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Ringing in 2010 in Gwinnett

Gwinnett will usher in the start of the new year with fireworks and champagne toasts on Thursday at midnight. Following a year in which the nation's economy has entered the very early stages of a fragile recovery, residents might just need a chance to celebrate, whether in a theater filled with mostly strangers or at home in the company of loved ones.

As the beginning of a new year is often accompanied by resolutions, maybe this year we should make a single vow: to simply worry less. And to reflect on, for at least 30 seconds each day, the things we do have, whether it's good health, loving family and friends, or the hope of tomorrow being a better and brighter day.

Finnish writer Kersti Bergroth summed it up quite well: "It is difficult not to believe that the next year will be better than the old one! And this illusion is not wrong. Future is always good, no matter what happens. It will always give us what we need and what we want in secret. It will always bless us with right gifts. Thus in a deeper sense our belief in the New Year cannot deceive us."

- Staff Writer Deanna Allen

Wild Bill's New Year's Eve Bash 2010 including a concert featuring Randy Houser, party favors, champagne toast at midnight, balloon drop and giveaways; event is for those age 21 and older

* When: Doors open at 7 p.m. Dec. 31 followed by live music at 9

* Where: Wild Bill's, 2075 Market St. in Duluth

* Cost: $20 general admission, $35 per table seat, $75 for a VIP side stage table seat and $125 for a VIP side stage theater seat

* For more information: Call 678-473-1000 or visit www.wildbillsatlanta.com

Sixth annual Lawrenceville Rings creating a family-friendly atmosphere with music, magic shows, face painting, balloon artists, inflatables and a pyrotechnics finale

* When: Beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 31

* Where: Gwinnett Historic Courthouse lawn, 185 W. Crogan St. in Lawrenceville

* Cost: Admission is free

* For more information: Call 678-226-2639 or visit www.visitlawrenceville.com

Jug Drop First-time event kicking off with a jug jig street dance, entertainment, food and drinks, museum tours available on request and the official jug drop at midnight; the museum is currently hosting an exhibit of a whiskey still

* When: 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31

* Where: Barrow County Museum, 74 W. Athens St. in Winder

* Cost: Free to attend

* For more information: Call 770-307-1183

Medieval Times New Year's Eve Celebration the customary dinner and tournament with dancing, a midnight countdown with champagne toast, balloon drop, party favors, admission to the Museum of Torture and continental breakfast

* When: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31

* Where: Medieval Times at Discover Mills Mall, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway N.W.,

Lawrenceville

* Cost: $69.95 for adults and $35.95 for kids

* For more information: Call 1-888-WE-JOUST or visit www.medievaltimes.com

New Year's Eve Masquerade Celebration

including a welcome reception with a three-course sit down dinner with wine service, live music, party favors and a toast at midnight, overnight accommodations and a New Year's Day breakfast buffet

* When: 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Dec. 31

* Where: Inn at Chateau Elan, 100 Rue Charlemagne in Braselton

* Cost: Packages start at $499 per couple for a room with a double bed

* For more information: Call 1-800-233-WINE or visit www.chateauelan.com

Duluth's New Year's Eve Extravaganza featuring a new tradition for the city created by the company responsible for the Peach Drop, as well as entertainment, food, a winter carnival, a magic show and a performance by Gwinnett's own R&B singer Stephen Norwood

* When: 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31

* Where: Duluth Festival Center, Amphitheater and Town Green

* Cost: Free to attend; donations will be accepted

* For more information: Call 770-476-3434 or visit www.duluthga.net

Duluth's New Year's Eve VIP GALA a black-tie optional event with a red carpet VIP gala and cocktail party with buffet dinner kicking off the night at the Duluth Art Gallery before the main event, an adult improv comedy show, live music by Gwinnett band Deja vu, dancing and a midnight champagne toast

* When: Beginning at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31

* Where: Red Clay Theatre, 3116 Main St. in Duluth

* Cost: $30

* For more information: Call 770-476-3434 or visit www.duluthga.net