How are you ringing in 2021 in Wilmington? Check out these virtual and socially distanced ideas.

How will you be saying goodbye 2020 and hello 2021? A few events below will have you safely ringing in the new year. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON—What. A. Year.

2020 is (finally) coming to an end. While it feels more appropriate than ever to laud a new year of hope and light, Covid-19 has it looking very different from normal new year’s celebrations. Sure, the governor’s stay-at-home order and business closure mandates may prevent us from singing “Auld Lang Syne” together in a packed venue or at a house party at the stroke of midnight, but it’s not without its low-key jeers and cheers.

Below are events — virtual or socially distanced — to consider, some of which may require reservations or ticket purchases ahead of time, so be sure to plan early. And keep in mind: Any in-person happenings will require masks and adherence to all Covid-19 safety protocols and mandates currently in place or otherwise.


Be safe, be courteous, but most of all, be grateful you’re celebrating another year.

The Avett Brothers NYE Virtual Concert

In 2020, The Avett Brothers were busy releasing a new album, “The Third Gleam,” in August, and hosted a few socially distanced drive-in concerts at Charlotte Motor Speedway for fans. 

The Concord, N.C.-based Americana troubadours have been known for their New Year’s Eve shows in years past. They’re not letting this year hold back their 17-year concert tradition. 

Instead, The Avett Brothers are livestreaming the show from Charlotte’s Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The virtual celebration will include guest appearances from Willie Nelson, Brandi Carlile, Ben Bridwell, Taylor Goldsmith, Mickey Raphael and others, plus will be hosted by Dax Shepard.

Tickets for the livestream are $39.99 – $49.99 (HD/4K) per screen. Folks who can’t watch it live will have access to it for 48 hours afterward.

Virtual Blueberry Drop

Burgaw, NC, is well-known for its annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival, held every June. Two years ago, it began doing a Blueberry Drop on New Year’s Eve as well. Though the event can’t be held in-person in downtown Burgaw this year, it will be hosted virtually by WWAY newscaster Jeff Rivenbark.

The event will include a live performance from the British Invaders, plus there will be gift cards and prizes given away to viewers. The event begins at 6 p.m. and the drop itself will take place at 7 p.m. – or midnight Greenwich Mean Time.

Folks can tune in at burgawblueberrydrop.com.

Drag Shows

Yes, it’s plural — as in there is more than one drag show taking place in Wilmington come New Year’s Eve.

However, only one of them still have tickets available. The Cheese Board in downtown Wilmington’s City Market sold out their two shows already, but Skytown Brewing Company on New Centre Dr. has $10 tickets available. 

The show begins at 7 p.m. and includes drag and burlesque performances. Plus, Skytown’s fresh brewed craft beers and homemade nosh will be available for purchase throughout the show, which is slated to be held on their outdoor patio.

Floriana Restaurant

The downtown waterfront restaurant is serving up a four-course meal on New Year’s Eve and is offering three seatings: 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Chef Daniel Hlusak has created a starter choice of crudo, duck rillette or pumpkin mousse, followed by choice of beet salad, pork belly or venison ragu. Next is choice of pasta dish: gnocchi, risotto or ravioli, followed by entree choice of duck, chateau steak, branzino or cauliflower saute. Dessert is either sweet potato-pistachio short bread, black forest gateau or an eclair and coffee.

The meal is $70 and served with a complimentary glass of wine and champagne. Call 910-504-0160 for reservations.

New Year’s Eve Dynamic Detox

The name says it all: We could use a little cleansing from 2020. 

Welcome 2021 with meditation and transcendence for new hope with Be Unlimited Yoga. The studio will host a class focused on “stillness and releasing the toxic nature of 2020.”

Spaces are limited, and it’s only $15. Class starts at 7 p.m.

New Year’s Eve at Blockade Runner

Why not enjoy the dawning of a new era beachside?

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Blockade Runner is hosting an outdoor pig pickin’ and seafood boil on its manicured beachfront grounds, featuring live bluegrass from Masonboro Sound. The band will stroll about playing tunes while folks enjoy a pig pickin’ and sides, a low country seafood boil, salads, plus dessert. Non alcoholic beverages are available, and a cash bar will be open for alcoholic purchases. 

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by calling 844-745-1116.

Time Warp Retro Dance Party

Though Opera House Theatre Co. closed “The Rocky Horror Show” back in October, the Beehive Blondes are bringing back its famed Time Warp to wrap up a year apropos to more than one pelvic thrust.

DJs Jess James and Hannah Stewart have been known for throwing themed dance parties over the last few years, especially during the glam and glitz of the holidays. Though they haven’t hosted one since the pandemic hit in March, they will be saying sayonara to 2020 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (err, midnight in Transexual, Transylvania) at Satellite’s spacious outdoor courtyard. 

Satellite will be ushering in the new year with a daytime party beginning with live bluegrass from Big Al from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., then Da Howlies will take over from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the Beehive Blondes finish off with the Time Warp through 9 p.m. 

Block Taco will be serving tacos and drinks will be served at the Satellite bar. The entertainment is free.

Waterline Brewing

Rather than celebrate on New Year’s Eve, Waterline Brewing Co. is welcoming the arrival of 2021 on its official first day, Jan. 1, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. In the brewery’s outdoor beer garden will be live music from Jenny Pearson, Doug McFarland, Tyrek Hearon and Will Maxwell, and The Smokey Dunes. The Chrome Gnome food truck will be slinging famed eats from downtown’s Platypus and Gnome, and Waterline will have a new beer release to boot: the Mimosa Kolsch. The beer was brewed with champagne yeast and fresh oranges, a perfect first sipper of the year.

Pinpoint Restaurant

Pinpoint Restaurant will send 2020 packing with gourmet panache. The restaurant is serving up a chef’s meal, featuring select goodies by land and sea. The meal will run $80 and can be heightened with a $35 upcharge for a wine pairing to accompany every course.

It will start off with an amuse bouche of “shell ‘em wild Masonboro selects,” served with various accoutrements, including bourbon barrel aged aji amarillo, kumquat kosho and charred shallot. The first course will consist of local spiny lobster and white shrimp bisque, followed by New Zealand tartare of red deer. Next comes a palate cleanser of blood orange, fennel and honey sorbet, followed by the third course of local cuttlefish, and finishing with chargrilled 40-day aged wagyu beef. Dessert will consist of a chocolate mousse dome.

Vegetarian options are available upon request. Reservations can be made for one of two seatings (5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.) at 910-769-2972.

Children’s Museum of Wilmington

The museum’s annual New Year’s Noon event will continue Jan 1, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For the price of admission ($9.75), visitors will enjoy the museum’s normal exhibitions and be able to partake in new year celebrations, including decorating a crown, making glitzy slime and streamer sticks, and counting down to noon!

Sweet n Savory

Sweet n Savory will offer a four-course New Year’s Eve meal, priced anywhere from $35 to $50, with seatings between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Folks will choose from duck confit lettuce wraps, arancini, lobster cakes, shrimp cocktail or street corn dip for course one, followed by butternut squash bisque, blackberry and blueberry salad, camarones soup, or Caesar salad. There is a choice of seven entrees, from filet Oscar to vegetarian baked leeks, bone-in pork chop to duck two-ways. Finishing will be dessert — blackberry crème brûlée, salted caramel cheesecake or chocolate delise.

Reservations can be made by calling 910-256-0115.

New Year’s Eve Illumination Night

Gazing at lights can often illuminate self-reflection, especially every holiday season as the year comes to a close, and we ruminate on what’s passed and hope for what’s to come.

On Dec. 31 the residents of Country Haven will place more than 2,000 luminaries along the roads of their neighborhood. They welcome the community to drive through (under 10 miles per hour and watch out for the speed bumps) to reflect on their own upcoming hopes, dreams and wishes.

Should it rain or be too windy on New Year’s Eve, the residents will light the luminaries on Jan. 1 and will update their Facebook page with more info.


Have community news? Email Shea Carver at shea@localdailymedia.com

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