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Morning Sun
  • Smaller local celebration for New Year’s

  • Pittsburg residents had a lot of options for participating in New Year’s Eve parties at the end of 2011, but many of the traditional party hosters opted out on a chilly and drizzly Monday night.

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  • Pittsburg residents had a lot of options for participating in New Year’s Eve parties at the end of 2011, but many of the traditional party hosters opted out on a chilly and drizzly Monday night.
    Parrott Bey, which typically hosts a dinner, party and live music, didn’t host a party Monday. Owner Brent Castagno said he decided to keep his doors closed because last year’s party didn’t make as much money as he had hoped. American Legion Post 64 also didn’t host its annual New Year’s Eve dance and breakfast because it — along more than 50 area other fraternal organizations — got ticketed during a sting operation by the Alcoholic Beverage Control for unlawful drinking. Bartender Megan Widner said that in order to host a party there would have to be a member who knows everyone who comes into the legion hall and a sponsor for every guest.
    “There’s just no way we could have done that,” Widner said.
    Area bars also declined to have special New Year’s Eve celebrations. McCarthy’s Pub was only open during regular hours and didn’t get any special music. Neither did Fifth Street Bar, though it did maintain its traditional steak dinner special, or Chatter’s, which typically has live music.
    “I don’t know if people are wanting to stay at home, or if it’s because of the economy and money, or if it’s a driving and drinking thing,” said Bobby Gardullo, owner of JST Bobby G’s in downtown Pittsburg.
    Gardullo, who has live music almost every night of the week, also was keeping his celebration low-key because his customers wanted a laid-back evening.
    “They’re kind of glad we’re not having music,” Gardullo said. “They just want to hang out and talk and enjoy the new year. I let the customers decide what to do this year and that’s what they wanted.”
    Still, there were some hoppin’ spots in Pittsburg. Area churches held parties for their youth members, and the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Frontenac had a dance featuring the John and Johnny Joe Zibert Polka Band. The Mirza Shriners still had their party, which featured a dinner and local band Area 51, and Lowe’s Skateway had it’s annual skate party for area kids.
    “The kids love it, they really do,” owner Dave Lowe said. “There can be 300 to 400 kids here, and they come from all over a 45-mile radius. We get some parents, too, but mostly it gives them some time out.”
    Pittsburg Community Middle School student Willow Williams said she comes to the skate party every New Year’s Eve.
    “The balloons they drop have prizes in them, and it’s cool coming here and seeing your friends because the breaks are so long and you don’t get to see them as much,” said Williams, who also is an avid skater and spends many of her weekends at the rink with friends. “They also play a lot of good music that’s on the radio, so you already know a lot of the songs.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Pittsburg residents and sisters Jessica Randall and Rebekah Williams and their mother, Sherri Brown, brought their 7-year-old cousin, Chelsea Ludwig, of Parsons, to the party.
    “She really wanted to go skating,” Williams said.
    Brown agreed, with a knowing grin.
    “It’s also a good way to wear her out,” she laughed.
    Williams said she used to come to the skating parties as a kid.
    “There are a lot more people here than I remember,” she said. “It was packed.”

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