Local Venues Rush to Prepare for New Year's Eve Celebrations

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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Break out the party hats and light up the stage.

Preparations are underway at local concert halls, bars, restaurants and hotels for big New Year's Eve celebrations.

Staff at The Cotillion were among those who got an early start.

"We've been working since Thanksgiving getting together all of our prizes and everything," Manager Richard Leslie said.

The venue will host a concert Monday night headlined by Logan Mize. The concert has been sold out since December 21. That means 1,700 tickets sold.

For those still hoping for a chance at a seat inside, you can get on the wait list by texting WAIT to 49798. But, Leslie said it's not likely any more tickets will be released.

Sunday morning, Cotillion staff members began arranging the ballroom by putting out tables and chairs. They also began opening box after box of party hats, whistles, and decorations.

"At Midnight we are going to have a balloon drop here with a lot of prizes and then a lot of prizes will be given away on the stage," Leslie said.

Meanwhile, preparations are at a feverish pace in downtown Wichita at the Ambassador Hotel. People darted in and out of the hotel Sunday afternoon.

"We have the valet service here, housekeeping finish up beds and the final touches on rooms. Our Chef is back in the kitchen putting some great menu items together," Property General Manager Michael Frimel said.

There's an especially large amount of work to do because they're not just getting ready for a party.

"It'll be our New Year's Eve celebration in addition to the Grand Opening of the hotel," Frimel said.

All hands are on deck to gear as they gear up for what some are saying could be the most elegant or glitzy event in the city. It'll feature Kansas City's Quixotic, a contortionist dance group, and local band, 3 Ring Circus.

More than 400 people are expected to attend, Frimel said.

The event is also a fundraiser for Wichita's Orpheum Theater.

"There are going to be a lot of people here and we are going to have a lot of fun," Frimel said.

Much like The Cotillion show, Frimel says the party and the rooms are virtually sold out. Of the 117 hotel rooms, just five were still available as of Sunday afternoon.

While many people will be out on the town, others are planning on staying in for the night. But even those people had preparations to make Sunday.

Many people flocked to party stores like Party City for some last-minute decorations and favors to bolster family traditions.

"We stay up until Midnight and make a lot of noise, that's why I was looking for these noisemakers!" Wichita's Suzy Hernandez said.

With so much excitement and activity around town, Wichita Police also making sure they are prepared.

"We always have more officers out and there are some special assignments for the evening," Sgt. Bart Brunscheen said.

Now, police say it's your turn to prepare for how you will have a safe evening. Then you can take your pick of local entertainment.

"For someone on a small budget or a large budget, there are plenty of things to do," Leslie said.

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