will begin promptly at midnight, will be accompanied by live entertainment, warm hot chocolate, and the opportunity to ride the Winterfest of Lights. This family-friendly event will allow visitors to travel through the winter paradise of lights and then listen to music by DJ Kutt as they wait for the countdown to midnight.

Stay Somewhere Cozy:

Fager’s Island: If you’re planning a little getaway for the new year, kick up your heels and relax at Fager’s beautiful Lighthouse Club or The Edge. Fager’s Island has put together a New Year’s Eve Party Package that consists of a 2-night luxurious suite at a Fager’s property, a champagne reception, a fine dining dinner for two, a dance party featuring live bands and a DJ, and a midnight champagne toast. Prices for the package range from $750 – $999 per couple per suite. Fager’s Island Nightclub will be open to guests who are not staying on the property on New Year’s Eve, also. Call 410-524-5400 to claim your suite.
Howard Johnson: Ring in 2012 at Ocean City’s Howard Johnson Plaza on New Year’s Eve. The Howard Johnson’s New Year’s Package includes a one or two night stay, dinner for two at Brothers Bistro restaurant, and a party to celebrate. Dinner consists of a selection off of a special menu with a side dish and a tasty dessert. A live band will perform from 9 pm – 1 am. Drink specials will be offered at the bar as well as a free champagne toast at midnight. New Year’s Packages cost $239 – $309 per couple.
Clarion Fontainebleau: The Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel is one of the finest hotels in all of Ocean City. The luxurious hotel is offering an oceanview accommodation package for New Year’s. The New Year’s package also includes tickets to the New Year’s Eve Gala in the Clarion’s ballroom. Keep in mind, that the fireworks that will be set off at Northside Park’s Winterfest of Lights can be seen from the Clarion’s garage deck. Set your sights on dazzling fireworks as the clock strikes midnight. Party tickets can be purchased separately for $145 each. Call 1-800-638-2100 to save your spot now.

The Next Morning:

Hair of the Dog 5k/10k: On Sunday, January 1st, a group of over 300 participants will prance into the new year during Bethany Beach’s Hair of the Dog race. The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation is hosting a 5k and a 10k open to all ages. Registration occurs on the morning of and begins at 8 am. Runners will follow a course through Bethany and on the boardwalk. Registered and leashed dogs are welcome as well as baby strollers meant for running.
Fenwick Freeze: The 9th annual Fenwick Freeze will plunge into the new year on Sunday morning. Registration for the frigid event occurs between 9 and 10 am. The swim starts at 10:30 am and will happen rain or shine. Swimmers should meet on the beach at Bayard Street and bring some warm clothes.
Penguin Swim: The Atlantic General Hospital’s Penguin Swim will take place at 1 pm on the beach in front of the Princess Royale in north Ocean City on January 1st. Wash out the previous year by rinsing off in the freezing ocean water. The Penguin Swim is held each year to raise money for the not-for profit Berlin hospital. Register for the event by calling 410-641-9644.