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Happy New Year! Clarion Inn New Year’s Eve Party draws locals, visitors

By Staff | Jan 11, 2019

Champagne flutes are filled, during the celebration of the arrival of the new year on the evening of Dec. 31. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Celebrations on New Year’s Eve happen in a variety of ways throughout the Shepherdstown community. While some resident prefer to bring in the new year within the comfort of their own homes, others ventured out to the Clarion to enjoy an evening of food, music and dancing.

The Clarion in Shepherdstown has hosted a New Year’s Eve party since it was founded 21 years ago, according to Clarion Hotel and Conference Center Director of Sales and Marketing Jennifer Tinsman.

“I want to say we’ve been doing this for 20 years, maybe 21 years. As long as we’ve been open, we’ve had a new year’s event,” Tinsman said, mentioning that the Clarion owner determines what special events are offered by their hotels.

“Ken Lowe is the owner of our franchise. He likes to provide an opportunity for the community to come in and have somewhere safe and friendly to come and enjoy their New Year’s Eve,” Tinsman said.

According to Tinsman, this year’s event featured an a la carte menu in the Rumsey Tavern from 5-10 p.m., an all-you-can-eat dinner from 5-9 p.m. Live music was performed from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. by Souled Out Band – a repeat from last year. The band will be returning again for next year’s celebration. because of the positive reviews the Clarion has received about the band. Although the Clarion does make changes in the party from year to year, Tinsman said the alterations often go unnoticed by attendees.

“There are all these hidden changes that people might not be aware of, things that we do on our part to make it a more successful night, and an experience for people to enjoy,” Tinsman said.

“We actually this year, we sold over 100 sleeping rooms, and we sold over 250 dance tickets, which is great. So it was a good turnout,” Tinsman said, mentioning about 100 buffet tickets were sold. “Overall, it was a very successful New Year’s Eve Party.”

“New Year’s is all about having more people staying on the property and eating in the tavern, so you have more avenues to take, so you have a full night of an experience. I think they like the fact that you can come in and dine with us, you can come in and dance here, and then you can come and stay with us,” Tinsman said of the New Year’s Eve Party celebration options. “You have the full night of the experience, and then can wake up and have breakfast with us. It’s a packaged deal.”

For the Clarion, having so many options may be one reason people visit town for the event.

“It’s a safe and friendly environment, you don’t have to worry about going outside if you don’t want to, but you can also walk downtown to Shepherdstown and enjoy downtown,” Tinsman said. “It’s a mixture of people – you have local people that come in, and then you have some people that come, maybe, from a town or city or state over.”