Celebrating New Year’s Eve in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Many people are still deciding what they want to do as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, ringing in 2023.

From bars and restaurants to museums – even the state’s ski areas – they are all preparing to throw a party this weekend.

“I think this year people are just looking for a reason to celebrate and go out, so I think it’s going to be double what we did last year,” said George San Miguel, Salt Yard director of events and hospitality.

Both the Salt Yard locations are gearing up for the New Year. As they decorate tables and stock their bar, they realized a lot of people are getting ready to go all out as the ball drops.

“We have had calls all day long for VIP tables and couches, so we sold 12 today and that puts us just under 500 people, so we are anticipating 750 to 800 to show up,” San Miguel said.

Last year, less than half that many people came out to the Salt Yard – but with big crowds comes long lines, and San Miguel wants everyone to get home safely.

“That is one thing we did see last yea,r is that surge of people were waiting almost an hour for Uber and Lyft rides,” San Miguel said.

Bernalillo County also wants to remind the public to not drive and drink, so once again they are offering the “Take a Ride On Us” campaign. Simply enter promo code “NYE22” for $10 off your ride.

But not all New Year’s Eve events are going late into the night. Multiple museums in town are hosting family-friendly countdowns during the day.

“Oftentimes children see their parents go out and they feel left out of that kind of event so what we are doing is ringing in the new year 12 hours early so the entire family can get together,” said Amythyst Marciano, marketing and communications manager for Explora.

Explora will open its doors at 10 a.m. Saturday and instead of the ball drop at midnight, they are having a balloon drop at noon.

“We are going to have a balloon drop of 2,023 balloons in entirety, so it’s the largest of that kind of family-friendly event,” Marciano said.

And it really is fun for the whole family.

“My favorite part of this event personally, I can still take my 17-year-old son who does not like to stay up late, and really neither do I, and both of us will have a fantastic time,” Marciano said.

Another option – and this one is free – the City of Albuquerque is bringing back its “Free until three” day. This means you can skip admission fees at the ABQ Biopark, the Albuquerque Museum, and the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum until 3 p.m. Saturday.

If you want to get out of the metro for New Year’s, we have some ideas for you too!

Three northern New Mexico ski areas will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with torchlight parades and fireworks. Taos’s parade will step off at 6:15, Angle Fire’s parade will go from 6 to 7 p.m., and Red River will have a firework show at 7 p.m.