A rundown of all the biggest New Year’s Eve parties happening in Acadiana
By Dege Legg
Fact: people like to party. From cavemen to the spacemen — it ain’t just protein pills they’re popping these days. HOIYO! And there is no better excuse to party than New Year’s Eve. It’s the end of the year — another one down with however many more to go. You may as well make the best of it while you can and enjoy your time spinning round on this third stone from the sun and bring the New Year in with a bang. There’s no better time to gather with family, friends and strangers to celebrate, light a brick of firecrackers, party hop or get blown out with your ex-brother-in-law.
Here’s a rundown of all the biggest New Year’s Eve parties going down in Acadiana on New Year’s Eve. Celebrate. Enjoy. Drive responsibly. And gear up for all that 2011 will bring.
902 Johnston St.
Vagabond Swing just finished up recording its debut album of gypsy jazz and tarantella swing tunes with Grammy-winning studio wizard Tony Daigle, and it’s ready to swat that baby on the butt and release it to the public. Soundtrack to an Untimely Death is a slamming concept record of sorts about a love triangle gone wrong, as in death and a good man turned bad. The CD is packed with nine tunes of train track mandolins, surf grass, nomad folk, and Caucasoid Afro-beat. DJ Judd Kennedy opens the show. If you’re looking for a righteous show, plan on attending Vagabond Swing’s Masquerade Ball and CD release party at Artmosphere on New Year’s Eve.
1008 Henderson Levee
Nik-L Beer rings in the New Year at Pat’s Atchafalaya Club in Henderson. The show starts at 9 p.m. and runs until the party runs out.
BLUE MOON SALOON
215 East Convent St.
One thing is for sure, when a big holiday rolls around — Mardi Gras, Xmas, Festival International, Festivals Acadien et Creole — The Blue Moon Saloon will have a righteous live show going down. The Moon always has the action. New Year’s Eve is no different. Celebrate the New Year with two bands that kick it old school. Cajun music wunderkind Ryan Brunet takes a break from crashing on people’s couches and playing in France to return home and ring in the New Year with his band The Malfecteurs. If you like real Cajun music with your suds and firecrackers, go to this show. “We’ll be handing out party favors at the door and free champagne at midnight to make for a rockin’ bash that won’t stop until the early hours of 2011,” says Blue Moon owner Mark Falgout. Retro garage rockers The Viatones open the show. On the preceding night — Dec. 30 — you can catch Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys as they toss aside roots-music formulas and throw the CD release party for their new genre-bending CD Grand Isle. Bust it.
104 Republic Ave. # 5
Bob’s pub counts down 2010 with live music by Shimmur. The cover is $5 and the show starts at 8 p.m.
CAFÉ DES AMIS
111 Washington St.
Breaux Bridge, 507-3399
It is said that lovers make the sweetest music, so what better way to ram your head into the year 2011 than attending this classy gig. Cajun musicians Joel Savoy and Linzay Young team up with their ladies — Kelli Jones and Emma Young — for a special NYE show billed as Double Date at Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge. They’ll be playing and singing a unique blend of vintage honky tonk music with guitars, fiddles and bass. The show runs 9 p.m. to midnight.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF ACADIANA
201 E. Congress St.
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana hosts the New Year’s Noon and Carnival Countdown for the kids who aren’t able to stay up late. Instead of counting down at midnight, they’ll count down the New Year at noon with prizes, game booths and four confetti cannons going BOOM! The event runs 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Admission is $5.
207 N. Ambassador Caffery Pkwy.
Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns will be at Cowboys for their bash. The party goes from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m., and manager Charles Ashy says they’ll be pulling at the champagne at midnight to celebrate the New Year and Cowboy’s 30th year in business. Yee-Haw! Cover is $20.
CYPRESS BAYOU CASINO
832 W Martin Luther King Jr. Road
If you are the gambling, party and live music type, Cypress Bayou Casino has three music venues to choose from housed within the sprawling confines of its gambling complex. It’ll be ringing in the New Year at all of them. King of Clubs plays at Bobcats. Wade & Joey Richard play Mickey’s. And Krossfyre will play the Rox Club.
2235 Creswell Lane Extension
Opelousas, (866) 472-2466
Country crooner Tracy Lawrence plays Evangeline Downs in Opelousas for NYE. His nine studio albums and other studio recordings have accounted for more than 30 singles on the Billboard country music chart and lots of gold records.
LAKE VIEW PARK
1717 Veterans Memorial Highway
Don Fontenot & Friends of Louisiana do it up big at Lakeview Park & Beach. The show starts at 8 p.m. and rolls to midnight and the early vestiges of 2011. Get there early to see the fireworks display over the lake. And if you don’t feel like driving home after the show, you can book an RV site.
215 Grand Point
Breaux Bridge, 332-1721
La Poussiere keeps it old school at its New Year’s Eve Bash and rings in 2011 with the authentic Cajun music of Jackie Caillier, Walter Mouton, Ivy Dugas and the Cajun Cousins. The show runs from 7 p.m to 1 a.m.
1337 Henderson Levee
Head out to the levee and party on the water at McGee’s Landing in Henderson where it’s hosting a New Year’s Eve Reflex Reunion starting at 9 p.m.
524 Jefferson St.
NiteTown will ring in the New Year with the help of 94.5 KSMB’s Troy Leger and Super Dave for its “biggest, baddest” New Year’s Eve party. Free champagne will be flowing all night long, and party favors will be passed around so that when midnight comes, the crowd can make so much noise their ears will be ringing until the party shuts down. “We pulled out all the stops with $2,000 worth of decorations,” says Nitetown owner George Favaloro. So it should certainly be something to see. It all kicks off at 8 p.m.
307 Jefferson St.
For the third year, The Office will host its Annual Masquerade Ball with food by Zea and music by DJ Chris Reed. At midnight, balloons will fall from the air, people will be happy and free champagne will pour. “We only have 400 tickets that we’re selling in advance, but we’ll sell whatever’s left at the door,” says manager Corey Foreman. “It is a ball, so dress to impress in formal or cocktail wear.” Tickets are $30.
217 Cocoville Road
Marksville, (318) 240-8839
Paragon Casino will host the biggest New Year’s Eve party in Marksville. Paragon’s Atrium Block Party will feature music by Rod Antoon, street performers, a balloon drop at midnight and party favors for everyone. If that isn’t enough, patrons can ring in the New Year with one of Paragon’s other parties, featuring Avery Michaels or Willie Tee and Cypress with Warren Storm. The Block Party is free and open to the public. Free? Nice! “This New Year’s Eve bash is going to be the best Marksville has ever seen,” says Vice President of Hotel Operations Joey P. Barbry. “Paragon is all about family, and we want our guests to have a fun and safe environment to celebrate the beginning of 2011.”
2320 Kaliste Saloom Road
Randol’s kicks off the New Year with good food and the Cajun sounds of Jambalaya.
THE SHED BBQ & BLUES JOINT
308 Highway 93 N
Lake Charles Zydeco hounds Lil’ Malcolm & The House Rockers make the hour drive to Acadiana to rock in the new year at The Shed BBQ in Scott — one of the best new live music venues in town to see authentic roots music. No better place in town for good food and live music. Be there.
300 Fisher Road
Lafayette, 233-4077 ext. 202
Kick off 2011 dancing the night away at Vermilionville. Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie provide the boogie, and Pope Gregory XIII provides the Gregorian New Year. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and run till 1 a.m. Admission is $30 for all.
POSTHASTE WITH VAGABOND SWING
By Dege Legg
Vagabond Swing rings in 2011 with a CD release party and Masquerade Ball at Artmosphere on New Year’s Eve.
History of Vagabond Swing in 5 words, more or less.
For ’twas written...
Why music and not Adult Store Cashier or Furniture Tester or some other trade?
Josh: Doing what you love is better than doing what you have to do.
When S gets rough, who’s the go-to asskicker in the band?
Hayden & Roy: Jon Stone because he is a problem-solving stone warrior.
What’s up with the new record?
Band: We recorded with Sir Master Commander Tony Daigle in his Cajun palace. It was recorded, mixed and mastered in between August and November. Tony the madman, he was able to capture the raw spontaneity that is Vagabond Swing. We would classify this a concept record.
Gimmie a summary of the plot line and how it came about.
Roy: The plot of the story is about a love triangle that results in death and a good man turned bad (antihero if you will) on the run. We had written some of the songs before we had came up with the back story to connect all the songs. Jon and I write the lyrics, and I noticed a similar theme in our songs. So I started working on a story line. One day Jon and I were sitting at a theatre waiting for a movie to start, and I proposed the idea of the story and it grew from there.
What’s the hardest thing about being in a band?
Jesse & Jon: Making money and finding time to sleep!
Best gig ever?
Band: Our upcoming CD release party on New Year’s Eve with DJ Judd. It’ll be our best gig ever, cause we can share the experience with our community. So everyone better come out to see our first album release.
Worst gig ever?
Jon: Celtic Hell!
9/11. Building 7 collapse: evidence of a secret government fraud & ramrod?
Steven: We’ll dispel all rumors and set the story strait at our CD release on New Year’s Eve at Artmosphere.
Have you ever experienced “missing time” – a trait common among UFO abductees?
Roy: We are not allowed to speak on this topic.
In the event of a catastrophic world event, would the Real Elvis be more apt to suit up, sing and calm the crazed masses as they’re corralled into FEMA camps, or load up the Cadillac with fried banana sandwiches and head into the mountains?
Jon & Hayden: I’d like to think he’d take the stage, but who can resist fried bananas or mountains? And we believe Elvis will be attending our CD release on New Year’s Eve at Artmosphere. He already RSVP’d.
CD release – got it. Cute the first couple mentions. Third – not so much. Name one thing nobody knows about Vagabond Swing?
Jon: Although we are primarily musicians, our next most important objective is locating the perfect taco/BBQ stand.