Albany 2011 to begin with big events

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- For those with nothing planned, downtown Albany will host a bevy of events on New Year's Eve as 2011 is ushered in.

Monique Broughton, assistant to Albany Downtown Manager Aaron Blair, said Cafe 230 and the State Theatre have New Year's Eve events set up for Friday night.

The State will lead things off with a 7:30 p.m. concert by rock band Drivin' N Cryin'. Reserve tickets for the concert are $15 and can be purchased at Moe's Restaurant and Harvest Moon on Dawson Road, or at the door for $20.

If you're not feeling quite in the mood for rock or if the concert leaves you feeling a bit famished, Cafe 230 on Broad Avenue will be open, where owner B.J. Fletcher is holding a New Year's Eve bash.

The party will start at 8 p.m. and go until 2:30 a.m. It is a ticketed event with advance tickets available for $40, or $50 at the door.

Each ticket includes up to three drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres and party favors. Also, at 1 a.m., Fletcher will open a breakfast buffet.

When the clock strikes midnight, Riverfront Park will light up with a fireworks show, Broughton said.

"Yeah, it should be nice. Patrons can step outside and watch the fireworks and continue the celebration," she said.

Also, rising hip-hop star Big Nod will perform at The House of Jazz on New Year's Eve.

Big Nod, an Albany native, has been performing since 1998. Originally part of rap group Suthern Klick, which attained some success in the late 1990s, the now-solo Big Nod is a fixture of the Albany hip-hop scene.

"Everyone in the city who's into hip-hop knows a Big Nod song," said show promoter and Platinum Sound Recording Studio owner Mario Meadows.

Having recently released his second album, "Grind Mode," Big Nod said he is thrilled to be performing for a local crowd for the first time in three years.

"It feels great; I'm going to take the crowd on a ride, give them something to remember," Big Nod said of the New Year's Eve show at the House of Jazz.

The House of Jazz, 730 W. Highland Ave., will open its doors at 10 p.m. Friday.

Local Southern rock groups Speedcoach and Running Down Romance also have shows scheduled. Speedcoach will be live at One Trick Pony off Dawson Road, and Running Down Romance will be at the Crowbar on Westover Boulevard.

Staff writer Haley Frakes contributed to this report.