Londoners will be ringing in New Year’s Eve in style with celebrations taking place across the Forest City.
One of the larger shindigs will be held at the Western Fair District. Actually, the District will be putting on four separate events to welcome in 2016.
“All our NYE events are held in the District, but every event is different and each is held in its own unique venue,” said Heather Blackwell, director of corporate affairs. “We promote our be entertained brand through a variety of entertaining experiences in outstanding venues for our customers.”
The District’s event schedule includes:
• The Carousel Room New Year’s Eve Party, featuring a roast beef buffet, cash bar and OLG group gaming package (must be 19 or older);
• New Year’s Eve Party at Top of the Fair, featuring a buffet dinner, live harness racing, light atmospheric music and OLG Group Gaming package (again, must be 19 or older);
• Yuk Yuk’s Buffet Dinner + Comedy Show, featuring a prime rib dinner and night of comedy with Derek Seguin, Jeff Elliot and MC Shannon Laverty; and
• New Year’s Eve Rawhide Rodeo & Dinner, featuring a buffet dinner and entertainment that will include 15 of the top bull riders in the International Pro Rodeo association.
So why it is important for Western Fair to have such a showcase of events on New Year’s Eve?
For Blackwell, the District is a preferred centre for year-round entertainment and to earn that title, the facility needs to offer a multitude of events that meet the needs of a variety of customer preferences.
“Year-round, we provide an assortment of entertainment, education and recreational events and because New Year’s Eve is such a big celebration, for so many, we do our best to offer more than one experience so our customers can choose what suits their entertainment style and preference,” Blackwell said. “People want choice and you can count on Western Fair District to provide that through agriculture, sports, comedy, racing, gaming, shows, music and more.”
For those looking to add some more music to their New Year’s Eve festivities, nine-time Juno Award nominees Sloan will join an array of local talent in kicking off 2016 under the lights in Victoria Park.
This year’s festivities are full of homegrown talent with children’s act Glee London kicking off the evening at a new start time of 8 p.m. Then, it’s all eyes skyward for a special children’s fireworks display at 9 p.m.
After 9 p.m., local alternative pop favourite Ivory Hours take the stage.
Headlining the show will be Sloan, a Toronto-based quartet whose 1997 album One Chord to Another won the Juno Award for Best Alternative Album.
Throughout their nearly 25-year career, the band has released 11 LPs, two EPs, a live album, a greatest hits album and more than 30 singles.
New Year’s Eve Hoopla is another family-oriented event set for Storybook Gardens. It will include a campfire, outdoor skating, a pizza buffet from 7-8 p.m. and a countdown to the New Year beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Other events include rocker Sarah Smith ringing in 2016 at Fitzray’s Restaurant and Lounge, The Gastsby New Years’ Eve — billed as London’s largest and most extravagant event of 2015 — at Centennial Hall, and celebrations at the Greek Canadian Centre, the German Canadian Club, the Springbank Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and Victory Legion Branch 317.