The Hippo


Jan 23, 2020








Cheers to 250 Years! New Year’s Eve Gala on New Year’s Eve of 2014. Courtesy photo.

Cheers to the Next 250 Years! New Year’s Eve Gala

When: Thursday, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m., to Friday, Jan. 1, 12:30 a.m.
Where: Grappone Conference Center’s Grand Ballroom, 70 Constitution Ave., Concord
Cost: $75 per person, or $750 for a table of 10. Tickets are limited and expected to sell out, so buying early is recommended. Purchase tickets in person at the Concord Family YMCA (15 N. State St.) or online at
Event info: Visit
Accommodations: Courtyard by Marriott Concord (attached to the Grappone Conference Center) is offering special room rates of $99 + tax to gala ticket-holders for New Year’s Eve night.
Childcare: Flipz Gymnastics (14 Chenell Drive, Concord, will be hosting a kids’ New Year’s Eve party with a sleepover option, open to ages 6 and up. Drop-off is at 7:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve night and pick-up is at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Kids will enjoy games, movies, open gym playtime and more. The cost is $35 per child. Call 224-3223 for more information and to sign up. 

A year to remember
Concord’s anniversary celebration concludes

By Angie Sykeny

 After 12 months of parades, collaborative art projects, history talks, a documentary premiere, the unearthing and burying of a time capsule and even a beard-growing competition, Concord’s 250th anniversary year will conclude the same way it began: with a New Year’s Eve gala.

At the end of 2014, Concord 250 and Concord Family YMCA presented Cheers to 250 Years! New Year’s Eve Gala as the opener for Concord’s year-long celebration in 2015. Now, they will close out the celebration with a follow-up event, Cheers to the Next 250 Years! New Year’s Eve Gala, on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7:30 p.m., in the Grappone Conference Center’s Grand Ballroom.
Concord 250 project manager Kim Murdoch said it was always the plan to have the galas as the “bookends” for the city’s milestone year.
“[Concord’s 250th anniversary] is such a momentous occasion that we wanted to mark the beginning and end in grand style, and in a way that provided an opportunity for the community to come together in celebration,” she said.
The Freese Brothers Big Band Combo will kick off the evening with live swing music, followed by DJ Nazzy from WLNH, who will keep the fun going on the dance floor and lead the official countdown to 2016.
Guests will enjoy a dinner of prime rib, pecan-crusted chicken or vegetable lasagna, a dessert and candy bar and a complimentary Champagne toast. A cash bar will be available as well.
There will be a few presentations throughout the night from the Concord 250 president, Concord Family YMCA director and others, to review the highlights of Concord’s 250th year.
Attendees are encouraged, as they were at the first gala, to arrive in costumes depicting the fashions of various eras. Prizes will be awarded for the best 1920s, ’50s, ’70s, ’80s and modern/future garb.
“We had some fantastic costumes last year,” Murdoch said. “A lot of folks who dress up for the ’70s and ’80s eras are just hitting the back of their closet, so it’s fun for them to take a walk down memory lane.”  
This year’s gala will also include a photo booth with props for guests to capture the fun of the evening.
Finally, the pop-up Concord history gallery and lounge, a multimedia exhibit exploring various periods of Concord’s past, will be reopened for the duration of the event and will feature several new elements.
“It’s neat to watch community members who have lived in Concord their whole lives look at a police staff photo from the ’50s or an old map of the city and have recollections of what was there 20 or 40 years ago,” Murdoch said. “People are always sharing their memories.”  

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