Top picks for New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Kawarthas

Dance away 2016 with both family-friendly and adult-only parties from Peterborough to Port Hope

Music columnist Josh Fewings picks nine options for celebrating New Year's Eve in Peterborough and the Kawarthas
Music columnist Josh Fewings picks nine options for celebrating New Year's Eve in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

There are a ton of New Year’s Eve events in Peterborough and the Kawarthas! There’s something in almost every area of our readership and something for every age group and musical taste. Brave the cold and celebrate the end of 2016 and the coming of 2017.

Below are my top picks of celebrations to choose from, including a couple of family-friendly ones. For a complete list of what’s happening in the Kawarthas around New Year’s, make sure to check out our New Year’s Events listings.

Dance for Operation Catnip with Max Mouse and the Gorillas at The Spill in Peterborough

While New Year’s is usually associated with a late-night party, there are also some early events that allow for celebration before it gets late. “Dance for Operation Catnip” will be one of those shows.

The event will feature Max Mouse and the Gorillas on stage at The Spill (414 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-748-6167) from 3 to 6 p.m., with donations at the door going to Operation Catnip, a not-for-profit dedicated to fixing and finding homes for stray cats.

Max Mouse and the Gorillas feature some Peterborough and area musical icons, including Cris Cuddy, Bobby Watson, Buzz Thompson and more. The event will also have special guest Delbert Metheral. Get your afternoon dancing shoes on!

VIDEO: “Steppin’ Out” – Max Mouse and the Gorillas

Annual Family New Year’s Eve Party with Blues in the Bottle at Showplace in Peterborough

Another early event for New Year’s Eve is the very family-friendly Annual Family NYE Party with local jug band Blues in the Bottle in the Nexicom Studio at Showplace Performance Centre (290 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-742-7469).

The show will run from 5 to 8 p.m. and will include a countdown to 2017 for children so they too can celebrate as well.

Advance tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and grandparents, or $20 for the whole family (and $30 at the door for a family). Tickets can be purchased from the Showplace Box Office or online at

Organizers encourage bringing a food item for YES Shelter for Youth and Families and/or a snack for the food table at the event. The venue is accessible with an elevator in operation as well. Should be a great time!

VIDEO: “Blues in the Bottle” at Needles in the Hay from the 2015 Folk Folly

New Year’s Eve with Kim Doolittle and Ted Staunton at Trattoria Gusto in Port Hope

Port Hope is in for a treat on New Year’s Eve as Trattoria Gusto (1 Walton St., Port Hope, 905-885-1198) hosts an excellent evening of music and food.

There will be music by talented musicians Kim Doolittle and Ted Staunton, as well as a delicious three-course meal.

Tickets are $60, find out more information and reserve a spot by calling 905-885-1198.

VIDEO: “Amazing Grace” – Kim Doolittle

New Year’s Eve with Gunslingers at Canoe & Paddle in Lakefield

Food and musical entertainment are on the menu at Lakefield’s Canoe & Paddle (18 Bridge St., Lakefield, 705-651-1111) on New Year’s Eve.

There’ll be an early seating from 4 to 7 p.m. for families (dinner only), and an evening seating from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. with music provided by cover band Gunslingers starting at 8:30 p.m. The evening includes a three-course meal, one drink (with many fine micro-brewed beers and wines available), and champagne at midnight.

Tickets are $80 and include tax and tip as well. For more information and to reserve, call 705-651-1111.

VIDEO: “I Saw Her Standing There” – Gunslingers

New Year’s Eve with The Kents at Days Inn and Suites in Lindsay

For Lindsay residents, Days Inn and Suites (134 Angeline St. S., Lindsay, 705-328-0100) will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party featuring hometown heroes The Kents.

The band has had a great year with a ton of big shows, the release of their acclaimed debut EP, and a growing reputation for excellent new music. Their sound is laden with pop/rock hooks, catchy melodies, and there would appear to be big things on the horizon for the group.

The party will feature appetizers and a portion of proceeds will go to the Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $105, available at Days Inn and Suites Lindsay or online at For more information, visit Days Inn and Suites Lindsay on Facebook.

VIDEO: “Something About Her” – The Kents

New Year’s Eve with The Fab Four at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre in Port Hope

Folks in Port Hope also have a chance to ring in 2017 with The Beatles. Maybe not the real band, but it’s a pretty good tribute to the boys from Liverpool.

The Fab Four will be live at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (20 Queen St., Port Hope, 905-885-1071) beginning at 8 p.m. After the concert, there will be a live television feed from Times Square in New York. Beverages and concessions will be allowed in the theatre and there will be party favours available.

Tickets cost $29 and are available online at

VIDEO: The Fab Four

New Year’s Eve with The Rocket Revue featuring Beau Dixon at Parkway Banquet Hall in Peterborough

The Rocket Revue brings their rollicking big band sound to the Parkway Banquet Hall (1135 Lansdowne St. W. #200, 705-742-4100) for New Year’s Eve and they’ve got special guest Beau Dixon along with them.

The group plays R&B standards with swing, blues, jazz, and more. This will be a great show to dance away 2016!

Tickets are $42 and are available at Moondance and Parkway Banquet Hall. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the music begins at 9 p.m.

VIDEO: The Rocket Revue Promo

VIDEO: “It’s Your Thing” – Beau Dixon

New Year’s Eve @ the LAB in Bobcaygeon with Terri Crawford and the Retro Rockets

City of Kawartha Lakes folks will be able to dance 2016 away at the Lakeview Arts Barn (2300 Pigeon Lake Rd, Bobcaygeon, 705-738-2037). The evening will feature classic tunes by Terri Crawford and the Retro Rockets.

Also included with the ticket is a delicious all-night buffet … and a free ride home right to your door in the Kawartha Lakes region (that’s a nice bonus to have for New Year’s Eve)!

Tickets are $50+HST. For more information, visit or call 705-738-2037.

VIDEO: “Life Lines” – Terri Crawford

New Year’s Eve with Mayhemingways at The Pig’s Ear in Peterborough

Peterborough’s Mayhemingways play a New Year’s Eve party at the Pig’s Ear Tavern (144 Brock St., Peterborough, 705-745-7255) — for everyone from early concert-goers to those who are in it until after the clock strikes midnight.

The duo of Benj Rowland and yours truly plays fuzz-folk with elements of bluegrass, Cajun, and Celtic music. Music will begin around 8 p.m. and will run well into the early morning of 2017.

Admission is only $5 at the door and will include chili and a midnight cheer with the bar’s trademark beer Labatt 50! Drop in for a quick pint or stay all night.

VIDEO: “Hunter Street Blues” – Mayhemingways