A P’Town New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and in Provincetown that means a homecoming of sorts.

Many folks want to ring in the new year in the town they consider their true home, and they are arriving in ever-increasing numbers. There are more lights at night and more people at the Stop and Shop. It takes longer to drive Commercial Street as friends stop in the middle of the street to catch up on month’s worth of news. Some restaurants are re-opening to host New Year’s Eve celebration, others have brought on more staff. The increasing energy reminds me of Mardi Gras—escalating frenzy that reaches a peak before yielding to the solemnity and introspection of Lent, or in our case, winter’s isolation.

It says a lot about a town that so many plan their celebrations here despite the inconvenience, cold, and damp. I’ve not missed New Year’s in Provincetown since I moved to town in 1987. It just wouldn’t feel right to be anywhere else, and I’m not alone in feeling that way. There’s something about the P’Town ritual—the outrageousness pared with incredible beauty—that makes other options pale in comparison.

We’ll once again host a dinner party for dear friends as we have for decades. It’s a joyous reunion of like-minded people who share a great love of Provincetown and each other. We’ll toast the new year with champagne at the stroke of midnight and bask in the friendship we share. As part of our ritual, we take time to recall those who passed on during the prior year. There’s a chapter toward the end of The HomePort Journals that is loosely based upon this annual gathering. The scene is intended to capture the feelings of gratitude, hope, and joy that illuminate our little patch of sand each December 31st. And as in real life, there are moments of reflection that acknowledge the importance of family–whether biological or “logical”– with all the gratitude that being in Provincetown provides.

From HomePort to you and all those you love, may every one of your hopes and dreams for the new year come true.

A. C. Burch
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