Most years, I feel like time moved too fast to my liking. Everyone, it seems, had a long, arduous 2018. Everyone, it seems, is ready to ring in 2019 with something unabashedly fun to make up for lost time. 

Around town, you’ll find many NYE shows and parties in which you can dress up or dress down. You can light lanterns and send them off into the sky. You can experience some new music and try a staple restaurant’s new menu. You can also attend a town staple’s exclusive dinner, then try a homegrown plat-based option the day after New Year’s Day. It’s about balance!

All events, aside from one, occur on Dec. 31. 

Rum and Rumba New Year’s Eve with Boma Bango, Saint Street Inn: Kick off your evening early this year at SSI with Lafayette’s premier Congolese rumba band and a preview of the Saint Streets’ favorite restaurant’s new menu! All night, SSI will serve a preview of new farm-to-table small plates. Attendees can also look forward to a special cocktail menu and wine list to pair with the food and music. SSi opens at 6 p.m. Call (337)-534-8112 for reservations. 

New Year’s Eve Dinner, Blue Dog Café: This exclusive dinner at the iconic Blue Dog will have a special menu. Menu options include blue crab and Gruyere toast or French onion soup as a starter, red wine braised rabbit with caramelized bacon, roasted root vegetables and grits or grilled hanger steak, broccoli rabe, sunny-side up egg, oyster mayonnaise and chili oil for entrees, and praline bread pudding or satsuma ice box cake for dessert. Tickets cost $45 and are available by calling the restaurant at (337) 237-0005. 

Pine Leaf Boys and DG and the Freetown Sound, Artmosphere Bistro: Artmosphere hosts Cajun outfit Pine Leaf Boys and the alternative/folk/contemporary moniker for Dustin Gaspard starting at 9 p.m. this Monday! In what’s become a tradition for the venue on NYE, sky lanterns will be lit. 

Legend’s Downtown New Year’s Eve Party: This NYE, experience Lafayette’s biggest balloon drop on downtown’s favorite patio. This event includes prizes, champagne, drink specials and DJ Iamdenziebaby. The party starts at 7 p.m.

Jan. 2: A Vegetopian Dinner on the Vermlion, 4 Oak Glen Dr.: A select number of guests will be able to attend a green gathering celebrating the new year under oak trees with healthy food options. Tickets are $45 through and include a five-course plant-based meal, free wine, a mini photo shoot with Kristen Hebert of DJ Photography, and live music from local musician Nicole Needham. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.