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Ringin’ the New Year on in

The build-up to the 10-second countdown on New Year’s Eve gives us reason to continue the holiday celebration.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people gather around the Tower in New York City’s Time Square to experience the famous ball-dropping ceremony, according to the Time Square Agency – and thanks to satellite technology, a worldwide audience is estimated at over one billion watches the event.

Locally, there may be no rituals on that scale but several area venues are hosting concerts, classes and outdoor activities to ring in the New Year.

Perhaps the most eccentric to top the local list is the 9 p.m. Styx concert at Treasure Island Resort & Casino’s Event Center.

From bombastic rockers to soaring power ballads, from unemployment anthems to romantic poetries, Styx has rocked it all.

Born out of an artsy progressive rock band, the band would become one of the top contenders of arena rock by the late 1970s.

The members have enjoyed numerous hits, four consecutive multi-platinum albums and, more recently, two Super-Bowl appearances and a horde of chart-topping tours.

As Styx continues to perform you can hear classic rock staples “Come Sail Away,” “Blue Collar Man,” and “Too Much Time on My Hands.”

Tickets are on sale now at the Island box office for $58 or $68. You can also call 877-849-1640 or visit to get your tickets. Guests must be 18 or older to attend.

The casino also features free live music all evening in the Parlay Lounge from Them Pesky Kids.

Travel back in time to the revolutionary decade of the 1960s as Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring “Tiptoe Through the ’60s” to the Sheldon Theatre. The 7 p.m. show cost $27.50 for adults, $14.50 students.

The Black Dirt Theater in Hastings is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with entertainment from Improv Comedy Show Down and Super-Fun-Time-Sing-Aong. There will be food, drinks, silent auctions and merriment. The theater’s celebration coincides with the ball dropping in New York, on East Coast time, so no one has to be out too late. The festivities start at 7 p.m. and cost is $45.

Are you a Manga reader or Anime watcher? Ever wanted to draw Manga? Maybe you’d like to meet other manga enthusiasts at ArtReach’s unique free Magna Drawing Plus class from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Manga influenced art has become increasingly popular outside of Japan. Learn the basics of drawing and sketching manga characters, while enjoying company of fellow otaku.

Artists at any level are welcome, but this class is ideally for manga fans and artists ages 14 and up. Feel free to bring snacks.

Get outside and hit the slopes at Welch Village. The ski and snowboard area offers ski/lodging packages with several local hotels which include overnight accommodations and two all-day lift tickets. Package pricing starts at $141 at the Nichols Inn, $160 at the AmericInn and $169 at the St. James Hotel. On-line reservations are required. Group discounts are offered for groups of 15 or more.

For other events in greater Minnesota, check out the webside

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880