The age-old debate comes up around about this time every year.
Millions of people start calling up either crystal-clear or extremely hazy memories of what they were doing last Dec. 31, and, after wincing a bit, formulate a new plan.
Well, maybe a slightly modified plan, depending on their level of parental responsibility and/or general New Year’s Eve apathy. But it can seem like everybody is telling their friends this year that “after last year,” they’re going to either “have a quiet night with friends” or “make a plan to get out.”
And those intentions usually end up lasting as long as a champagne toast.
Luckily, for those planning either kind of night, there are plenty of options for both care-free abandon and relaxed evenings with friends or family.
Find your diversion, plan to get there and back responsibly, and have fun. Oh, and think about bringing a notepad — you might be able to use it next year.
Time: 10 to 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 2:05 a.m.
Hosts: Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest, with Fergie.
Performers: Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Meat Loaf, RBD, Christina Aguilera, Rascal Flatts, the cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys.”
Time: 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Host: Cat Deeley.
Performers: Chris Daughtry of “American Idol,” Toni Braxton.
Time: 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (streaming on mtv.com).
Performers: Gwen Stefani, Nas, Ciara, Three 6 Mafia.
Time: 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (simulcast on Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and nbc.com).
Performers: Panic! at the Disco.
Time: 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Performers: Audra McDonald at Lincoln Center, Gerrison Keillor at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Buffalo (First Night Buffalo)
Hosts: Independent Health Foundation and First Niagara.
Location: Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 5 to 9 p.m.
Details: A drug- and alcohol-free event with a host of varied entertainment, including animals on display from Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics, hypnotist Michael Blaine, the Dinner Dogs musical group, Comedy Sportz and the Niagara Falls Housing Authority Youth Choir and more. Free parking at the Fernbach, Main Place Mall and Turner ramps, and Metro Rail hours have been extended.
Buffalo Ball Drop
Hosts: 97 Rock, Buffalo Police Athletic League.
nLocation: Electric Tower, Washington and Genesee streets.
Details: Cram the square with 40,000 other Western New Yorkers and watch live music, a 2006 “Year in Review” video on Jumbotron screens, and all the other standard “stand around and cheer” activities, with a massive fireworks display at midnight.
Location: 2595 Elmwood Ave., at Hamilton.
Details: Free community-wide drug- and alcohol-free event starting at 7:30 p.m. and running until 12:30 am. Food, drink and live music by Tina Marie Williams and One Foot in Heaven are provided free, along with a bounce house, face painting and craft table for the younger set. Board games, gamble-free poker tables, and houly give aways are among the other prizes. For information, call the Knox at 873-2423.
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Host: Hard Rock Cafe.
Location: 333 Prospect St..
Details: Rip and the Bandogs will take the Hard Rock stage to ring in the new year beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Host: Niagara Falls Parks Commission.
Location: Queen Victoria Park.
Details: Nearly 30,000 people head to the Clifton Hill area each year for the festivities and free concert, which this year features Foreigner, Colin James and Justin Hines at a party that kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will be set off at 9 p.m. and at the stroke of midnight.
Host: Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Location: Eagles lodge, 7269 Ward Road.
Details: Appetizers start at 6 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m., with music by Swithback at 9 p.m. Donations are $35 per person, with rides available. Call 694-6968 for information.
Host: Lighthouse Grill-N-Spirits.
Location: 5885 E. Main St.
Details: The Byrd’s Nest Band will headline the evening’s festivities. The show kicks off at 9:30 p.m.
Hosts: The taverns and restaurants of Wilson: The Wilson House, Hub Hotel and Jean’s Bar & Grill.
Location: Wilson House, 300 Lake St.
Details: The show that’s drawn crowds for several years now feeatures live entertainment, hot chocolate and a chance to watch the ball drop from a large crane at midnight, sponsored by Floyd D. Clark and Clark Rigging & Rental.
Town of Lockport
Host: Klub 60.
Location: Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4487 Lake Ave.
Details: Cocktails start at 7 p.m., with a catered prime rib buffet by Donn Eick and music by Freefall to follow. Tickets for $95 per couple includes cocktails before dinner, buffet, coffee and festive supplies. Beer and wine available, or BYOB. Call 434-5809 for reservations.