Categories: Life & Arts
Like most 2020 holidays, New Year’s will be a quieter affair than usual.
Many traditions, such as First Night Saratoga, have been canceled, while others have taken on a virtual format. Here’s a look at some New Year’s events being offered in the Capital Region both today and Friday.
New Year’s Eve
The First Night of Funny
New Year’s Eve comedy shows are a mainstay at Proctors and other theaters. While they can’t be presented in person this year, Proctors in Schenectady and The Egg in Albany, as well as other local theaters, are partnering with local company Stand-Up Global to present a First Night of Funny livestream.
The show kicks off at 8 p.m. and includes sets from Mike Gaffney, Jaye McBride, Ross Bennett and Steve Caouette, who will perform in front of a live, socially distanced audience. It can be streamed through the Watch Live Now network on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and other platforms. It’s slated to be a clean, politics-free show.
Tickets are $20, and a portion of sales will go to a local theater of one’s choice, including Proctors, The Egg, Cohoes Music Hall and others. For information, visit firstnightoffunny.com.
Lu’s Jukebox: It’s Only Rock and Roll
Lucinda Williams and her band will perform a tribute to the Rolling Stones tonight via a virtual concert.
During the pandemic, the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter started the eight-part Lu’s Jukebox series to benefit independent music venues, and a percentage of each ticket sold will go toward the venue it was purchased through.
“We’ve actually wanted to do a cover series for a long time now but never had the time with my touring schedule,” said Williams in a statement. “I guess the silver lining in all of this has been to be able to really get inside the songs of some of my favorite artists — see what makes them tick. My hope for this project is that we’ll be able to help as many venues as we can. They’re our homes as artists. We have to take care of them for the sake of live music to come.”
The music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$40. For information, visit theegg.org.
Bach at New Year’s
Tonight, the Berkshire Bach Society will virtually present all six Brandenburg Concertos, which were recorded at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall last January.
The program is directed by Eugene Drucker and performed by the Berkshire Bach Ensemble.
“To frame this rich musical offering, I’ve taken the liberty of adding three short works by other composers: a trumpet duet by Bach’s predecessor, Michael Praetorius; a solo violin fantasia by his friend Telemann; and a New Year’s song by one of the many composers who were inspired by his legacy, Béla Bartók,” wrote Drucker in the program notes. “These additions give you a chance to hear more from some of our outstanding players, and to place Bach’s music, very much a product of its own time, in a broader historical and stylistic context.”
The virtual concert is part of the Berkshire Bach Society’s 30th anniversary season and will be available starting at 6 p.m. at berkshirebach.org.
Midnight in Paris
Bound by Fate Brewing in Schuylerville offers a New Year’s celebration for early birds. This evening, the brewery is hosting “Midnight in Paris,” ringing in 2021 with the French at 6 p.m.
They’ll offer champagne and Parisian street food to set the scene. Bound by Fate is located at 31 Ferry St. For information, visit them on Facebook.
Midnight in Brazil
Eden Cafe in Loudonville is going in a different direction, hosting a Brazilian New Year’s Eve celebration. They’ll serve up food and drinks, and ring in 2021 at 10 p.m. along with Brazil. The cafe is located at 269 Osborne Road No. 3. For information, visit edenasc.com.
Rivers Casino in Schenectady will host an early New Year’s Eve countdown starting just before 9 tonight on the gaming floor.
Guests will receive New Year’s face masks, noisemakers and party favors. The casino’s event center will also be open, and people can purchase small bites and drinks there between 5 and 9:30 p.m. For information, visit riverscasino.com.
New Year’s Day
Run Into 2021
The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce invites people from across the county to run into the new year with a virtual 5k.
Participants can sign up from Friday through next Thursday and run the race anywhere they’d like. Organizers suggest the Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, the Zim Smith Trail in Malta or Hudson Crossings Park in Schuylerville.
Proceeds will go to the Saratoga County Foundation’s Save Our Locals campaign, which aims to help local businesses through the pandemic.
The store iRun LOCAL will have a prize for the fastest time in the male and female categories. Those who believe they have the fastest time should bring their Fitbit, Garmin, Apple watch or other devices into the Saratoga County Chamber office. Registration is $20.21. To sign up, visit the Saratoga County Run Into 2021 5k at runsignup.com.
First Day Hike
State parks all over New York are hosting first-day hikes on Friday, including Saratoga Spa State Park and Moreau Lake State Park.
Starting at 10 a.m. Friday, Saratoga Spa State Park will host multiple guided hikes through the first weekend of the new year. Hikes will be moderate, lasting between an hour and two hours. Social distancing and masks are required. Group sizes are limited and registration is required (518-584-2535).
Starting at 10 a.m. Friday, there will be guided two-miles hikes through Moreau Lake State Park. Participants are encouraged to wear ice creepers, snowshoes or other seasonal footwear. Registration is required and all participants must wear masks. To register or for information, call 518-912-2304.