New Year’s Eve is the big party this week, but the Annapolis public celebration hasn’t bounced back to pre-pandemic-era levels yet. You can still watch the fireworks and find a private party, but also catch some unique music or take a hike in the week through Wednesday Jan. 3.

Journalism songs

7-10 p.m. Friday

Bryan Russo is a well-known public radio journalist on the Eastern Shore, currently the director of operations at Delmarva Public Media. In 2015, he, punk-rocker Ryan Abbott and drummer Ryan Jared created Journos, a band that performs what they call deep-thinking, hard-drinking songs.

You can catch music from their debut full-length album, “In the Key of WTF,” at 49 West Coffee House, Winebar and Gallery. Reservations are encouraged; call 410-626-9796. $10.

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One final market

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

You could start the three-day weekend at the Galleries at Quiet Waters Park, looking for that gift you didn’t get or one you forgot to give.

Nine area artists have their work for sale at the 12th annual Holiday Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 7. $6 per car for admission to the park.

Early celebration

11:30-12:30 p.m. Saturday

Anne Arundel County Public Libraries are closed on New Year’s Eve, but you can take your toddlers to a Noon Year’s Eve celebration at several area branches. Free.

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‘Reason to Believe’

8 p.m. Saturday

The Seldom Scene is maybe the best example of Maryland’s Bluegrass culture, formed in 1971 in Bethesda and continuing with fresh talent every few years. It’s a regular act at Rams Head On Stage, and this performance includes the group’s newest song. “Reason to Believe“ is a Bluegrass take on Rod Stewart’s recording — made the same year The Seldom Scene was formed. $36.50 plus fees.

New Year’s Eve

10 a.m. to midnight Sunday

There are private parties all around Annapolis — at restaurants, bars, hotels and even on the water. They often fill up fast, so check for availability and reservations before showing up dressed all nice with nowhere to go.

There are events for kids during the day, including a free concert in English and Spanish. Another Noon Year’s Eve for little ones takes place from 11 a.m. to noon at the Chesapeake Children’s Museum. $10 plus fees, free for members.

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The official City of Annapolis celebration includes two fireworks shows over the harbor, at 5:30 p.m. and midnight. Free.

Watch on YouTube

Get outside

10 a.m. Monday

Whether you need fresh air after overindulging the night before, or just like to go for a walk on a crisp winter day, First Day Hikes are a traditional way to do it. They often fill up fast, so reservations are required.

The Natural History Society of Maryland is hosting one from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Waterworks Park. Naturalist Kerry Wixted will lead participants through a hilly trail filled with beech trees, then wind down to the former Annapolis reservoir. $35 plus fees.

You can also head back to Quiet Waters Park for a 10 a.m-noon walk on 2 miles of trail along Harness Creek. Free.

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Final ride

5-10 p.m. Monday

Admit it, it’s been exhausting to go to all the parties, performances and then family events for the holidays. Maybe you didn’t make it to Sandy Point State Park for Lights on the Bay.

The first night of the new year is the final chance this season to see the annual drive-through display, which raises funds for the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. $20-$30 per vehicle, plus fees.

Happy New Year. See you in 2024.

Rick Hutzell is the Annapolis columnist for The Baltimore Banner. He writes about what's happening today, how we got here and we're we're going next. The former editor of Capital Gazette, he led the newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2018 mass shooting in its newsroom. 

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