Holidays

Ring in the new year

Parties, music, champagne and more as the new decade slides into view

By Dena Miller
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 12/24/19

According to History.com, 46 B.C. marks the year that the astronomer Sosigenes convinced Emperor Julius Caesar to abandon celebrating the new year at the time of the lunar vernal equinox, typically in mid-March. Instead, he successfully argued that the new year should coincide with the solar cycle, a time that was was named after the Roman god, Janus, who was often depicted with two faces. It was thought the god could therefore look both to the past and into the future.

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Holidays

Ring in the new year

Parties, music, champagne and more as the new decade slides into view

Posted

According to History.com, 46 B.C. marks the year that the astronomer Sosigenes convinced Emperor Julius Caesar to abandon celebrating the new year at the time of the lunar vernal equinox, typically in mid-March. Instead, he successfully argued that the new year should coincide with the solar cycle, a time that was was named after the Roman god, Janus, who was often depicted with two faces. It was thought the god could therefore look both to the past and into the future.

Now, it's 2,065 years later and, yes, January still has two faces. We do look back: with satisfaction, with peace, with happiness and, hopefully, without regret. We then wonder if the upcoming 12 months holds for us the tranquility and prosperity that we wish for our loved ones and ourselves. That's what makes New Year's Eve both poignant and celebratory.

So, on Tuesday (Dec. 31) dress in your best warm winter finery, gather with your family, friends and neighbors on historic Taos Plaza and, as in years past, partake in the food, music and fireworks that bring fellowship to our community.

For the fourth year, Mayor Dan Barrone and his family will kick off the festivities by hosting a complimentary pig roast from 7-8:30 p.m., noted Mitch Miller, facilities and special events director for the town of Taos.

"This is something that is near and dear to the hearts of the mayor and his family," Miller said. "It's an event that's family friendly and appropriate for all ages, and it spreads good will throughout the town as we bring the holiday season to a close."

It's also a labor-intensive undertaking, following days of preparation by the Barrones. "They'll be setting themselves up on the plaza at 5 a.m. to roast several hundred pounds of meat. This is in addition to the days the family has spent preparing side dishes, such as calabacitas and potatoes," Miller said. "Considering that in previous years we've had anywhere from 2,000-5,000 people show up for the overall event, I'd say that's a lot of food."

Find a seat under one of the tents the town is providing for your dining comfort, or cozy up to one of the many fire pits that will be burning. But if you need to move your body in order to stay warm, then plan to dance the night away to the music of Micheal Hearne and The Damn Band.

Hearne, revered for his annual Big Barn Dance Music Festival in September, will serenade you with such blockbuster hits as "New Mexico Rain" and will have you dancing in your two-stepping (and, hopefully, toasty) boots. Taos' own high-energy partymeisters, The Damn Band, will regale you with your favorite rock, pop and R&B numbers with a soupçon of their original works thrown in for good measure.

At 10 p.m. turn your attention to the 12-by-16-foot video screen installed by the plaza's gazebo and watch the ball drop in New York City's Times Square. That's also the moment when the Taos Volunteer Fire Department will launch its fireworks display right into the starry night.

Fire Chief Eddie Joe Abeyta said, "We'll be displaying from Parr Field and respectfully request that the community watch from the plaza for their safety and for allowing us to provide the best show we can."

In addition to the Town of Taos Facilities and Events Department, Mayor Barrone and family and the Taos Volunteer Fire Department, Waste Management of New Mexico is also a sponsor of this event.

The plaza will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7 a.m. to midnight on Tuesday (Dec. 31). Event parking will be available at the Loretto parking lot (260 Camino de la Placita) as well as at Town Hall and the Taos Public Library. As always, metered parking lots will be free after 5 p.m. For ADA parking and for people requiring ADA access to the event, there will be extra parking on the area next to the McCarthy parking lot, directly behind the Historic Taos County Courthouse.

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