Ring in the New Year across Whidbey Island

With New Year’s Eve approaching, there are several different events and celebrations planned for just about everywhere on the island.

In Oak Harbor, catch the fireworks at Windjammer Park, starting at 9 p.m. For 15 glorious minutes, these “tall” fireworks will light up the sky. Surrounding Flintstone and Smith parks will also offer views.

Penn Cove Taproom will be hosting a Decades Party on New Year’s Eve at its Oak Harbor location, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Food and drink specials, party favors and a midnight toast are all features of this soiree.

Or, ring in the new year at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. Midlife Crisis and Alimony Horns will be performing, starting at 9 p.m. Entry is $40 per person and party favors will be provided. Reservations may be made by calling 360-675-7111.

Down in Langley, a smattering of restaurants will be offering New Year’s specials. Anthes Ferments’ event begins at 6 p.m., accompanied by music group Puff and Scrub.

Ott and Hunter Tasting Room will be hosting a speakeasy-themed party from 9 p.m. to midnight. For $55, participants receive a glass of wine, hors d’ oeuvres, dessert and midnight champagne; 1920s attire is strongly encouraged. Reservations can be made at 360-221-7131.

Saltwater Seafood will have seatings at 6 and 9 p.m. for a four-course meal, costing $95 per person. To make reservations, email manager@lekkerlangley.com

For those on both ends of the island looking to ring in the New Year with an icy swim, the Polar Bear Dive will be happening in both Oak Harbor and Freeland. Sponsored by the Navy, a group plunge will be happening at 10:15 a.m. at Rocky Point Recreation Area. Call 360-257-2420 for more details.

Freeland’s Double Bluff Beach will serve as the South End’s location. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., and the jump happens at noon. This event costs $15 and includes a T-shirt and hot drinks.

And for those looking for a less damp way to start their new year, several First Day Hikes will be held at Deception Pass State Park and Fort Casey. Discover Passes will not be required to participate.

There will be two hikes to choose from at Deception Pass State Park: an ADA- and stroller-accesible half mile loop or a two-mile jaunt that gains about 100 feet of elevation. Children and dogs are welcome on both trails. Those interested in joining may meet at the West Beach Shelter at 10 a.m.

The Fort Casey guided walks will also offer two options. An ADA-accessible hike will commence at 1 p.m. and a comprehensive exploration of the fort will begin at 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided after.

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