By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Those planning to get out and celebrate the arrival of 2012 will have several options to choose from in Starkville Saturday as the city prepares to ring in the new year.
Rick’s Cafe is adding a twist to its traditional New Year’s party this year by paying tribute to the military in honor of the Iraq War’s end and those still serving in other countries, owner Rick Welch said.
“With all of our servicemen and women coming home from overseas as well as home for the holidays, Rick’s Cafe has decided to pay homage to their dedication to our country,” Welch said. “We are calling it the Rick’s Cafe Military Appreciation New Year’s Eve Ball. It’s just a small way for us to say thank you for their service to our country.”
Welch said anyone with a military ID gets in free, and the cover charge is $7 for everyone else.
“We are donating a portion of the cover charge to the Wounded Warrior Project and will be taking up donations for it as well,” Welch said.
Welch said DJ Will Howard will provide the entertainment, playing hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s, current hits and taking requests from attendees. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the suggested attire is business casual.
The Veranda owner Jay Yates said he and his staff are very excited about New Year’s Eve at the restaurant.
“It’s always a big day for us, but we’ll actually start with our specials Thursday night,” Yates said. “We’re serving crab stuffed shrimp, jumbo Alaskan king crab, Angus filet mignon with Maine lobster tail and Tammy Jones’ chocolate marbled cheesecake.”
Yates said he plans to offer some great bar specials for Friday night during the Music City Bowl.
On Saturday evening, The BBQ Boys are providing the Veranda’s New Year’s Eve entertainment.
“The band is made up of members Les Rock, Rev. Jimmy Baltimore, Earl Six, Elmo P. Wilde, Sweet Tea — also known as Dee McKay — Jim Beatty, Chris Curry, Jeffrey Rupp and Doug Thomas,” Yates said. “As per Veranda tradition, we’ll serve free champagne at midnight. We’d like to invite all our friends to come join us to ring in the new year and hope everyone has a safe, prosperous 2012.”
Dave’s Darkhorse Tavern owner Dave Hood said his staff plans to ring in the new year with some local celebrities.
“We’re having The Flames play, who were mentioned on the recently dedicated Blues Marker, so we’re really proud to have them,” Hood said. “They always play a great, high-energy show, and the crowd really loves them.”
Hood said this is the Tavern’s 17th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball.
The staff plans to honor the traditional countdown to midnight and offering a free champagne toast as the clock strikes 12 a.m.
For those interested in catching a few good games, Stagger In Grill will be open. Keeping with their sports-bar theme, however, they plan to stick to watching football.
Old Venice Pizza Company will also be open for business and will celebrate the coming of 2012 in their own way.
“If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, we will be open and will doing some New Year’s Eve specials,” Old Venice Pizza Company bar manager Ben Hodge said. “We’re not planning any live music, so there will be no cover charge at the door.”