Port Alberni prepares to ring in the new year

From family-friendly First Night to fundraising adults-only parties, find your fun for Dec. 31

(This article has been updated to note the Black Sheep Rugby Club’s New Year’s Eve gala has been cancelled, as of late Dec. 27. Read further for ticket refund information)

If you’re looking for a way to ring in the New Year in Port Alberni, there are a few different events on Tuesday, Dec. 31 to choose from.

For families with children, the City of Port Alberni will be holding its annual First Night celebration, sponsored by the Port Alberni Toy Run. A family swim at Echo Pool runs from 6-8 p.m. with pool games, prizes and snacks. Admission is limited to 250 swimmers, and the doors open at 5:30 p.m.

You can also enjoy free skating at the Alberni Valley Multiplex from 5-7 p.m., with on-ice games and activities, or free rollerblading at Glenwood Centre from 6-9 p.m. with dancing, prizes and snacks. No registration is required.

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Boston Pizza will also be holding a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.

Join Boston Pizza for dinner at 6 p.m. and take part in the 7 p.m. Balloon Drop to ring in the new year. The meal will include party favours, a complimentary sparkling beverage for kids and adults and a free kids meal on your first visit in 2020.

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For those who are older than 19, there is plenty of fun to choose from.

Travel back in time with Five Acre Productions and Sociellie at The Roaring Twenties New Year’s Eve Dance at the Kinsmen Community Centre (4102 Hollywood Street). The event is a fundraiser for the Five Acre Shaker and will include music from The New Groovement, Neil’s Weather Report and DJ-Jay. It starts with a 1920s dance workshop from 8:30-9 p.m. The event will also feature free champagne at midnight, appetizers, party favours and door prizes, a full-service bar, games and a photo booth. At the end of the night, shuttles will be available to take you home.

Tickets are on sale for $30 at Double R Meats or online at fiveacre.tickit.ca.

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The Black Sheep Rugby Club announced Friday afternoon that their 19+ New Year’s Eve Gala has been cancelled due to low ticket sales.

This social event was supposed to be a fundraiser for high school girls’ rugby coach John Wall and his family, as his granddaughter battles cancer.

“The committee got together this morning (Friday, Dec. 27) and ticket sales have been really slow. They made the decision to cancel the event,” committee member Tanya Shannon said.

“We’ve been phoning people that did buy tickets to return their money.”

Anyone who purchased tickets but has not yet been contacted for a refund can email blacksheepevents@shaw.ca or private message via the event Facebook page.

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Kingsway Pub will host a Rocking New Year’s Eve Bash starting at 8 p.m. The Rangers will be playing live, followed by DJ Dbl G rocking out with 90s hip-hop and R&B. Enjoy some tasty treats and fabulous drinks to ring in the new year. There is no cover charge for this event.

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Dance in the New Year at the Rainbow Room with a New Year’s Eve Party celebrating 50 years of dance. The show starts at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are available at Rainbow Lanes for $20, which includes a midnight snack, party favours and champagne.

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The Italian Hall Events Centre will be hosting a 1920s themed New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. With help from the Blue Marlin Inn, the Italian Hall will offering an evening of fantastic food and festive fun and frivolity. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and a prime rib buffet will get rolling at 7 p.m. Live music will be provided by Short Term. There will also be door prizes and champagne at midnight.

Early bird tickets are $40 and are available at Forever New, KJ Riggins or the Blue Marlin Inn.

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Last but not least, the Royal Canadian Legion will hold a New Year’s Eve Dance with music by Cruze Control. Admission is $25 for Legion members and $30 for non-members and includes a light meal and party favours. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale in the lounge: call 250-723-5042. Designated drivers will be available by donation.

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