Islands Expecting Low-Key Celebrations This Year

New Year’s Eve celebrations are likely to be a quieter across the islands this year.

With fewer guesthouses and hotels open, there are markedly less visitors here but that isn’t putting a damper on the festivities.

The Star Castle Hotel, the only St Mary’s hotel to open during the holiday period, says they have sold all their five-day New Year’s packages with guests being treated to a special meal tonight.

The St Mary’s pubs are also be gearing up for the traditional fancy dress party in Hugh Town.

Landlady of the Bishop and Wolf, Debbie Aberlein, says they’re hoping to have a ‘cowboy saloon bar’ theme although she admitted she was struggling to find costumes for all the staff, while the Scillonian Club is ‘going Egyptian.’

While on Tresco, the New Inn will be the centre of activity, with a ‘board game’ themed fancy dress party and a disco to 1am. The Inn will also be serving breakfast later, at noon, on Sunday to allow guests to ‘recover.’

Landlord Robin Lawson agreed that it was less busy this year and many people were choosing to stay in the cottages and enjoy a quiet family break, rather than opt for rooms at the New Inn. But he added that business over Christmas was better than expected despite the recession.

Over on St Martin’s, the main party is taking place at Adam’s Fish and Chips, although guest will be bringing their own food and drink for the evening. Adam Morton says it’ll be a low-key affair, mainly for the ‘oldies’ as all the youngsters tend to head off to St Mary’s for the evening.

Toby Tobin Dougan isn’t opening the Seven Stones Inn this evening but will be offering a ‘recovery roast’ on Sunday lunchtime.

Toby says the season has been the quietest that he’s known on St Martin’s in the 13 years he’s been running the bakery, with only a few non-residents staying on the island.

The Turk's Head are holding a 'letter-T'-themed party

The Turk’s Head on St Agnes will be holding a ‘Letter-T-Party’ where everyone will be expected to dress in something beginning with that letter. Landlady Nikki Anderson says she’s going as a tea-bag and she’s expecting a whole crowd of transvestites to turn up!

Finally, residents of Bryher are planning a traditional New Year’s Eve party in the Community Centre.

One of the organisers, Amanda Pender, says they’ve organised an evening of party games, dancing and a disco. Everyone is bringing along food and drink to make the party go with a swing and Amanda thinks the majority of the island’s residents will be attending.

For the last two years there’s been an alcohol-free celebration of the New Year at The Manse.

Charlie and Mary Gibbs are, again, opening their home to islanders with a grand buffet from 9pm, ending with hymns around midnight.

Charlie thinks it’s important to stop and take stock of the year that has passed with an event like the one he is hosting tonight. He says there has been a good turn out in previous years and some attendees haven’t been church regulars.

Charlie says there is a lot of good on the islands and his New Year wish is that islanders with faith won’t be embarrassed to talk about it.