ARE WE THERE YET? Where to celebrate the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 in ILM

So, we took an unofficial poll here at encore and determined most everyone is ready to see 2016 come to a sweet, sweet end. We’re ready to laugh, eat, drink, and dance our way into 2017.

CHUCKLES FOR 2017: Whether folks want to drink, dance or laugh 2016 away—there’s something for everyone on New Year’s Eve in the Port City, including a special NYE show with Kyle Grooms (right) at Dead Crow Comedy. Courtesy photo.
CHUCKLES FOR 2017: Whether folks want to drink, dance or laugh 2016 away—there’s something for everyone on New Year’s Eve in the Port City, including a special NYE show with Kyle Grooms (right) at Dead Crow Comedy.
Courtesy photo.

Whether encore readers are enthusiastically celebrating the end of this past year or happily welcoming the beginning of another, all sorts of fun ways await to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in the Port City. Here are a few highlights…

Brew Year’s Eve w/ Dirty White Rags
Sat., Dec. 31, 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Flytrap Brewing • 319 Walnut St.

Yes, let’s start with beer. Flytrap Brewing will be ringing in the new year with jazz-and- blues-inspired stylings of local band Dirty White Rags. Flytrap Brewing will have a free champagne toast at midnight. Catch the Food Truck will be outside serving up fare made especially to pair with Flytrap brews. House beers include a White IPA, Cranberry Saison, Rye Pale, Belgian Dubbel with Plum, and several others.
Also note: Flytrap’s holiday hours are Brew Year’s Eve from noon – 1 a.m. and New Year’s Day from noon – 10 p.m. Visit

NYE 2016: Bacchanalia!
Sat., Dec. 31
Seatings at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Doors open 30 mins prior.
$90 per person; $170 couples;
$30 show only
TheatreNOW • 19 S. 10th St.

Indulge in a multi-course meal and contemporary variety acts at TheatreNOW come the 31st. This year’s annual “Bacchanalia!” features flame and aerial acts, live music, comedy, and more. Each ticket includes party favors and a champagne toast to the arrival of 2017. (show-only tickets also available). Additional beverages and service gratuity are not included in ticket price.

Learn more or make reservations at

New Year’s Eve Gala
Saturday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Thalian Hall • 310 Chestnut St.
Tickets: $150

Presented with Cape Fear Theatre Arts, Thalian Hall’s New Year’s Eve Gala is sure to be one of the best theatrical parties in town!  Ring in the new year with Broadway’s “Sister Act,” produced by Cape Fear Theatre Arts. Based on the 1992-hit film starring Whoopi Goldberg, “Sister Act” is the feel-good musical comedy everyone needs right about now. Featuring original music by Tony- and Oscar-award winner Alan Menken (“Newsies,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Shop of Horrors”), the musical will have everyone ready to dance the night away.

Dinner, drinks, dessert, and show are all included. After the curtains fall, the party train to 2017 will continue with a live DJ, dancing and countdown with champagne toast. Tickets are $125—Thalian member discounts are not applicable. Learn more at

Pop the Port NYE Party
Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.
Throne Theater • 208 Market St.
Tickets: $35-$75

Come dressed to impress at Throne Theater’s Pop the Port New Year’s Eve Party. Mixed and hosted by KeyBo Entertainment, there will be a balloon drop, cash prizes, and of course lots of music and dancing. All tickets come with a bottle of champagne but VIP balcony access also comes with light hors d’oeuvre and waitress to make those long trips to the bar (all top-shelf liquor will only be $7). Table, stool and suite reservations are available by emailing or calling 704-658-6580. Must be 21 and over, with valid ID.


Psst … encoreDeals still has a few half-price tickets to Pop the Port. Get ‘em while they last at

New Year’s Show: Kyle Grooms
Dead Crow Comedy • 265 N. Front St.
Sat., Dec. 31, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$25

We promised some laughs in this roundup, too, so here they are: Dead Crow Comedy is hosting their final show of 2016 with special guest Kyle Grooms, featuring Kevin Brookes. Grooms has appeared on Comedy Central with his own stand-up special, as well as “Chappelle’s Show” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” No stranger to the stage, Grooms has done gigs at several top clubs of New York City, like Caroline’s, Comic Strip, Comedy Cellar, and Gotham. Now the writer, actor and comedian will head to the Port City for a champagne toast with Wilmingtonians on New Year’s Eve at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Get tickets at

Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration
Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.
Ocean Front Park • 105 Atlantic Ave., Kure Beach

The Island of Lights is going into its 25th year of providing a coastal holiday tradition for many families. Their New Year’s Eve Celebration at Ocean Front Park features (what else?) an illuminated giant beach-ball drop at midnight, followed by fireworks by the Atlantic. Prior to midnight there will be a DJ, dancing and raffle for original artwork of the annual Island of Lights Christmas card and ornament. Refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the night’s festivities.

For more details and updates, visit

New Year’s Eve Gala
Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Beau Rivage Golf & Resort
649 Rivage Promenade
Tickets: $60

The New Year’s Eve Gala at Beau Rivage Golf & Resort in Wilmington, NC, features heavy hors d’oeuvre by Middle of the Island Catering, a complimentary drink and champagne toast at midnight, and music by Party Gras Entertainment. There will be a cash bar available throughout the evening, room packages for an additional $89—which comes with a complimentary bottle of champagne—and gala proceeds benefit New Hanover Regional Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital.

For details and tickets, visit the event’s Facebook page or

NYE Bash w/ The Phantom Playboys
Sat., Dec. 31, 10 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Calico Room, 107 S. Front St.
Tickets: $10 adv; $12 door

The Calico Room is hosting their New Year’s Eve Bash with local rockabilly favorites The Phantom Playboys. Their 50s rock ‘n’ roll-inspired sounds and raw energy are unparalleled in Wilmington’s burning hot music scene. Folks will have to bring dancin’ shoes to keep up with this “five-piece brass and steel freight train.” There also will be party favors and a champagne toast to help jump-start 2017. Tickets are available on EventBrite or visit the event page on Facebook.

New Year’s Noon
Sat., Dec. 31, 9 a.m. – noon
Children’s Museum of Wilmington
116 Orange St.
Tickets: $8.75 to $9.75

New Year’s Eve isn’t just for grownups—though, we have plenty of options out there! For young families looking for something to do with the kiddos earlier in the day, they can head downtown to Children’s Museum of Wilmington to toast to 2017—with juice, of course. Kids can make their own crowns, streamer sticks, glittery slimes, and more favors to celebrate the new year before a massive confetti toss at noon in the courtyard! Visit for more details.

New Year’s Eve Boat Cruise
Sat., Dec. 31, 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Winner Princess Party Boat
100 Carl Winner Dr.
Tickets: $25

Even landlubbers just looking for a little adventure on the water can appreciate Winner Party Boat’s New Year’s Eve Cruise in Carolina Beach. Folks can rock the boat with dance music, party favors, cash bar, and a champagne toast on the water at midnight. Boarding time is at 10:30 p.m., with departure scheduled for 11 p.m. and return at 12:30 a.m. Visit for details and reservations, or call 910-458-5356.

nyeNew Year’s Eve Celebration: Fermental
Sat., Dec. 31, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Fermental, 7250-B Market St.

Fermental is offering a trifecta of talent with Kyle Lindley, Sean Richardson and the Sany Pose Duo taking the stage throughout the evening. They’ll have rotating rare beers on tap, wines by the glass, and at midnight our favorite three words this week: complimentary champagne toast.

This is designed to be a casual alternative way to celebrate 2017, so no reservations are required. Goin’ Ham Burger Truck will be on site starting at 7 p.m. Call 910-821-0362 for details, or visit

Comedy & Coffee Cure for 2016 Show
Morning Glory Coffee House
1415 Dawson St.
Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017
Doors at 6 p.m.; Show at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $10

Too much champagne on New Year’s Eve? Still recovering from 2016? Nothing cures what ails ya like caffeine, homemade pastries and a good laugh. Morning Glory Coffee House has all three lined up with Comedy & Coffee Cure for 2016.

Featuring the winner of 2016’s Ultimate Comedy Challenge in Greensboro, NC, Melissa Douty was the first female comic to take home the top prize. Douty will be joined by performer Blaire Postman (2016 finalist in Wilma Magazine’s Women to Watch Awards for arts) and the show’s host, Wills Maxwell (WWAY’s “What Did We Miss” commentator).

Find the event page on Facebook or visit

Wrightsville Plungin’ for a Purpose
Sun., Jan. 1; noon, plunge at 1 p.m.
Crystal Pier at The Oceanic
703 S. Lumina Ave.
Registration: $25

Dive into 2016 by Plungin’ for a Purpose to support Communities In Schools of Cape Fear. This year’s Wrightsville Polar Plunge will have music, refreshments, fun activities, $5 raffle, and more for the whole family. Visit Crystal Pier (Public Access #36) for festivities at noon and plunge at 1 p.m. Register to take the plunge individually or as a team.



Find or list more events at

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