New Year's graphic (copy)

Champagne, live music and food will mark the transition from the old year to the new one at parties in the Waco area.

As the final days of 2018 wheeze to the year’s conclusion, party planners are putting final touches on celebrating what’s behind in the past or what’s ahead.

Waco revelers have more than a few options to join others for music, dancing, food and, in most cases, a little champagne for a midnight toast. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store.

  • The New Year’s Eve Barkin’ Ball continues as the top dog among Waco NYE parties in terms of size, bringing a “Cirque Celebration” theme this year to the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Ave. The long-running ball serves as a major fundraiser for animal rescue organization Fuzzy Friends Rescue, with a meal catered by Eddie Deen and dance music from Dallas band The Project. $200.
  • If solving murders is your cup of, well, glass of champagne, Brazos Theatre brings one of its interactive murder mysteries to the Hilton Waco, 113 S. University Parks Drive, for New Year’s Eve. The evening includes a three-course meal by Chef Nathaniel Gay, dance music from Waco’s Texas Heatwave Band, a champagne toast at midnight and, of course, solving just whodunnit.
  • The Great Gatsby’s New Year’s Party returns for a second year at Kissing Tree Vineyards in Bruceville-Eddy, with Waco jazz pianist Dave Wild assembling his Hot Jazz Six for Roaring ’20s jazz and more. The party, at the Vineyards’ tasting room at 109 W. Third St., starts at 7 p.m. with gourmet food, swing dance lessons, participants in period dress, and plenty of wine and champagne; tickets are $145.
  • Two country bands, the Shane Watson Band and the Huser Brothers, bring the year-turning music to the 2 Years Eve celebration at Melody Ranch, 2315 Robinson Drive. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the Shane Watson Band leading off at 9 p.m.; $15 and $10.

Other local NYE shows include:

Rosati’s New Year’s Eve with the Ballou Cats, 9 p.m., Rosati’s Pizza, 824 Hewitt Drive.

35 South, 9:30 p.m., Smiley’s Country Club, 412 N. Valley Mills Drive; $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

CaCean Ballou and Dirty Crawfish with T.J. Bell, Gary Fuda and Haywood Johnson, “The Blues Is Alright” New Year’s Eve, 9 p.m., The Brass Rail, 3200 N. 19th St.; $10.

Brainbell Janglers Band, 8 p.m., Wolf’s Sports Bar, 116 E. Oak St., West; free.

Bubba Haze, 8:30 p.m., Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon, 1505 N. Frontage Road, Lorena; $10.

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor