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FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO … ONE: The countdown to a new year begins with a beat

Here are some ways folks can (literally) get down with the final countdown to 2016.

Looking for New Year’s Eve plans? Want them to include live music? encore has found a few tuneful happenings around town that range from low-key and free, to big bands and oysters Rockefeller.

Here are some ways folks can (literally) get down with the final countdown to 2016. All events take place Thurs., Dec. 31.

Big Band Bash New Year’s Eve Party
Seatings at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Bluewater Waterfront Grill
4 Marina St.
Reservations: $75 per person
Bluewater Waterfront Grill will host its annual Big Band Bash with a four-course dinner. Complete with live music by the Wilmington Big Band—a 17-piece orchestra reminiscent of the days of ballroom dancing and swing—party favors and champagne toast will be enjoyed at midnight.

Folks can mix and mingle within cruise-style seating, where guests sit at festively decked-out tables to ring in the new year with others. The Bluewater New Year’s Eve menu is subject to change, but here’s what’s cooking so far:

First course is a choice of stuffed Carolina prawns or Down East oysters Rockefeller. Pick from fall bounty salad or Southern oyster stew for the second course. Third course options include grilled veal chop with tomato bacon and onion jam, stuffed chicken breast or pan-seared Chilean sea bass. For a sweet ending, guests will choose between Cherries Jubilee or White Russian crème brulee.

The Bluewater Waterfront Grill is now taking reservations for seatings at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Seats are $75 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 910-256-8500.

Mac and Juice and Signal Fire
Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Whiskey
1 S. Front St.
Cover: $10
Want to stay downtown for New Year’s Eve? Enjoy the evening with Mac and Juice and Signal Fire at The Whiskey. For a decade Mac and Juice have evolved from a dynamic duo to the acoustic and electric quartet of today. They play “jammy soul rock and roll” style with original songs. Reggae favorites Signal Fire will keep the crowd movin’ and groovin’ through the countdown.

The cover charge is $10 and doors open at 8 p.m. Check The Whiskey Facebook event page for more details and updates.

Heather Rogers
Dec. 31, 10 p.m.
Costello’s Piano Bar
211 Princess St.
Inspired by the likes of Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge and Grace Potter (who’s coming to the Cape Fear Stage on January 24), Heather Rogers is a country-rock singer and songwriter with quite the vocal chops. Rogers is a frequent performer at Costello’s Piano Bar, so it’s no surprise they’ve invited her to ring in the new year. Beer, wine, speciality cocktails, and martinis will be available for purchase.

There is no cover charge as always and Rogers will take the stage at 10 p.m. Visit Costello’s Facebook page for updates.

Striking Copper
Dec. 31, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Flytrap Brewing
319 Walnut St.
encore introduced readers to Striking Copper last October as they prepared for their special Halloween performance. Now they’re celebrating the arrival of 2016 at Flytrap Brewing’s Brew Year’s Eve in the Brooklyn Arts District.

In addition to live music, Flytrap will have special beer releases from their Endangered Series, including an apricot saison conditioned with champagne yeast. This release will only be available for consumption in the tap room. 2 Bros Coastal Cuisine food truck will be on site from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. with a menu worth celebrating. It will include: honey habanero-glazed grilled shrimp skewers over Parmesan polenta, smoked pork boudin beignet with mustard sauce, blue mac and cheese fritters with truffle dip, smoked beef brisket sliders, and more.

Striking Copper will go on at 9:30 p.m. and Flytrap will stay up extra late ‘til 1 a.m. Visit their Facebook page or website at for more information.

Sounds OF NYE: Featuring Jason Thompson (above), A Tasting Room in downtown ILM is one of several hot spots for live music this New Year’s Eve. Courtesy photo

SOUNDS OF NYE: Featuring Jason Thompson (above), A Tasting Room in downtown ILM is one of several hot spots for live music this New Year’s Eve. Courtesy photo

Jason Thompson
Dec. 31, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
A Tasting Room
19 S. 2nd St.
With music born in and inspired by the Ozark Mountains, Jason Thompson sings tales of love and heartache, wanderlust and freedom of the road, as well as tells stories of the downtrodden and forgotten working-class heroes of the American underground. Thompson’s latest album, “Out of Pocket,” is laden with electric blues and soulful country roots.

Released with Lo-Fi Roots Recordings, Thompson made the album in Germany while on tour in 2015. The six-track EP is now available for download on Thompson’s website,, but CDs will be on sale at the New Year’s Eve show at A Tasting Room.

Visit their Facebook page or website at

Kyle Lindley and Boba Funk
Dec. 31, 8 p.m. ‘til 2016
7250 Market St.
Fermental is getting ready for a 2016 celebration the only way they know how: rare beers and live music. Alongside local folk singer Kyle Lindley and Friends, and soul-funk-reggae trio DT3, the T’Geaux Boys Food Truck will be on site starting at 7 p.m.
Music and food will be accompanied by a rotating selection of rare beers on tap and a free champagne toast at midnight. No reservations required and it’s free to attend.
Find more details and updates at the Facebook event page.

New Year’s Eve Bash with the Phantom Playboys
Dec. 31, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
The Calico Room
107 S. Front St.
Cover: $10
The Phantom Playboys will rock the new year at The Calico Room, with complimentary champagne, party favors and appetizers for all. The Phantom Playboys are known for their rockabilly energy and passion for the party.

The all-inclusive cover charge is $10 and doors open at 8 p.m.; the party goes ‘til 2 a.m. For more details and updates, visit the Facebook event page.

See other area shows and events listed in our Soundboard pages or online at

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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