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2014 going out with a bang, or with a snore?

AMHERST — For some, New Year's Eve is a time to party, while for others it's a good time to stay at home and celebrate with family. But whether 2013 goes out with a bang or a snore, 2014 is just around the corner.

At J & J Party in Amherst, owner Jackie Caruso said she's not seeing the normal rush of folks coming in to buy party supplies this year, though Tuesday she's expecting a crowd.

"New Year's Eve tends to be a last-minute thing for a lot of people," she said.

But the short holiday season seems to have taken its toll, she said.

"Everything came so fast this year, so with the shorter shopping season people are just worn out," she said. "They're doing parties in their houses or with neighbors, but not big celebrations."

The kids having two full weeks off from school may also be playing a part, she said, because folks have taken advantage of the extended break to travel.

Heading out

Amanda Wetherbee of Brookline said she normally goes to a party on New Year's Eve, but she hasn't made any plans yet.

"This year has just flown by," she said. "I wasn't even ready when Christmas came, so I have no idea what I'm doing on New Year's. We'll probably go to a party but we don't know yet."

Casey Nivens of Mont Vernon said she's looking forward to spending the night with friends who are home from college and ready for reveling.

Tina Rufo won't be home for the holiday either, but she won't be sipping bubbly and making noise.

"I'm an ER nurse and I volunteer to work every New Year's Eve," she said. "We're usually very busy on New Year's and I'd rather let the young group go out and have fun."

Homeward bound

Lots of folks just want to stay home and relax on New Year's Eve, and maybe invite a few friends and family members over.

"We drink beer, watch the ball drop and go to bed," said Bill Liamos of Brookline. "We don't go out. New Year's Eve is amateur night."

"When I was single, I used to do all kinds of interesting stuff," said Hike Hoiriis of Bennington, "but now I'm just too old. I'm going to bed early."

Christy Ayer of Milford said she's decided to turn New Year's Eve into a surprise party for her husband who turns 40 on Jan. 3.

"He's so old now we probably won't even make it to midnight," she said.

Out with a bang

There will be plenty of noise on New Year's Eve in some neighborhoods, though, as folks celebrate with fireworks come midnight. At Atlas Fireworks, Emily Pelkey said there are lots of people stopping by to pick up everything from sparklers and poppers to aerial fireworks that shoot dramatic sparks up to 120 feet into the sky.

"Watching fireworks makes people happy as they look forward to a new year with their friends just being together," Pelkey said.

One of the most popular displays sold at Atlas for New Year's is the Festival of Fireworks, which Pelkey said offers, "a big show that's very colorful and has a lot of action all at once."

But, she warns, each town has different rules for fireworks and party planners should make sure they're complying with those rules.


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