BEYOND THE BALL DROP: No one would claim that New Year's Eve parties only ever come in one flavor, but there are certain tropes and beats and hallmarks that are revisited, December 31st after December 31st. You have the confetti, you have the bubbly, you have the kiss at midnight (okay, that last one should stay around, always). Super excellent things, all of 'em, but finding a different kind of party that bids the year farewell -- and says hello to the next one -- can be a wicket of the stickiest sort. But Paso Robles has that sorted out for all of us. And, bonus: The Central Coast destination is also paying happy tribute to its 125th anniversary, too (a neat trick to perform two nice feats at once). So, what's the haps? Think four words: Glow. In. The. Dark.
RIGHT? Why hasn't every New Year's Eve party ever had a glow-in-the-dark element, or full-on incandescent theme? They all take place at night, for the most part, and glowing in the dark is typically takes place after sundown (spoiler alert). The free bash is actually called "Glow in the Park," and if you know your Paso you know this means it shall unfurl in the Downtown City Park. There shall be bocce ball, croquet, hula hooping, corn hole -- awww, yeah -- and football tossing and "giant rolling balls" all with a glow-in-the-dark vibe. Face painting and a laser show round the offbeat doings out. And, yep, there's a "warming zone" -- outdoor parties on the Central Coast at the end of December probably definitely require one.
EVEN IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT DOWN... you can still wish Paso Robles a happy 125th anniversary on some future winetasting weekend. Or be inspired to push your own neighborhood or town into glowing in the dark on New Year's Eve. No one is cocking an eyebrow at confetti, nor bubbly, but playing bocce ball in the dark, with a glow element, sounds like a fairly nifty way to do the whole hello-ing of a new year to us.