From a concert with a big Firefly artist to a noon ball-drop, there's a ton of cool New Year's Eve events to celebrate.
The year is nearly over and the last thing you need to do is stress about how you’ll ring in 2020. We’ve got your back.
From the top of the state to the bottom, we’ve included a listing of New Year’s Eve celebrations for you and your loved ones, ranging from a concert with a music-loving panda, to an intimate dinner with your beau.
Neon New Year
Firefly alum White Panda rang in the New Year at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach last year.
This time the EDM artist will have an encore for his “Neon New Year” celebration where he’ll bring a character from the new “Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker.”
“I plugged on Twitter that I’d bring a Baby Yoda inflatable,” White Panda said. “Do you know how hard it is to make one? It’s going to be a night of amazing music, great production, but most important, it’s going to be a time to celebrate with new friends and old friends and unwind.”
White Panda recently remixed the song “Jekyll & Hide” for his friend, Bishop Briggs. Both performed at Firefly in June.
Having played the festival multiple times, White Panda said the festival remains fresh every time, especially this year because history was made.
“Each year I think ‘it can’t get any better,’ and it outdoes itself every year,” the EDM artist said. “This year I was told we had the largest crowd for a non-headliner. How crazy is that?
“I’ve been doing this for nine years now, and for the people at Firefly to continue to come out and support me and my music in such large numbers is incredible,” White Panda added. “Firefly doesn’t compare to anything else, because that’s family to me.”
White Panda made his Bottle & Cork debut last year and it’s already left a strong impression on him.
“Bottle & Cork is one of my favorite venues to play, and I’m excited to come back this year,” he said. There’s no better place to celebrate the end of the year than at the Cork. The people of Delaware have always been incredible, I’ve met so many of them at Firefly festival, and to close the decade with them this year will be exciting.”
The EDM artist’s mindset for 2020 will be a simple one: “Party more, worry less.”
IF YOU GO
WHEN 9 p.m.
WHERE Bottle & Cork, 1807 Highway One, Dewey Beach
MORE INFO bottleandcork.com or 227-7272
Since the Milton Theatre reopened in 2014, the place has quickly emerged as a destination for the arts in the First State. The venue offers strong and diverse programming that often features national acts.
One of the highlights has been its New Year’s party. So you’ll definitely want to get your tickets soon, while they’re available.
This year features a headline performance by celebrity chef/singer-songwriter Paul Cullen, a former Bad Company bassist. These days Cullen resides in Millsboro and is a personal chef who comes to his clients, whips them up a delicious meal, and performs a private concert afterward.
Everyone who buys a ticket to the Milton Theatre show will see Cullen perform. But only those who buy VIP tickets will receive antipasti and a glass of wine.
Opening up for Cullen will be the Dirk Quinn Band, a Philadelphia outfit specializing in high-energy funk/jazz improvisation.
IF YOU GO
WHEN 8 p.m.
WHERE Milton Theatre, 110 Union St., Milton
INFO miltontheatre.com or 684-3038
Noon Year’s Eve
Kids will ring in 2020 with legit party animals during Brandywine Zoo’s “Noon Year’s Eve.”
Like the name implies, this particular affair is a longstanding one that allows children to step into the New Year a little earlier than most.
The event is rain or shine, so children should dress appropriately for the weather.
Kids will enjoy games and crafts and tour the zoo like they normally would, said Mike Allen, executive director of Delaware Zoological Society, a nonprofit that supports the zoo.
“We are, at our heart, a place that’s really family friendly and targets families with children under the age of 10 who are not going to make it to midnight,” Allen said. “This is a great opportunity for them to have that sort of experience that we would have at midnight, but at a time when they’re going to be functional, happy and having a good time.”
Cute modifications have been made to help give children a true ball-drop experience.
“Our disco ball will drop at noon,” Allen said. “We’ve got sparkling cider that will toast in the Noon Year.”
IF YOU GO
WHEN 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
WHERE Brandywine Zoo, 1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington
INFO brandywinezoo.org or 571-7788
Ringing in 2020 To The Max
If you’re on the fence about whether you should buy tickets for Dover Downs’ 2020 celebration, you better make up your mind in the next few minutes, because tickets for this have a history of getting sold out.
Returning to play New Year’s is a dance-band favorite: To The Max. Band leader John G. Coley said his crew rang in the New Year at the casino about four times, with last year marking the first in a few years that they didn’t.
While the gang averages about three shows a year at the casino, Coley said their NYE show is a little different.
“Everyone’s coming out to celebrate the New Year, so the energy is different. It’s almost the same energy as a wedding, because you figure you play someone’s wedding only once,” the band leader said. “We always pack the place and we’ve been very fortunate for that.”
The crowd can expect to hear a healthy serving of R&B and funk. Some of the artists they cover include Frankie Beverly & Maze, Bohannon and Earth Wind & Fire. They also play contemporary tunes by artists such as Bruno Mars and Lizzo. To the Max likes to mix in two to three line dances, too.
Coley, who founded To the Max in 2000, said it’s mandatory for them to play at least one Earth Wind and Fire song every time they play Dover Downs. Hence, they perform a medley of tunes by the band.
“My favorite group is Earth Wind & Fire. Maurice White was definitely a role model for me, because he was also a drummer when he started,” Coley said. “I’m a drummer and then I formed my own band. He’s playing drums and he sings. But I can’t sing a lick.”
IF YOU GO
WHEN 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
WHERE Dover Downs Hotel & Casino (Fire & Ice Lounge), 1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover
MORE INFO doverdowns.com or (800) 711-5882
Blastoff in Time
Revelers will have the chance to celebrate multiple eras from the last century at the “Blast from the Past.”
Guests are encouraged to wear outfits from the Roaring ‘20s, Dirty ‘30s, Fabulous ‘40s, Nifty ‘50s, Swingin’ ‘60s, Super ‘70s, Big Crazy ‘80s or the Grungy Retro ‘90s.
DJ Sky Brady will host the celebration, with live music from The Pks. The menu will feature assorted appetizers, dessert, a dinner buffet and more.
IF YOU GO
WHEN 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
WHERE Mulligan’s Pointe Country Club, 22426 Sussex Pine Road, Georgetown
MORE INFO Visit Mulligan’s Pointe Country Club on Facebook or 856-6283
More to Wrap the Year
5 p.m.-1 a.m., Two Stones Pub, 300 Lantana Drive, Hockessin. Two Stones Pub is taking dinner reservations for your last great meal of 2019. The menu: lobster chowder; fried goat cheese; sesame-seared tuna; pan-seared dayboat scallops; grilled Manhattan strip; and Maker’s Mark pork tomahawk. For more, visit Two Stones Pub Hockessin on Facebook or 239-2200.
4-10 p.m., Hilton Wilmington/Christina, 100 Continental Drive, Newark. You and your beau can enjoy a prix fixe dinner (a complete meal at one price) in an intimate and romantic setting in the Market Kitchen & Bar at the Hilton. A special package includes dinner for two, gratuity, overnight accommodations, and a $20 slot voucher to Delaware Park. For more, visit hiltonchristiana.com or 454-1500.
7 p.m.-midnight, Crooked Hammock Brewery, 316 Auto Park Drive, Middletown. There will be a special menu and a perfectly-rounded flight of beers for the occasion. Tickets are not required and don’t reserve a table or seating. Take the hassle out of the holiday and RSVP with Eventbrite today. For more, visit Crooked Hammock Brewery (Middletown) or 601-7837.
8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Summit Tavern, 4390 Summit Bridge Road, Middletown. It’s New Year’s Eve, baby! It’s been 20 years since the turn of the millennium, and Soldier’s Daughter wants to celebrate with great food, drinks, friends and the best music. For more, visit Summit Tavern on Facebook or 378-2099.
5:30 to 9 p.m., Cobalt Manor, 47 E. Commerce St., Smyrna. Enjoy a five-course meal with someone special. Dinner by reservation only. Choose from filet mignon, bourbon maple salmon or vegetable lasagna. Each meal is served with: soup (crab bisque or tomato basil); salad (house or Caesar); dessert (New York cheesecake or brownie à la mode); and champagne (one glass). Bottles of wine half-price. For more, visit Cobalt Manor on Facebook or (888) 272-9812.
8:30 p.m., Green Stinger Smyrna, 235 Stadium St. Light hors d’oeuvres will be available - wings, tots, teriyaki chicken skewers, sweet mini-meatballs, Sloppy Joes, antipasto, chips and dip. Champagne toast at midnight. For more, visit Green Stinger Smyrna on Facebook or 508-5904.
8 p.m.-1 a.m., The Boulevard, 1036 Lafferty Lane, Dover. Dedicated to folks 30 or older and will include food and a champagne toast. For more, visit The Boulevard Live Entertainment Restaurant on Facebook or 264-9322.
9 p.m.-1 a.m., Touchdown Restaurant, 1666 S. Dupont Highway, Dover. Dress in your best Roaring ‘20s attire. DJ Elegal will work his magic and keep you glued to the dance floor. For more, visit Touchdown Restaurant on Facebook or 674-0975.
8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., The Green Stinger Sports Bar and Grill, 492 Walnut Shade Road, Dover. Rock in the New Year with great folks and entertainment by Barbwire. Expect lots of fun and a few surprises. For more, visit The Green Stinger Sports Bar and Grill on Facebook or 698-3305.
6 p.m.-1 a.m., EasySpeak Spirits, 586 Milford Harrington Highway, Milford. Ring in the New Year with DJ Storm, who’ll start jamming at 8 p.m. Buffet menu TBA and midnight a champagne toast. For more, visit EasySpeak Spirits on Facebook or 503-3313.
9 p.m.-1 a.m., Crooked Hammock Brewery, 36707 Crooked Hammock Way, Lewes. Ticket includes open bar, heavy-appetizer stations, party favors, live music from Jimi Smooth & HitTime, a midnight toast, and the release of two new beers, including a Brut IPA and a dry-hopped sour champagne ale, and more. For more, visit Crooked Hammock Brewery (Lewes) on Facebook or 644-7837.