Ringing In the New Year, 2020-Style Jessica Broverman December 31, 2020 This New Year’s Eve will be unlike any we have ever been a part of. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate in style and have a grand evening! Wheeling has plenty of opportunities that you can take part in safely, whether that be from your home, car or even a restaurant. Ringing in the Festive Food One of the most important parts of any celebration is — you guessed it — the food. There are many local restaurants that have been going above and beyond to offer their patrons a safe dining experience. The Alpha Tavern, Later Alligator, Wheeling Brewing Company, Country Roads BBQ and The 19th Hole are just a few of the local eateries that will be open on New Year’s Eve. If you are choosing to stay home on New Year’s Eve, don’t fret! All of these restaurants and more offer take out for your safety and convenience. Need help deciding where to order take out? Check out our quiz to help you decide. QUIZ: Answer These Random Questions and We’ll Tell You Where in Wheeling You Should Get Takeout Tonight. In addition to your standing take-out fare, you can also order a hand-crafted charcuterie board from Good Mansion Wines for New Year’s Eve. This year, they are offering four different platter sizes to choose from, so there is certainly something to fit your needs. If you’re more of the DIY type, stop by Valley Cheese for your charcuterie essentials. Whatever your meal of choice this holiday season, make it local and make it delicious! Proceed with Safety Want to step out of your home, but enjoy the safety of social distancing? Oglebay has you covered! With a comedy show, DJ Rockin’ Bob and a firework display at midnight, you can’t have a dull New Year’s Eve with options like this. You can even invest in an overnight bundle at the Wilson Lodge. The package includes two tickets and includes your dinner, open bar, the comedy show, DJ Rockin’ Bob’s performance, the firework display, one Festival of Lights vehicle pass and breakfast before your send off. Wilson Lodge at Oglebay The comedy show features comedian Joe Zimmerman who has made appearances on Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TBS and The Tonight Show. Don’t want the entire package? No worries! You can pick and choose what activities you would like to take part in and the firework display is free to the public. If you take part in the Festival of Lights, be sure to pack some snacks and hot cocoa for the drive! A drive through the lights is the perfect way to have a special night out of the house, while still staying safe. Staying Safe by Staying Put Not heading out this holiday season? No problem! Some creative options to ring in 2021 are ready and waiting for you. One option is to enjoy the evening by taking part in a Zoom meeting or Facetime call. For several months during this pandemic, my friends and I have planned Zoom meetings every Saturday with a different theme each week. For New Year’s Eve, your theme can be sparkles and sequins or even create a “roaring 20’s” theme. Make it your own and have fun! You can even get creative and have everyone make their own New Year’s Eve mask on your calls and the winner can receive a virtual gift card. The options are endless! Wheeling resident Katy McKinley is choosing to celebrate at home this year, but as the owner and designer of her blog, Wild + Wanderful, it is only natural that she has created an artistic way to ring in the New Year. “My advice to others this New Year’s Eve is to stay home. Make good choices. Celebrate with fewer people than you’re used to,” said Wheeling resident Katy McKinley, operations and communications coordinator at McKinley Architecture and Engineering. “My favorite thing to do is our resolution envelopes. After the confetti and cheersing to the New Year, we write our New Year’s resolutions on a piece of paper and seal it into an envelope, not to be opened until exactly one year from then,” said McKinley. “Once this year’s is completed by everyone, I hand out the previous year’s envelopes for the individuals to open and review. Did we accomplish what we wanted in the last 365 days? Did we set too lofty of goals? Did we set the bar too low? Did we even remember what we wrote?” McKinley enjoys all the different genres of herself she gets to experience with opening a letter each year. “It’s always so much fun to read what a one-year younger version of yourself hoped for. It’s completely up to the individual if they want to share their past resolutions or to keep them private,” said McKinley. “Either way, it’s a really neat way to close out one year and begin the next.” If you have children at home, they can get in on the fun as well. Instead of bubbly, put some milk into champagne flutes and line the rim with sprinkles. You can also create your own mini balloon drop in your living room with a sheet, a few pins and a pack of balloons. If you want to keep the children up to enjoy the festivities, you can create small gifts, which they can open every hour leading up to the ball drop. You and your family will be safe at home with these fun options, while also welcoming a new, fresh year. Resolutions Going Forward While we all have our own plans to celebrate the upcoming new year, our goals are likely all very similar. “My New Year’s resolution is to live each year to the fullest, grow skills, learn new things and work my hardest to build a positive future for my family and community,” said Kyle Phair, co-owner of Country Roads BBQ. “On New Year’s Eve, I enjoy having champagne and mimosas,” said Kyle Phair. “In high school, I’d stay up with my family to watch the ball drop. In college at West Virginia University, we’d go to Mutt’s, a former establishment located in Morgantown. Wheeling resident, Marlena Jasper, has set her goals for the coming year and expects not only that she will reach them, but that 2021 will bring brighter days for those around her as well. “My resolution is to learn how to manage my time better so I can juggle school, work and personal time successfully,” said Jasper. “Also, don’t be so hard on myself. I’m only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day.” Marlena Jasper celebrates her New Year’s Eve at The 19th Hole and also with family each year. She plans to continue these traditions as safely as possible. With the fun aspects of New Year’s Eve aside, McKinley aspires for many good things in the New Year to come. “What I hope for in the New Year is healing and growth. For our country, for our communities and for our family. (This) has been a learning year. I’ve learned to be a better communicator, with my household because we are on top of each other a lot more, with my coworkers because we are managing things a lot more virtually than ever before and with my family and friends because I can’t visit them in person,” said McKinley. While it has been a difficult year for many, there is still so much ahead. There is a fresh start, a new year and new goals to attain. Let us end 2020 on an amazing note, whether that be from home, vehicle or restaurant. Have a happy and safe New Year! • With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max. 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