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Welcoming the new year: Shepherdstown celebrates New Year’s Eve with food, music, dancing

By Staff | Jan 10, 2020

SHEPHERDSTOWN — On New Year’s Eve, community members and visitors alike put on their party clothes and dancing shoes, before heading out to welcome the New Year at parties throughout the area.

While some of the celebrants attended private parties at homes of friends and family, others joined in public New Year’s Eve parties at local businesses, such as the Clarion Inn, the Bavarian Inn, Domestic, Bistro 112 and Town Run Tap House.

According to Bistro 112 owner Deb Tucker, this year’s party was packed out with celebrants, who enjoyed a New Year’s Eve-themed three-course prix fixe dinner.

“We used to stay open until midnight and toast in the New Year, but it’s more about the food, so we do a special menu and then send people on to the Meck or the Opera House,” Tucker said, referring to the Mecklenburg Inn and temporarily closed Shepherdstown Opera House.

This year’s menu was inspired by cuisine from Paris, France, and largely stayed true to its theme.

“I try to have most of my food being French themed. We do something new to the menu every year,” Tucker said, mentioning a complimentary glass of sparkling wine is given to each diner. “I would say New Year’s Eve is our biggest holiday, and then I would say probably Valentine’s Day. But I get many regulars wanting to dress up for New Year’s Eve who consider us their place to go.”

Across town, Bavarian Inn Vice President David Asam was helping with preparations for the inn’s annual black tie New Year’s Eve party. The event, which is the most formal local New Year’s Eve party, has been held since the inn’s founding 43 years ago.

“It’s a black tie event, very high end, and we’ve been doing it for 43 years now,” Asam said, mentioning the event started as a seated meal, but has since added a light-hearted element, with an extensive buffet dinner. “We wanted it to have a party feel. We’ve been doing that now for probably about eight years.”

The celebration includes a live band and dancing, which continues for an hour-or-so after celebrants toast the arrival of the new year. Many celebrants choose to buy the inn’s New Year’s package, which includes the New Year’s Eve party, overnight accommodations at the inn and brunch at the inn in the morning. The convenience of the event, however, is only one reason why celebrants return to welcome in the New Year at the party every year.

“I think what really separates is our level of service, the attention to details, the high quality of food, the extensive variety of wine and beer. And we really try to make it a higher class event that is still fun,” Asam said.