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New Year's Eve Vermont-Style Has Variety

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First Night Boston is fun, and the dropping of the ball in Times Square is impressive, but Vermont has much more variety in the events it schedules for New Year's Eve. For examples:

How about the New Year's Eve dog parade? Sugarbush Resort holds its fourth annual dog parade and costume contest, supporting PAWSitive Pantry.

A New Year's Eve 5k road race in Vermont's capital, Montpelier, will also include a chili cook-off earlier in the day.

Mountaintop Inn and Resort offers a dinner in their Highlands Dining Room & Tavern followed by a "Sweet Ending to 2013 Dessert Bar," and dancing in the Barn.

Snowshoe up Mountain Philo with a thermos of hot cider, maple creme cookies, and if you time it right, see the fireworks over Burlington.

A contra dance and countdown to '14 will take place at Tracy Hall in Norwich, with a beginners session at 7:45 p.m. and dancing beginning at 8. Please bring potluck finger foods and festive attire. No partner is necessary, but "clean shoes are a must!" Contact Rick Barrows at rbarrows@cs.dartmouth.edu.

The New England Culinary Institute will hold a champagne and caviar reception followed by a six-course dinner with wine pairings and hand-crafted desserts.

St. Johnsbury's version of First Night includes 200 entertainers across 18 performance spaces, with sky lanterns, a Family Fun Fair, planetarium shows at the Fairbanks Museum, a free pancake supper, and fireworks at midnight.

Okemo Mountain Resort turns New Year's Eve into a family celebration by celebrating from 5 to 9 p.m. with bingo, dancing, wagon rides, a comedy show and trivia tournament.

Pop-Up! Queer Dance Party at the Higher Ground in Burlington features drag and go-go performaer taking the stage all night. Dancing, bingo and gathering together for fun events for the whole LGBTQ community.

For those interested in more serious music, the Manchester Music Festival Ensemble "sings" in the new year, with a family concert at 4 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. concert of Bach, Piazzolla and more. Champagne, chocolates and more festivities follow the concert.

For more information, go to www.vermontvacation.com

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