The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Things to do in Waco this Weekend

December 28 - January 1

6 years ago

By Richelle Braswell & Juliana Mudd

Happy New Year, Waco! Catch any of these creative New Year’s Eve parties to celebrate the beginning of 2018. Be sure to tag us @wacoan and use our hashtag, #WacoWeekend, to let us know what you’re up to. Enjoy!


All Weekend

Watch the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo where the best cowboys and cowgirls from the Texas circuit compete. The first event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Extraco Events Center and continues through Saturday for a total of seven events. For details and ticket information, visit Tickets are available at the Extraco Events Center, by phone at 254/224-8282 and online at

Thursday, December 28


Whether you’re new to Waco or you’ve lived here for years, you’re sure to learn something when you attend the Waco Downtown History Walk. This guided tour meets at the McLennan County Courthouse and begins promptly at 2 p.m. A $15 donation is suggested, and furry friends are welcome to join if they are on a leash.

Saturday, December 30


Get everything you need to make a delicious meal to ring in the New Year at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 500 Washington Ave.

Sunday, December 31


Cheer on the Baylor Lady Bears! The Women’s Basketball team takes on Texas Tech Raiders at 1 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.
Waco Transit System is offering free rides through the Safe Ride Home program to ensure New Year’s Eve revelers have a designated driver. To reserve your safe ride, call 750-1620. Same-day reservations may be honored depending on seat availability. The shuttle will run from 6 p.m. through 3 a.m. For those who drive their own vehicle to an event and get a ride home with Waco Transit, Tow King will offer free vehicle tows from 6 p.m. through 3 am. Call 666-5484 to schedule your vehicle tow.
Travel back in time to 1955 for the Brazos Theatre’s interactive New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery. Keep your wits about you and compete to win Best Dressed, Best Dancers and Best Sleuth. The event takes place at the Hilton Waco from 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tickets cost $125 and are available at

Ring in the new year in style with the black & white masquerade at Fuzzy Friends Rescue’s annual Barkin’ Ball. Eddie Dean, “The Caterer to Presidents,” will cater the event, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Waco Convention Center. Single tickets cost $200. Visit or call 714-2150 for more information and to purchase tickets.

Who knows how to throw a party better than Jay Gatsby? Experience the extravaganza at Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party at Kissing Tree Vineyards. A red carpet, champagne, swing dancing and more will make the night fabulous. This event lasts from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tickets cost $85, $90 or $100. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit
Pull out your best “mocktail” dress for Sparkle and Shine New Year’s Eve ’17 at Cultivate 7TWELVE. Admire the work of local artists, enjoy mocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by Luna Juice Bar and watch the East Coast Ball Drop. This event begins at 7 p.m. Ticket packages with varying amenities can be purchased at
Enjoy an evening of champagne and seafood delicacies at the Milo + Wine Shoppe New Year’s Eve. This cocktail-dress event begins at 8 p.m. at the Wine Shoppe. Tickets cost $125 and can be purchased through

Make it a BIG New Year with Holly Tucker playing a live show at BIG’S Mayberry Tavern. For $15 enjoy a barbecue meal, a glass of champagne to toast to 2018 and live music. Each ticket purchased in advance will also be entered in a drawing. The festivities begin at 8 p.m. Visit for more information.
You’re invited to the exclusive Shanghai Nights New Year’s Eve party at Hotel Indigo Waco. Party from 9:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. with a ticket for $125 that includes drinks, appetizers and live entertainment. To purchase tickets, call 754-7000.

Named “Best Place to Celebrate New Year’s Eve” by our readers for the annual Best of Waco contest, Barnett’s Pub will host a New Year’s Eve Celebration sure to knock your socks off. VIP tickets are available for $75 and include dinner at 8 p.m. and champagne. Tickets are limited in number and must be reserved in advance. General admission ticketholders can join the event at 10 p.m. and enjoy appetizer and dessert bars along with champagne, of course. To learn more, visit

Monday, January 1


Start your new year off with fresh air and exercise with the First Day Hike at Mother Neff State Park. Two 1.5-mile hikes, led by park rangers, will begin at 9 a.m. and traverse two different courses (one through the prairie and one through the forest and canyon). Both courses allow participants to see much of the beautiful scenery the park has to offer. The same two hikes will be offered again at 2 p.m. Remember to bring a water bottle and to wear comfortable shoes for outdoor walking. Children 12 and under are admitted free to the park. Anyone over age 12 must pay a $2 entrance fee. Call 853-2389 for more information.

Live Music




• Pat McKee & Trammell Kelly (Jazz), DiamondBack’s, 6 p.m.
• Live Music, The Grape, 7 p.m.
• “Piano Man” Russell Boyd (Pianist), The Backyard, 9 p.m.



• Live Music, The Grape, 7 p.m.
• Jayme Wade (Country), Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon, 7:30 p.m.
• Curtis Grimes (Country), The Backyard, 8 p.m.
• Grupo Siggno (Regional Mexican), Junction 84, 8 p.m.
• Steve Smith Group (Classic Rock/Country), BIG’S Mayberry Tavern, 8 p.m.



• Jackson Anderson (Guitarist), La Fiesta, 7:30 p.m.
• Sip & Swirl with Jackie Darlene (Country), Valley Mills Vineyards, 8 p.m.
• Holly Tucker (Country), BIG’s Mayberry Tavern, 8 p.m.
• Red Brick Troubadors, The Melody Ranch, 10 p.m.


• Bubba Haze (Blues/Rock), Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon, 8 p.m., $10
• Dave Wild’s Hot Jazz Five with Byron Swann and Chuck Jennings (Classic Jazz), Kissing Tree Vineyards, 9 p.m.
• The Huser Brothers (Country/Blues), Lakeside Tavern, 10 p.m.
• 35 South & Nolan Pick Band, The Melody Ranch, 10 p.m., General Admission $15