Where to go, what to do, who to see to kick off 2015 in style
With the New Year almost upon us, it's time for the annual debate: Where to go? And this year, the question is even harder to answer, as Chattanooga’s entertainment choices continue to expand. So, with that in mind, we have put together a look at all the various celebratory options to ring in 2015 and start the second half of the decade on a positive note.
The history of celebrating the start of a new year goes back some 4,000 years to the Babylonians, who held a massive religious festival known as “Akitu” during the first full moon after the vernal equinox (the day in spring where day and night are of equal length), generally in late March. The festival, which lasted for 11 days, also coincided with the celebration of the victory of the sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamet.
It’s Julius Caesar, however, who is generally given the credit for the creation of what we now think of as the “New Year.” In 46 B.C., the Roman emperor introduced the Julian calendar and proclaimed January 1 as the first day of the year, in honor of the two-faced god Janus, who was able to look both into the future and into the past.
With a nod to Caesar, to this day people around the world gather on New Year’s Eve to look back on the year that was and ahead to the year that will be with gatherings and celebrations.
Here in Chattanooga, we have quite a number of choices (though it’s up to you whether or not to wear a toga in honor of Caesar). In no particular order, here is a look at many of the events you have to choose from on December 31st.
The Honest Pint
The Pint goes all out with a “New Year’s Eve Extravaganza” featuring a triple threat of talented local bands: Surfer Blood, Turbo Fruits, and Sharkweek.
35 Patten Pkwy.
Rhythm & Brews
One of the most fun bands in town—That 90’s Show—performz all your favorite hits of the ’90s from grunge to pop to R&B. And if that wasn’t enough, The Iscariots will perform and Tone Harm will be DJing through the night.
221 Market St.
The Camp House
It’s the “Black and White Ball” with Strung Like A Horse, Lacy Jo, SoCro, and The South Soul Dance Family for the first New Year’s Eve party in their new location.
149 E. MLK Blvd.
The most intimate venue in town pops for New Year’s Eve with music from Jonathan Winless and no cover charge.
Inside City Cafe
901 Carter St.
Ring in the New Year with Southern rock touring stalwarts Blackberry Smoke, along with Stonerider and Brother Hawk. Love ZZ Top, Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker and George Jones? Then you’ll love Blackberry Smoke.
1400 Market St.
Party till you drop at JJ’s with Machines Are People Too and Baby Baby.
$10 advance, $15 at the door
231 E. MLK Blvd.
The Doubletree Hotel
Celebrate Chatt-a-New Year with music from the masters of funk, Deep Fried Five, and the Giant Coca-Cola Bottle Drop at midnight.
407 Chestnut St.
Beast + Barrel
It’s a New Year’s Eve Luau and Pig Roast. The prix fixe menu includes pig roast dinner, tiki drinks and a champagne toast. They’ll also have limbo, fire eating, and dance music with DJ Spoon.
$60 per person / $100 per couple
16 Frazier Ave.
The Hunter Museum
Grab your friends for a special night offering food by Events with Taste, an open bar, music and dancing by SoundForce Entertainment for a “Party On The Bluff.”
$85 for Hunter Members
$95 for Non-Members
10 Bluff View Ave.
Chattanooga Choo Choo
The tradition continues at the Choo Choo with “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with The Beaters. Stay overnight at the hotel and enjoy a New Year’s Day brunch.
1400 Market St.
The Comedy Catch
Get a double dose of comedy at the Catch with Reno Collier and Tim Murray. The “Midnight Party Show” will include hats, horns, a split of champagne and DJ Gene Lovin keeping everyone dancing till the morning.
3224 Brainerd Rd.
Looking for something a bit different on New Year's Eve? Receive festive party favors, hats and beads, complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and a female impersonation show at 11 p.m., along with two balloon drops with hundreds in cash and prizes. Plus dancing all night and a free breakfast buffet at 1:30 a.m.
6005 Lee Hwy.
Mocha Restaurant & Music Lounge
It’s a New Year’s Eve Extravaganza with special hosts Chris Mac and Smiley, music from ATL Dream Vision, and spinning from DJ Mixx.
$20 early bird special
511 Broad St.
Bud’s Sports Bar
Let your hair down and party with all your Brainerd friends as Aunt Betty rocks the house for Bud's annual New Year's Eve blowout.
5751 Brainerd Rd.
The Southern Belle Riverboat
Celebrate the new year onboard the Southern Belle, featuring a great dinner, entertainment with DJ Joe Nabors, dancing and more.
201 Riverfront Pkwy.
The Palms at Hamilton
Head to the Coconut Room for dinner and dancing. The menu includes slow-roasted prime rib, ginger poached salmon, open-flame veggie kabobs, lobster bisque, champagne and more. Plus a DJ, live music, and prizes for the best dressed.
$125 couple, $65 per person
6925 Shallowford Rr.
Looking for a bluesy New Year’s Eve? Head over to The Chattanoogan Hotel and celebrate with Rick Rushing & the Blues Strangers.
1201 Broad St.
TerraMae Appalachian Bistro
It’s an “Ode to the Classics” New Year’s Eve Dinner with special seatings all night long. Menu includes Grand Amuse Bouche, cured salmon, caviar devil egg, lobster bisque, beef wellington and more.
122 E. 10th St.
Tennessee Valley Railroad
It’s a a special Dinner Train trip that includes a three-course dining experience onboard a restored 1924 dining car. Departure time is 8 p.m., traveling from the Grand Junction Station at a leisurely pace through portions of urban East Chattanooga, with return around 10 p.m.
4119 Cromwell Rd.