Where’s the party?

The Mere Mortals’ Mark Herin provides music to shake your caboose by.

The Mere Mortals’ Mark Herin provides music to shake your caboose by.

There are basically two options for New Year’s Eve. You can buy admission to a pre-packaged dinner/dance/show experience with a hefty ticket price (inflated far beyond market value to cover the staggering cost of cardboard noisemakers and budget champagne). Your other option is to make your own fun—rent a cabin with friends, throw a party at your house or organize a fireworks-watching expedition or a marathon Cranium tournament.

Planning your own New Year’s Eve party seems like a great idea in November. Unfortunately, for most of us, holiday shopping and gatherings overwhelm our schedules and budgets during December. By the 31st, we’re sleepily watching the ball drop on television with two or three tipsy friends, hoping that next year will be more exciting. Sometimes, it’s easier just to buy the package and let someone else plan the party. Check out the New Year’s listings to the right for a list of the town’s pre-fab celebrations.

Yolo Shortline Railroad offers one of 2003’s coolest New Year’s Eve soirees. Meet the party train at a rail yard on Harbor Boulevard in West Sacramento. At 8:30 p.m., the train leaves for a round trip to Woodland across an 8,000-foot trestle, along the Sacramento River and through the orchards and fields of Yolo County. That night’s waxing moon should provide just enough light to view the passing nighttime landscape. Inside the train, you’ll enjoy a buffet dinner, a no-host bar, live music by blues-rockers Mere Mortals, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Tickets are $75 per person and can be reserved by calling (800) 942-6387. Space is limited, so act quickly if you want to board this train. Visit www.yslrr.com or call the above number for directions to the meeting location or for more information. Happy 2004, Sacramento!