New Year's Eve 2011 — Not everyone is going to Seattle for festivities

If Christmas is for the kids, then New Year’s Eve is for the adults.

Cash-filled balloon drops, Mardi Gras games, assorted tapas, and a mechanical bull are some of the goodies that Bremerton and Silverdale businesses are offering to keep residents partying on this side of Puget Sound.

Outshining Seattle on the big night is a challenge, said Rhiannon Hill, a bartender at Chet’s Place in Bremerton.

“I usually can’t talk my friends into staying here,” said Hill. “They’re all hopping on ferries as soon as the sun sets.”

But the hassle of waiting in the cold, catching the right boat, and finding a place to stay for the night has more people looking for options in Bremerton or Silverdale, according to Stacey Anderson, bar manager at McCloud’s Bar and Grill in Bremerton.

New Year’s Eve is one of the highest grossing nights in terms of alcohol sales, she said.

It is also a night of increased drunken driving. According to the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force, 14 motorists were arrested on New Year’s Eve last year for driving under the influence. This year, emphasis patrols for holiday DUIs have already begun.

McCloud’s is looking out for their holiday patrons by making sure a fleet of taxis is at the ready. The bar has made deals with drivers to wait out front for the New Year’s Eve crowd.

“Why go somewhere and have to worry about how to get back and driving?” said Carlos Jara, owner of Toro Lounge in Bremerton. “Stay local, have more fun.”

McCloud’s is known for a raucous good time most days of the year and is a favorite among the Navy crowd, according to Kyle Scribner of Bremerton.

“The scene is everything from redneck to hip hop,” said Scribner. “So there’s something for everyone, and everyone feels comfortable.”

The theme for the New Year’s celebration is “Black & Red,” and attendees are encouraged to dress up in classic party attire in those hues.

“You’ll see some people really go for it in a floor-length ball gown dancing next to someone in cowboy boots,” said Anderson.

According to the bar manager, eclectic is the word at McCloud’s whose patrons range in age from 21 to 70 years old.

Home to a mechanical bull and Jell-O shots, the bar will also feature the traditional champagne toast and a balloon ball drop at midnight. Balloons will be filled with assorted cash prizes, gift certificates from local businesses and other surprises for guests.

Toro Lounge, which opened its doors in July, is celebrating its inaugural New Year’s Eve in Bremerton with a Spanish flair.

Festivities will take on a more elegant tone with a live jazz quintet, sangria at the door, and a three-course tapas dinner included in the price.

“We’re selling 120 tickets for the party,” said Jara. “It’s our first year, so we really don’t know what to expect, but it will be laid back, classic, and fun.”

Beyond the Booze

For those looking for something beyond drinking and dancing, Bremerton’s Admiral Theatre is offering a night filled with jokes.

Performers from the Seattle Comedy Underground will take the stage for a repeat performance of last year’s successful New Year’s lineup. Comedian Jim Short, from Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, will headline.


Those who believe that no New Year’s Eve celebration is complete without a masquerade, are encouraged to show off their Mardi Gras best at Silverdale Beach Hotel.

“Wearing masks and costumes on New Year’s is all the fun,” said Desiree Harrison,  who is in charge of front desk and sales. “Most couples do come dressed up.”

According to Harrison, hotel staff is working to transform its party room into another world, filled with Mardi Gras color.

“It’s a little escape from home, especially for those with children who don’t want to be stuck across the water overnight,” said Harrison. “This way you can get away without going too far.”

The full ticket price includes dinner, midnight snacks, the champagne toast and a suite.

Carnival games will run through the night along with raffles and live music.


McCloud’s Bar and Grill - “Black & Red New Year’s Party”

$10 cover charge per couple, no cover for dinner guests

Toro Lounge - “Tapas New Year’s Party”

$45 pre-sale, $50 at door per person

Admiral Theatre - “New Year’s Eve Comedy Night”

$40 main floor, $25 balcony

Silverdale Beach Hotel - “Mardi Gras New Year’s Party”

$280 per couple overnight; $195 per couple party only; $105 per single party only

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