2012 wraps up tonightLocal residents plan to welcome in 2013 in their own ways
Five…four…three…two…one…Happy New Year! That’s the moment billions of people are anxiously awaiting tonight on the last day of 2012.
People in Washington County are looking forward to the new year, too. Sarah Voss attends Iowa Wesleyan College, and her resolution for 2013 is to obtain a 4.0 grade point average.
“I’ve always been really close but it’s never been exactly 4.0,” she said. “I usually get a 3.8. It’s all As except for that one B+.”
Voss is studying physical education. She plans to teach physical education and health at a school, where she will also coach volleyball and softball. She plays softball for Iowa Wesleyan, and keeps herself busy with three part-time jobs.
“It’s challenging but it’s good for me,” she said.
Her sister, Katie Triska, is not so high on New Year’s resolutions.
“If you can’t set a goal any time of the year, why are you setting one at New Year’s and thinking it’s going to work?” she said.
How-ever, there is something Triska is very much looking forward to in 2013 – the birth of her baby. In fact, she said she’s not sure what she’ll do even tonight because the baby may come that soon.
“We have a lot of options about what to do on New Year’s,” Triska said. “Our aunt is having a game night. Our mom is having a bonfire and some friends are throwing a few different parties. My husband, my son and I will wait to see how I’m feeling because we might have a baby at that time.”
Voss said she normally spends New Year’s at a friend’s house where she and others consume adult beverages and occasionally incorporate them into games. They usually watch a concert on MTV that features many of the day’s leading artists.
“I have stayed up late that night every year, ever since I was little,” Voss said. “Usually, we do the countdown, and then you’re supposed to give someone a kiss at midnight.”
Voss said the biggest stories from 2012 were the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the presidential election.
“Some of my friends followed the election, so I listened to them as they debated back and forth,” she said.
Sara Wellman and Brad Baranick live in Ankeny but they are in Washington for New Year’s to visit their parents. They are excited to see Wellman’s brother, Brandon and his wife, Rachel, who are in Iowa while on break from their jobs teaching English in Japan.
“We only get to see them once a year,” Wellman said. “We’ll probably play some Wii or some other games with them. We watch a lot of movies, too, especially comedies.”
Wellman and Baranick said their favorite Wii games are of the fitness variety.
“We like the ones where you have to go on the balancing board and make a fool of yourself,” Baranick said.
Baranick said his family always stays up to watch the ball drop at Times Square in New York City. Wellman said her family can’t last that long and are usually in bed by the time the ball drops. Both of them said that New Year’s is a time best spent with family.
This past year was one to celebrate for Baranick and Wellman. The couple got engaged just one week ago. They have a busy 2013 ahead of them as they prepare for their wedding.
Apart from their engagement, Baranick said the election was one of the most significant events in their life from 2012.
“It will determine how we move on for the next four years,” he said.
Melanie Hawkins plans to do the countdown tonight, but she’ll have to do it at work. Hawkins works at McCreedy Home in Washington.
“I work the third shift, which is from 10:45 p.m. to 7:15 a.m.,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for four years now.”
Hawkins said McCreedy Home has a party for residents during the day on New Year’s. The staff have their own party at night.
“The nurses will get a pizza tonight, and we’ll get some frozen strawberries to make virgin margaritas,” she said. “That’s become a tradition for us.”
Hawkins said she has only gone out once in the past five years to celebrate New Year’s because she’s usually working that day.
In her youth, Hawkins celebrated the New Year by staying up late and playing the board game “Monopoly.”
“My step-dad would shoot off the cork to the champagne bottle and then I’d go find it,” she said.
Hawkins said she usually watches the ball drop in New York. However, she noticed that local TV stations used to delay airing the ball drop by an hour so it coincided with midnight central time, but last year local TV showed the ball drop live at 11 p.m. central.
Hawkins said that her 2012 will end on a sad note. Angela Harrison, 18, of Washington, died in a car accident Sunday morning. Hawkins’ son is good friends with Angela’s brother.
“My son took the news very hard,” she said.
Mark Mosier said he will spend New Year’s Eve at the Riverside Casino. He’s excited about hearing the live bands perform tonight.
“The biggest reason I’m going there is to take my mother-in-law, who is 94 years old,” he said. “If she wants to go, I make sure she gets there.”
Mosier said he’s not interested in gambling, but he does like the food and the atmosphere.
When he was younger, Mosier said he and his friends went out for dinner on New Year’s Eve and consumed adult beverages.
“I normally stay up until 11 p.m. or 11:30 p.m. most nights, but I don’t necessarily make a point to stay up till midnight,” he said. “You can watch that ball drop in New York at 11 p.m. anyway.”
Mosier said that the ball dropping in Times Square signals the beginning of “a horrible barrage of award shows.”
“You’ll see more award shows in the next month or two than you can stand,” he said. “It seems like everybody has an award show.”
Mosier said the most noteworthy events of 2012 were the election, the Sandy Hook shooting and the drought that affected much of the country over the summer.