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Park It for New Year’s

By wmadministrator

Looking for a spot to ring in 2008 where you can chow down on a tasty meal, shake a leg to your kind of music and/or toast the New Year, yet not have to worry about avoiding other midnight revelers on the highway? If so, the Kentucky Department of Parks has just the ticket.

Come New Year’s Eve, a number of state resort parks invite you to head their way during daylight, park your vehicle and check into a cozy lodge, where you can make certain all those “auld” acquaintances are not forgot as you warm your toes by a crackling fire and leave the evening’s activity-planning to the creative staff. All you have to do is show up.

Park offerings run the gamut from Natural Bridge State Resort Park’s (SRP) annual prime rib buffet to Pine Mountain SRP’s Mountain Bash, complete with an overnight package of lodging, dinner, Sunday breakfast and a dance with a DJ, light show and big-screen videos.

“We’ll be playing classics, old standards, Motown and ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s selections accompanied by videos,” said Dean Henson, Pine Mountain’s group sales coordinator. “Our usual crowd ranges in age from their thirties through seventies, wearing everything from blue jeans to top hats!”

At Rough River Dam State Resort Park, the Star Mountain Band will play classic rock, Southern rock, country and favorites at the alcohol-free family celebration.

Western Kentucky will groove to the Disciples of Sound, a popular Hopkinsville band specializing in Motown, soul and rock ‘n roll, at the Barkley Bash. Just off a $5 million spruce up to its rooms, lobby and infrastructure, Lake Barkley State Resort Park will offer a New Year’s Eve prime rib buffet and a New Year’s Day breakfast buffet featuring the famous country ham prepared by Miss Hattie, chef at the park’s Windows on the Water Restaurant for the past 18 years.

The eatery is also known for its gorgeous views of the tree-lined lake and abundant waterfowl, especially in winter, during seasonal migration.

“The white pelicans are dazzling to see,” said Jenny Howard, park naturalist, “especially from the dining room, where you’re elevated above them as they roost. We also have ducks, geese and eagles in larger numbers the end of December and in January. You can often see them lighting in trees and fishing in the bay. For the past 30 years, we’ve had eagle weekends this time of year. The birds seem to know that and always show up in great numbers.”

Whichever state park you choose, park your car keys on the dresser and hunker down for a safe, happy New Year’s celebration.