Thursday night people will be drinking champagne, donning funny hats and blowing strange looking horns. Such behavior just about sums up New Year's Eve here in America. In Romania, however, folks dress up like bears. In Rio de Janeiro, there are parties on the beach with offerings honoring the sea goddess. In Scotland people have been known to fling fireballs.
That reminds me- one memorable New Year's Eve, I attended a back yard party in Silver Spring where I was informally deputized as Fire Marshal. The culminating ceremony at midnight involved a flaming croquet ball rollicking down gutter like structures a la Rube Goldberg, from the first floor deck to a discarded, fuel soaked Christmas tree. I was unceremoniously handed a shovel, and my job was to give that ball a little boost in case it fell short of its mark, which it did not. Due to a generous amount of liberally applied accelerants, the result was spectacular, although the blowback came dangerously close to torching my hair. True story. (And possibly my one and only appearance on YouTube.)
Personally I like an outdoor event involving fire or bear suits to usher in the New Year. Second to the croquet incident, First Night Alexandria can be a low-key cool thing with plenty of live music, but if you want to shake things up the last night of 2015, Trouble Funk at the 9:30 Club will never let you down. Peace and love and all the best for 2016. Let's try and keep it going' one more year.