Stina's Picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Dec 20, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg In lieu of any exciting photos we could find of upcoming events, here's a picture of a kitten being held by a volunteer from  Sarge's Animal Rescue. The Guide — and the kitten — wish you a happy new year. You're welcome.

Is there any holiday more bittersweet than New Year's Eve? Everything about it, from the idea of resolutions to the search for the perfect spot to ring in the next year, is fraught with excitement and peril. The stakes always seem so hilariously high, which is why, more often than not, I've avoided the situation. To name a few instances, I've spent New Year's in "Scream 2," on California State Route 128 between Cloverdale and Mendocino, and in some country bar I happened to stop into somewhere near Basalt, Colorado. Usually, the plan is no plan, but at least it's mine.

This year, who knows? Maybe it's time to actually join the ranks of those who think ahead. Maybe not. However you're feeling about the impending new year, here are some options.

Looking to party?

While New Year's opportunities abound in nearby Asheville, I think that the 30-mile drive is enough of a deterrent to keep many of us on this side of the county line. If you feel the same, no fear, because pretty much all of the county's best-known bars — and a few of its eateries — are offering a place to celebrate, drink and nosh. In Maggie Valley, Rendezvous, Maggie Valley Club and Hurley's Creekside Dining and Rhum Bar are getting in act, as is Waynesville's Tipping Point Tavern, The Water 'n Hole, Laurel Ridge Country Club and the new Pub 319. In Canton, Sid's on Main will not only be ringing in the new year but celebrating almost one year in business. Does any of this perk up your ears? If so, check out The Guide for the full skinny.

Looking to dance?

While several of those New Year's event will include dancing (which will probably get less refined as the night wears on), if you're looking for a spot where everyone brings their A-game, Angie's Dance Academy might be the spot for you. The Clyde-based school will be hosting the Haywood Dancers' New Year's Eve Dance from 8 p.m., all the way through midnight. Expect music from the Steve Widdon Band, special holiday refreshments, plenty of couples ready to show off their favorite steps — and absolutely no alcohol or smoking. You can buy tickets and make table reservations by calling 734-8063 or 648-6136, or emailing

Looking to stay in?

If drinking, dancing and/or being up way into the wee hours aren't your thing, I say just stay home and watch a movie. As an admitted cinefile, that's my normal recommendation anyway, and with plenty of postal days until New Year's, there's a good bet your Netflix flick of choice will arrive before the holiday. Here are a few New Year's-themed movies (and there aren't too many) that can keep you company this Monday night.

If you want to feel good … try when "When Harry Met Sally," which has perhaps one of the sweetest New Year's Eve scenes ever. I know it sounds corny, but it really makes you believe, if only for a few, sweet minutes.

If you want to feel bad … try "Forest Gump," which has a NYE moment that will forever be etched on my brain. Though the entirely of the movie is kind of sweet/sour, that one scene, which takes place in a New York City dive bar with some questionable ladies of the night, is enough to make you want to take a shower.

If you want to get nostalgic … try "The Apartment," which remains one of the most likable movies ever. Though only a tiny portion of it revolves around New Year's Eve, it truly is a holiday flick, with all the stress and worries involved in this frosty time of year. Most notably, it speaks to the loneliness of its main characters, played by a young Shirley McClain and Jack Lemon, in a way that somehow just makes you love them more.

If you want to laugh … try Bridget Jones's Diary, which begins on New Year's day and traces the trajectory of a woman determine to change her life. Though it's packed with drinking, smoking and questionable romantic choices, it's innocent little gem of a movie, and I can never get enough.