New Year’s Eve bash

NANAIMO - People have plenty of choices to celebrate the end of the year, including family-friendly festivities and a rockabilly gala.

Randii Andii

Randii Andii

New Year’s Eve revellers looking for a place to sound their party horns, pop the bubbly and rock the night away have several choices in Nanaimo this year.

Potential Trainwreck plays Piper’s Pub on New Year’s Eve and Headsup performs at MGM Restaurant. Tickets for the MGM event are $35 with dinner or $20 without. Call 250-753-3535.

Family friendly

For families looking to celebrate but still head home before the clock strikes twelve parks, recreation and culture is offering its annual Finale celebration at Beban Park Complex. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras.

“It’s so much fun. It’s great fun,” said Deborah Beck, recreation coordinator for the City of Nanaimo, adding that kids attending the event get “so excited” because of all the activities.

Activities are happening at the social centre, Frank Crane arena and the pool. People can enjoy swimming, glow in the dark skating, crafts and games. Entertainers include Jayden Holman, the Footclan Dance Crew, Ian Johnstone, Aunti Bobbi, DDT Drumline and Greg Ladret.

The evening includes two countdown events, one at 8 p.m. for families with younger children and another at 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 for a family, a maximum of four, $10 each and children two and under are free. For more information or tickets, please call 250-756-5200.

Rockabilly revellers

Chevy Ray and The Fins are rocking the Coast Bastion Inn New Year’s Eve.

The band plays Rock ‘n’ Roll favourites of the ‘50s and ‘60s, paying homage to greats like Elvis, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. The band will sing blasts from the past including Great Balls of Fire, Stray Cat and That’ll Be the Day. These songs will be mixed in with rockabilly hits. Kervel said some people may not know who originally performed the songs, but many people will recognize them. The band also does a rendition of Johnny Rivers’ Secret Agent Man with a twist, which includes Bond movie music.

Mike Kervel started Chevy Ray and The Fins to honour his brother who died in a car accident almost 30 years ago.

“This is a tribute to him,” he said. “This is the kind of music he loved.”

Playing the Coast Bastion Inn to ring in the new year isn’t new to Chevy Ray and the Fins. The band played the venue from 1995 to 2005.

Kervel said it’s going to be a fun evening. Band members like to have fun with the crowd. During the night there will be hula hoop, twist and jive contests.

“It’s about the experience more than anything. We want to have a good time and we want the people to have fun with us,” he said.

The New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and Dance featuring the band at the Coast Bastion Inn Ballroom includes a buffet dinner. Doors are open 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and the dinner buffet is 7:30-9 p.m.

Tickets are $65, people must be 19 years or older to attend, and are available at the Coast Bastion, located at 11 Bastion St., or by calling 250-753-6601. For the event the Coast Bastion is offering a special room rate. People can get a comfort room for $109, but must present their ticket for the special rate.

New Year’s bang

People wanting to ring in the New Year with flare can join the celebration at the Harewood Arms. Big Bang Baby is playing the pub for the third consecutive year, starting at 9 p.m.

The band, which formed in 2007 by members Darrell Gardner and Michael Peterson, came together with the goal of bringing some “flare” back to the local music scene. Big Bang Baby plays top 40 hits from pop and rock artists like Pink and Alabama Shakes and favourites from performers such as The Tragically Hip, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sheryl Crow.

“If you’re coming down, come down early because it’s one of the better New Year’s gigs we’ve played,” said the band, in a press release. “Excellent people, whether they are the hard-working staff or the great patrons, are what make for a memorable gig.”

Boots and bubbly

The Lighthouse Pub is embracing country style for its bash.

The pub is hosting Boots, Beer and Bubbly starting at 8 p.m., which features music, line dancing and food.

Tickets are $10, which includes bubbly at midnight, and are available by calling 250-754-3212 or e-mailing

Variety night

The Courts is mixing it up to hail the stroke of midnight.

It presents Naughty New Year’s Night Variety Show, which features music, comedy, dancing burlesque, magic and more. Special guest performers include Randii Andii and Miss B and The Naughty Kittens of Catwalk. The party runs 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are $25 and are available at the Courts and Catwalk Fashions.

Gangster style

The roaring style of the ’20s is filling the Patricia Hotel Dec. 31.

The hotel is hosting a party and encouraging people to dress up as flappers and gangsters, with prizes being awarded for the best costume. People attending can enjoy the musical stylings of D.O.C. from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

The evening also includes a buffet. Tickets are $15 and are available at the bar.