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5 Things to Do This New Year’s in Boise: Potato Drops and freezing water

New Year’s Eve 2016: The night GlowTato came to life

A uniquely Idaho celebration, the fourth annual Idaho Potato Drop counts down to the New Year by lowering a glowing potato replica from a crane 200 feet in the air in front of the Capitol in Downtown Boise. That would officially be called a GlowTa
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A uniquely Idaho celebration, the fourth annual Idaho Potato Drop counts down to the New Year by lowering a glowing potato replica from a crane 200 feet in the air in front of the Capitol in Downtown Boise. That would officially be called a GlowTa

1. Ring in the New Year

There are options aplenty if you plan to spend New Year’s Eve out on the town. There is, of course, the Idaho Potato Drop. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Capitol Park, 601 W. Jefferson St., in front of the Idaho Statehouse. Admission is free; there will be a heated tent with hands-on activities for kids, food trucks, cocktail and beer garden, Toyota Rail Jam snowboarding competition, fireworks and more. There’s also the Hop Drop! New Year’s Eve Party at 2772 S. Cole Road, Suite 140 in Boise. The event is free and there will be a special beer release of Hop Drop with complimentary flutes of the beer distributed at midnight. If you’re willing to spend a little money, there are plenty of classy events to attend, including New Year’s Eve Above the CW Penthouse at C.W. Moore Plaza (250 S. Fifth Street). For $25 in advance or $35 at the door, you can watch the Potato Drop with champagne, appetizers, dancing and fireworks.

For a complete list of New Year’s festivities, click here.

2. Take a plunge

Want to start 2018 with a splash? Look no further than the 15th Annual Great Polar Bear Challenge at the Lucky Peak’s Spring Shores Marina (74 Arrowrock Road). It’s free to participate, but those wanting to jump into the freezing lake are asked to raise at least $50 to benefit Idaho’s Make-A-Wish. There will be waterskiing, wakeboarding and a costume contest as well. Same-day registration begins at 10 a.m., while the plunge itself is at 11 a.m.

3. Rock on

The band Mickey and the Motorcars is coming home Dec. 30 to Stanley, as well as playing a show Dec. 31 at the Knitting Factory in Boise. The group is playing at the Mountain Village Resort’s (3 Eva Falls Avenue, Stanley) Honky Talk Bar from 9 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. If you want other musical options in Boise, The Blues Groove, a rocky, bluesy, funky, R&B group of five musicians is playing at the The Riverside Hotel’s Sapphire Room on Dec. 29 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Preferred seating is $12 plus tax. The Knitting Factory is hosting Zoso, a Led Zeppelin tribute band formed more than 20 years ago, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30. Tickets are $20.

4. Drink for a cause

If you aren’t too hungover from New Year’s Eve, Payette Brewing (733 S. Pioneer St.) is hosting Kegs for a Cause on Jan. 1 from 5-10 p.m. Half of all the proceeds will be donated to Camp Rainbow Gold, an organization dedicated to providing memorable experiences for children with cancer and their families. Plus, the beer is pretty good, too.

5. Last chance for lights

It’s your final chance to check out the Winter Garden aGlow at the Idaho Botanical Garden (2355 N. Old Penitentiary Road), as the display of more than 300,000 lights comes down after New Year’s. Tickets are between $8 and $12, and children 4-and-under get in free. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’d better check it out.

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz

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