Cultural New Year's Celebrations in Dothan

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Each year we celebrate a New Year, and for many it's more than making New Year’s resolutions.
For some it's about celebrating with family and friends, all while keeping cultural traditions alive.

Cheers, celebration and champagne toasts... It's what happens at the stroke of midnight January first of a new year.

These seats at Oak and Olive on Montgomery highway are empty right now, but tonight?

"We expect a packed house, a lot of our couch seats are already sold, and it's going to be some standing room available," says General Manager of Oak & Olive.

Even though the New Year can be a symbol of out with the old and in with the new, many people stick to what they have always done.
At the St. Columba Catholic Church on west main, tonight's five thirty evening mass is a spiritual, yet traditional celebration.

"It helps us, with a renewal for ourselves, and to grow in our own faith, in a deeper appreciation for Jesus the son of Mary, and Mary his mother," says Patrick Gallaher, Pastor of St. Columba Catholic Church.

Over at kingdom central on Hodgesville road just outside of the circle, tonight's ten o'clock watch night service has both a spiritual and historical tradition.

"It started in the mid 1700's when the slaves would gather, on December 31st because they knew that the slave owners were tallying up there business for the new year, and on that first day of the new year they were going to sell of family members and things of that nature, to the highest bidder, so the families would gather in their quarters on the night of the new year as a kind of a way of preparing for the worst but hoping for the best," says Ron Martin, Pastor of Kingdom Central in Dothan.

And this service is also met with high expectations for new beginnings.

"Watch night has been a way to reinforce that commitment major decisions are really pushed on watch night, but instead of freedom from slavery, it's freedom from a poverty mentality, it's freedom from old relationships, freedom from the pain," says Ron Martin, Pastor of Kingdom Central in Dothan.

So whether you ring in the New Year with family and friends at a local restaurant, a candle light vigil, a passionate watch night service, or at home on your couch, one thing is for sure, everyone is excited about new opportunities in the New Year.

There will also be the first ever downtown New Year’s Eve block fest.
The fest will feature a car and bike show
It will be in the area of South Saint Andrews street staring at 6:00.
The fest is open to the public.

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