Kelowna prepares for 11th hour of (2000 and) 11th year

Deciding how to spend New Year's Eve can be difficult, but Kelowna is offering a number of options for bidding adieu to 2011.

Depending on who you are, the perfect New Year’s Eve may have various forms.

Some ideal end of year celebrations may involve a family member semicircle around a TV screen, a Times Square ball drop, the banging of pots and pans and squealing of noise makers.

Others might fancy a quiet evening, a glass of wine and a good book, with no concern of where the hands might be facing on the clock.

Some like to host parties with friends; others like to attend parties hosted by friends.

And then there are those who like to put on their nicest clothes, hit the town and spend the final evening of the calendar year with a few friends and hundreds of strangers.

Those who plan to migrate from the confines of the living room will have an added challenge of choosing an event that will satisfy their New Year’s Eve desires.

For those who are fond of tradition, a good option might be the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club’s New Year’s Dinner and Dance.

Club president Emilio Nanci said that the event has run for over 40 years.

“I think we’ve done it almost every year since we’ve been a club. We just celebrated our 45th (anniversary), so I would say around 42 or 43 years anyways,” said Nanci.

The event will be held at Parkinson Recreation Centre, with cocktails being served at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a dance at 9 p.m.

Many 2011 Kelowna New Year’s Eve events are brand new. Nanci said he didn’t know why the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club’s New Year’s party has been so successful.

“We (have) food that people are satisfied with, I guess,” said Nanci, with a chuckle.

“We’ve had our ups and downs too. Sometimes we have 200, sometimes 150.”

The good food will come in the form of a buffet, featuring: Roast chicken, olive oil poached tuna, spinach, walnut and ricotta cannelloni, stuffed potatoes and a green salad.

The evening’s music will come from The New Vintage Band, and will run until 1 a.m.

Nanci said that there are still tickets available. They cost $65 and can be picked up at Mediterranean Market.

For those who are still in the giving frame of mind, there is an event that is attempting to combine fun with raising money for a good cause.

Countdown for the Cure New Year’s Eve Party is a brand new fundraiser being put on by local residents who are involved with the B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer.

According to organizer Jessica Fipke, the B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer, which was last held in June 2011, is a two-day, 260 km trek from Vancouver to Seattle.

Fipke said that the New Year’s Eve event has nothing to do with the ride; however, funds raised will go to the same good cause.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done this type of event. Me and my co-organizer decided, ‘Let’s do something fun.’ A lot of people don’t know what to do on New Year’s,” said Fipke.

The event starts at 8 p.m. and features a live DJ and silent auction.

Tickets cost $50 and all money raised will go to the Ride to Conquer Cancer, which will benefit the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

Tickets include one free drink, appetizers and champagne at midnight. The dress code is “cocktail.”

Fipke said that they’ve done a fairly good job of getting word out and selling a few tickets; however, she is hoping that there will be a number of last-minute ticket sales.

To purchase tickets for the event, visit

Fipke is optimistic that, if successful, this event could turn into an annual occurrence.

“We would love to see how this goes and we would like to do more fundraisers throughout the year. We just want to do something different,” said Fipke.

Some prefer to get away and escape the busyness of the city. Big White Ski Resort is always a popular venue to do just that.

Lowering their minimum night requirements over holidays, visitors now are only required to book for three nights if they want to stay at Big White on New Year’s Eve.

The resort’s Kettle Valley Steak House will feature a five course feast with music provided by Manfred Harter. Party favours and a celebratory glass of champagne will be included in the special evening.

The four course meal is $65, or $95 with wine pairing.

Visit for more information.

There are even Kelowna gatherings for those who aren’t a fan of the classic New Year’s Eve clichés.

Lake City Bowl and Billiards is offering a unique alternative for locals who gag at visions of classy attire, glasses of bubbly and midnight kisses.

New Year’s Evil will feature heavy metal acts from Alberta and beyond. The Order of Chaos, Reverend Kill, Slagduster and Cast into Ashes will scream guests out of December and into the new year.

For more information, e-mail

No matter how you plan to spend your New Year’s Eve, there is likely something for everyone in the Kelowna area. Below are a few more options of how to spend the last evening of 2011:

– Bonfire Grill at the Cove will host a five course meal, along with champagne at midnight, for $60 per person. The evening will feature jazz musician Ellen Churchill.

– Minstrel Cafe and Bar will feature the Poppa Dawg Blues Band while guests indulge in a four course dinner. Champagne will be provided at midnight and a prize will be given out for the best dancer. The cost is $75 per person.

– Dinner, dancing and gambling are the themes of Cabana Bar and Grille’s New Year’s Eve party. DJ Phunky Phil will play hits from every era. Tickets for the dinner, dance and casino are $110. After party tickets are $40.

– Located within the Prestige Hotel, Avenue is offering a package for $50 per person (based on double occupancy) that includes VIP tickets to Avenue with champagne and appetizers at the countdown, a $5 drink certificate to Avenue, after midnight VIP tickets to Level Nite Club and a hotel room at the Prestige Inn.

– A performance by Devon Coyote is what Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub is hoping will attract patrons for New Year’s Eve. The cost is $10 to see the one-man band who captivates crowds with his eclectic, foot stomping, sliding-steel guitar and harmonica driven rhythms.

– From 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Flashbacks Nite Club will be open, offering free cover for their New Year’s Eve event. Entrance will be granted on a first come first serve basis.

– The second annual New Year’s Eve Rockstar Karaoke Dance Party is what Packing House Pub has to offer. The event will feature a late night buffet, midnight balloon drop and many great door prizes. Tickets are $15 each or two for $25.

– The Knights of Columbus Hall will host an End of the Year Latin Dance on New Year’s Eve. The theme of the event is silver and gold and champagne will be provided to ring in the new year. Guests are encouraged to bring their own drinks and snacks; glasses, napkins and cutlery will be provided.

– O’Flannigan’s Pub will feature a New Year’s Eve bash with Colt 45 party favours, a champagne toast and prizes. The cost is $10.

– Level Nite Club is promising the most intense New Year’s Eve decor in town at its Electric Zoo event. The club will have DJs, drink specials and champagne at midnight.

– Two rooms and six DJs will highlight Sapphire Night Club’s New Year’s Eve event. The cost is $10 and includes party favours.

– The first 100 people to get tickets for Habitat’s New Year’s Eve party will only pay $10. After that, it will cost $20 to eat, listen and celebrate while listening to DJs Toddy Rockwell and Rumpus Room. Freaky Fisher will also entertain at the event with slight of hand illusions.

– A Kelowna Singles New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance is being hosted by Rutland Centennial Hall. The event promises live music by Glory Days. Everyone is welcome to attend and tickets are $25 in advance.

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