San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 30th, 2010
The Weekend: End of one year, start of the next

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Javi Garcia and the Cold Cold Ground will warm up New Year’s Eve at The Phoenix Saloon in New Braunfels.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

There is something about New Year’s resolutions that smack of authority, and Americans don’t much like folks telling them what to do, even if it is in their best interests. We’re sort of recalcitrant that way.

One year, we decided to be tricky and vowed on New Year’s Day to not lose a pound, keep on smoking and drink as much as we wanted. At the end of the year we had lost 25 pounds, cut our smoking by half and had, maybe, a total of five drinks all year.

We may use that system again. But now that we know it works, lightning probably will not strike twice.

Of course, we could just do what was in our best interests for both health and spirit because it is the logical thing to do. We can certainly resolve to wish you a very happy new year. Which we just did. Mission accomplished.

Even on the deadest weekend of the year, the one in question we might add, there are still fun things to do in the area. Here are just a few suggestions.

Friday, December 31

Things may be closed or close down early today, but the faithful Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary Street) will start off the last evening of the year with Pepper’s Blues at 6 p.m. You won’t get the blues, though, and, in point of fact, the band may cheer you.

It’s the very last night to see the Trail of Lights at the EmilyAnn Theatre (1101 FM 2325). The eight acres of lighted displays are charming, and there are always marshmallows to roast. The trail is open from 6-10 p.m.

The Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) features a night of “indigenous songwriters performing in their natural habitat,” so that means the local talent will be out in full force. Cheatham Street also will serve the traditional black-eyed peas (to eat for good luck in the coming year) and, naturally, champagne.

Riley’s Tavern has recently updated its stage area, and the pictures we’ve seen of the work are beautiful. Those rollicking boys from Lubbock, the Beaumonts, will play the New Years Eve show on the new stage. The rip-roaring Turbo 350 also will play tonight. There’s a free champagne toast at midnight. Should be a lot of fun.

Of course, there’s New Year’s fun to be had at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12) tonight with loads of drink specials, door prizes, a champagne toast and more. The Triple Crown will bring the new year in with Helix and the awesome Muchos Backflips.

You won’t see live music on the square in downtown San Marcos, but you will see and feel the New Year’s Eve celebration at any of the nightclubs, including J’s Bistro, Rocky LaRue’s, the Green Parrot, Bar One41, Barfish, Harper’s Public House, Dillinger’s, the Showdown, the Restless Wind, Dillinger’s, The Vault or Nephew’s.

The Phoenix Saloon (193 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels) will host Tom Gilliam’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. The evening will feature Gilliam’s band, as well as Austin Gilliam and the Politicians and the extraordinary Javi Garcia and the Cold Cold Ground. In addition to three bands the night will have a free champagne toast. Those Gilliam Boys can bring it and, if you have never heard Javi Garcia, you just gotta — the band is gritty and riveting. The kitchen will be open until 11 p.m. Tickets are a mere $15.

AJ’s Ale House (236 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels) will have a rock and roll sing-along piano bar evening to celebrate the new year. Dance and sing to your favorite songs all night.

Saturday, January 1

At 1 p.m. today, you can join the brave souls who will jump into the Kyle Pool at Gregg-Clarke Park. The water temperature will be somewhat warmed up by the sun. Last year it was a balmy 46 degrees in the water. Brrrrr! Luckily, there is hot chocolate and coffee waiting at the other end of the pool for the chilly dippers.

Of course, there is the annual New Year’s plunge into the San Marcos River at Sewell Park, which takes place at noon. Dozens have taken the plunge for generations, enjoying hot chocolate, black-eyed peas and their hopes for the new year. The San Marcos River Foundation has sponsored the event for 13 years.

It’s bowl game day today and five of them will be on including the Outback Bowl on ABC at noon with Penn State facing Florida, the Capitol One Bowl on ESPN at noon with Michigan State versus Alabama, and the Progressive Gator Bowl on ESPN2 at 12:30 p.m. with Michigan playing Mississippi State. The Rose Bowl features Wisconsin against TCU on ESPN at 4 p.m., and The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will have Oklahoma facing Connecticut on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget the hot wings and the nachos. It’s gonna be a long day.

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels) will have its “Hair of the Dog Day” today with continuous live music all day. From noon to 4 p.m., Stonehoney will take the stage. Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros will be on from 4-8 p.m., and the inimitable Guy Forsyth will play from 8-12 p.m.

The Triple Crown will feature local songbird extraordinaire Molly J. Hayes at 6 p.m. Tonight, Riley’s Tavern will feature Meagan Tub and Shady People. The Cheatham Street Warehouse will host Dr. G and the Mudcats for an evening of rockin’ country hoo-ha.

Sunday, January 2

Well, the festivities are over. The new year has begun and the old year has been hung out to dry. Today’s the day one makes those promises about being a better person, losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking and any other character flaw that seems to be an impediment to future happiness. Just remember, the happiness you seek is already inside you. We know it sounds like a fortune cookie, but it’s true. It still probably wouldn’t hurt to take off a couple of pounds, though. Today is a good day to meditate and get started.

Riley’s Tavern and the Triple Crown have their mics open, if you are thinking of starting a little singing career. The Gray Horse has karaoke, if you’d just like to sing along and have a good time.

Tonight on NBC, the NFC West title is on the line when the St. Louis Rams battle the Seattle Seahawks at Quest Field in Seattle at 7:30 p.m.

The Discovery Channel will feature and evening of “attack” shows, including When Fish Attack, Croc Attack and the highly disconcerting Rise of the Jellyfish. The Chiller channel will be counting down the decade’s scariest movie moments. We wonder if they’ll mention Mariah Carey in “Glitter.”

Happy New Year to all!

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