PORTLAND -- Downtown hotels are dusting off their mirror balls, restaurants are setting their tables and households are putting out the party favors as the countdown to 2014 gets under way.
The recovering economy has a lot to do with it. Folks are feeling better going into this new year than others in the past.
At the Hilton, last minute preparations are beginning as the Champagne Ball gets ready to take over both the Skyline and the Grand Ballrooms.
Four D.J.s, two bands, four dance floors and 17 bars will welcome some 1500 people. Now in its 23rd year, it's one of the city’s biggest and oldest parties.
“I geek out on party favors. I love music. I listen to the bands,” said Mathew Weber, the Champagne Ball’s executive producer. “We put that together and created one big party. There's great energy. Everybody dresses up and has fun -- plus, a portion of the proceeds benefit the Children’s' Cancer Association. So it's a party with a purpose.“
Other large hotels, including the Nines and the Benson, are hosting blowouts of their own.
For some, Auld Lang Syne will be sung with family and friends at home, complete with the requisite party supplies.
Keep in mind, Portland police will have added patrols out on Wednesday night. They’ll be out looking for drunk drivers with a special emphasis on areas known for trouble, including Southwest Barbur Boulevard.
Tri-Met will help out too with extra late-night MAX service. All rides will be free after 8 p.m.