Make a toast to the new year: How and where to ring in 2018


Chattanooga Times Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - — Com­piled by Su­san Pierce and Barry Courter

If you’re at­tend­ing any kind of so­cial gath­er­ing to ring in the New Year, chances are some­one is go­ing to of­fer a toast. But just what are the dos and don’ts of toast­ing?

Eti­quette ex­pert Sharon Sch­weitzer, founder of Ac­cess to Cul­ture, of­fers these toast­ing tips.

First toast: In light of their plan­ning, and fi­nanc­ing, the host or host­ess of the din­ner or so­cial party of­fers the first toast. At an in­for­mal din­ner party or ta­ble of friends, how­ever, a guest can pro­pose the first toast to thank the host for or­ga­niz­ing the event or gath­er­ing.

To clink or not: To­day it’s not nec­es­sary. You may choose to clink your glass, or not. Avoid mak­ing oth­ers un­com­fort­able by re­frain­ing from com­ments like “I don’t clink.” Eti­quette is about oth­ers feel­ing com­fort­able in your pres­ence.

Toast bound­aries: In the U.S., New Year’s Eve toasts are ex­tremely brief, some­times 10 to 15 sec­onds; oc­cur­ring with much fan­fare at mid­night. If you don’t want to be kissed by strangers, stay close

to your date, ex­tend your hand for a hand­shake, pro­vide your cheek for an air-kiss or ex­cuse your­self be­fore mid­night.

› Pop­ping cham­pagne:

There is a proper way to open a bot­tle of cham­pagne to avoid the spray, in­jur­ing some­one with the cork or spilling a pre­cious drop. Hold the bot­tle at a 45-de­gree an­gle while grasping the cham­pagne cork gen­tly with the one hand, and turn the bot­tom of the bot­tle firmly with the other hand. Be sure to twist the bot­tom of the bot­tle slowly, un­til you feel the cork gen­tly re­lease in your hand.

› Non­al­co­holic toasts:

Toast­ing is about the sen­ti­ment of the oc­ca­sion, not the liq­uid in the glass. Some guests re­frain from con­sum­ing al­co­hol for health and med­i­cal rea­sons. Peo­ple un­der­go­ing med­i­cal treat­ment, in re­cov­ery, or tak­ing cer­tain prescription med­i­ca­tion can­not take even “just one sip.” It is im­po­lite to in­sist that they do, be­cause they can still ac­cept­ably join in the toast­ing with a sparkling bev­er­age, gin­ger ale, club soda, seltzer or juice. If you do not drink and are of­fered an al­co­holic bev­er­age, sim­ply say, “no thank you.”


For the kid­dos:

› New Year’s Eve at CDM: The Cre­ative Dis­cov­ery Mu­seum greets the new year a lit­tle later than usual, 2:18 for 2018. Look for a visit from Fa­ther Time, crafts, pa­rades, con­fetti, an ap­ple juice toast and a dance party. Ac­tiv­i­ties are sched­uled 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is $13.95. 423-756-2738, www.cdm­

› New Year’s Eve in West Vil­lage: This inau­gu­ral cel­e­bra­tion is a two-parter, start­ing with fam­ily-friendly events in the early evening and end­ing with an adults party (see be­low) in the newly chris­tened West Vil­lage, the area of down­town on Eighth Street be­tween Ch­est­nut and Pine streets. Kid-cen­tric ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing face paint­ing, a mime, bal­loon sculp­tor, car­i­ca­ture artist, stilt walk­ers and Looie the Look­out, last from 6 to 8 p.m., with a Not-So-Late Ball Drop at 7:30 p.m. Also, a laser show will light up the side of the Westin ho­tel on the hour from 6 to 10 p.m.

› Zoo Year’s Eve: This wild party for fam­i­lies in­cludes games, an­i­mal meet-and­greets, a resolution sta­tion and the chance to count down the clock in time zones around the world. En­rich­ment ac­tiv­i­ties are sched­uled at 11 a.m. with the spi­der mon­keys, noon with the cougars (in­clud­ing a ball drop into their habi­tat), 1 p.m. with the snow leop­ards and 2 p.m. with the chimps. Ac­tiv­i­ties are free with reg­u­lar ad­mis­sion: $9.95 adults, $6.95 chil­dren 3-12. 423-697-1322,

Here are a few of the big­ger adult par­ties tak­ing place around Chat­tanooga.

› New Year’s Eve in West Vil­lage: This new event be­gins with fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties at 6 p.m. (see above), in­clud­ing a laser show light­ing up the side of the Westin ho­tel on the hour from 6 to 10 p.m. The adult party that fol­lows in­cludes food trucks, a beer wagon, cock­tails and wine for sale, and a DJ. Af­ter the last laser show, the video screen will show a live feed of New York City’s Times Square cel­e­bra­tion lead­ing up to the mid­night ball drop. Sev­eral nearby busi­nesses will be open ex­tended hours. Party cen­tral is the newly chris­tened West Vil­lage, the area of down­town on Eighth Street be­tween Ch­est­nut and Pine streets.

› Disco Won­der­land: Wear your fa­vorite disco at­tire for this 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. party at the Dwell Ho­tel, 120 E. 10th St. The $60 ticket in­cludes un­lim­ited cham­pagne, party food and mu­sic by DJ Flux 308. 423-2677866.

› Late Skate at Ice on the Land­ing: This fam­ily-ori­ented late-skate party, 11 p.m.-1 a.m., in­cludes a DJ play­ing mu­sic, New Year’s Eve sou­venirs and a sparkling cider toast at mid­night. The rink is at the Chat­tanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Mar­ket St. Cost is $25 for adults, $20 for chil­dren 12 and younger. www. iceon­the­land­­ties.

› New Year’s at The Palms: En­joy din­ner, danc­ing, party fa­vors and cham­pagne at The Palms at Hamil­ton, 6925

New Year’s Eve in West Vil­lage is a two-parter, start­ing with fam­ily-friendly events in the early evening and end­ing with an adults party in the newly chris­tened West Vil­lage, the area of down­town on Eighth Street be­tween Ch­est­nut and Pine streets.

Shal­low­ford Road. Din­ner seat­ings be­gin at 8 p.m.; the party lasts un­til 3 a.m. Cost is $80 per in­di­vid­ual, $150 per cou­ple. Call 423-499-5055 for reser­va­tions.

› New Year’s Eve at Song­birds: Un­known Hin­son, known for his po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect songs, is the fea­tured per­former for fes­tiv­i­ties sched­uled from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Song­birds Gui­tar Mu­seum, 35 Sta­tion St. Ad­mis­sion is $45. 423-531-2473

› New Year’s Eve Cel­e­bra­tion: The Chat­tanoogan ho­tel, 1201 S. Broad St., of­fers var­i­ous pack­ages with overnight ac­com­mo­da­tions, valet park­ing, ad­mis­sion for two to the New Year’s Eve party and ad­mis­sion for two to the New Year’s Day break­fast buf­fet. The New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tion, set for 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., in­cludes party fa­vors, danc­ing to mu­sic of The Power Play­ers and a cham­pagne toast at mid­night. Call 423-756-3400 for pack­age prices.

› New Year’s Eve Din­ner and Show: Puck­ett’s Gro­cery & Restau­rant, 2 W. Aquar­ium Way, will serve its reg­u­lar menu on New Year’s Eve un­til 7 p.m., when it will close to pre­pare for the New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tion. Seat­ing for din­ner, a three-course af­fair with a choice of four en­trees, is at 9 p.m. The Em­bel­lish­ers, fea­tur­ing Troy Un­der­wood and Gary Hermstreet, will be­gin play­ing at 10:30 p.m. un­til the cham­pagne toast at mid­night. Cost is $50. Reser­va­tions are re­quired. Call 423-708-8505.

› New Year’s Eve Din­ner Train: Ten­nessee Val­ley Rail­road Mu­seum, 4119 Cromwell Road, will serve a three-course din­ner aboard a re­stored 1924 din­ing car on a leisurely train ex­cur­sion, with seat­ings at 5 or 8 p.m. Din­ers choose their en­trees when or­der­ing tick­ets. Cost is $75 per seat in the din­ing car, $85 per seat in the lux­ury Pull­man car. 423-894-8028.

› New Year’s on the River: Cruise into the new year on the South­ern Belle river­boat, com­plete with a DJ, prime rib din­ner, party fa­vors and cham­pagne toast at mid­night. Catch the bowl games on the third-deck bar’s tele­vi­sion. Ex­cur­sions last from 4 to 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Board­ing is at 201 River­front Park­way. Cost is $49.90 ages 13 and older, $24.90 ages 3-12 for the 4 p.m. cruise; $129 per per­son (must be 21 or older) for the 9 p.m. cruise. 423-266-4488.

› New Year’s Rockin’ Eve:

The Beat­ers headline this blowout at the Chat­tanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Mar­ket St. The evening in­cludes a cash bar and door prizes dur­ing band breaks. Fes­tiv­i­ties are sched­uled from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a $40 ticket. 423-266-5000.

› New Year’s Eve at the Pint: The Hon­est Pint, 35 Pat­ten Park­way, hosts Nick Lut­sko and Genki Genki Panic for a party fea­tur­ing gi­ant pup­pets, surf rock, party fa­vors and free cham­pagne at mid­night. The party starts at 9:30 p.m. and ends at 2:30 a.m. Tick­ets are $20. 423-468-4192.

› Party on the Bluff:

Dance to mu­sic by SoundForce En­ter­tain­ment and en­joy hors d’oeu­vres, open bar and mid­night cham­pagne toast at the Hunter Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art, 10 Bluff View, be­tween 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Tick­ets are $150 per per­son, $280 per cou­ple. 423-267-0968.

› Wild in the Win­ter: Pre­vi­ously a pri­vate party, this year’s event at the Chat­tanooga Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, 1150 Carter St., is open to the pub­lic, with mu­sic by Clas­sic City Juke­box, a rock band from Athens, Ga., and a lo­cal DJ, Groove Pro­fes­sor. Dress is black-tie op­tional, mean­ing that suits are re­quired and tuxe­dos are pre­ferred (no blue jeans, ca­sual shoes, T-shirts, sweaters, etc.). The fun lasts from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Cost is $30 per per­son, $50 per cou­ple. Cash bars will be avail­able. 423-756-0001.

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