Dec 29, 2010 6:15 PM by Zach Thaxton

New Year's parties a "go" despite bitter cold; free rides available

Despite a weather forecast calling for temperatures hovering at or just above 0°, outdoor New Year's Eve plans will go on as-scheduled in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.  For revelers in Colorado Springs who have too much to drink, there will be plenty of free rides home.

The Antlers Hilton in downtown Colorado Springs will host an indoor dinner and dance, plus a free outdoor celebration in Palmer Center between the Antlers, Wells Fargo Tower, and 1st Bank Tower.  "We're looking at 1,000 to 2,000 people in the square and up to 500 or more in the ballroom," said Maj. Charles Prignano (Ret. - USAF), organizer of Colorado Springs New Year's Eve 2011.  The event will include two huge video screens, live music, and a hot-air balloon glow featuring up to five hot-air balloons, if weather permits.  The New Year's Eve Ball inside the Antlers costs $36 for the dance itself, $70 if you want dinner.

In Pueblo, the historic Union Depot will host its annual Chili Ball, including a 65-foot hoist of a nearly 10-foot-long decorative chili at midnight.  Organizers say the chili hoist is on as-scheduled and say they're prepared to shiver in the bitter cold to welcome 2011.

For revelers who have too much to drink, there are options for receiving free rides home in Colorado Springs.  McDivitt Law Firm has teamed with Yellow Cab to provide free cab rides.  "All they have to do is get a Yellow Cab and tell (the driver), 'It's on McDivitt,' and the ride won't cost them anything and we'll pick up the tab for everyone who needs to get home via cab on New Year's Eve," said attorney David McDivitt.  Rides are available within Colorado Springs city limits from 10:00 p.m. New Year's Eve to 4:00 a.m. New Year's Day.  Call Yellow Cab (719) 777-7777 and tell the cab driver that the ride is on the McDivitt Law Firm.  Rides will only be available to a residence, not to any other drinking establishments.

For those who don't want to leave their car parked at a bar or restaurant overnight, Designated Driver of Colorado Springs will provide teams of two who will drive an impaired person home in their own car, free of charge.  "One person drives the impaired person home and the other follows in a chase car so we can pick our driver up and move on to the next ride," said Executive Director Nonie Rispin.  Although the service is free, riders are encouraged to tip drivers.  Rispin says the service has swelled in popularity in its two years of operation.  "Sometimes people will justify drinking and driving by saying, 'I've only had 2 or 3 drinks, I'm fine, I need to have my car in the morning.' This way, by providing the ride free, the car is sitting in the driveway the next morning," Rispin said.  She hopes to have at least 20 teams operating on New Year's Eve and is recruiting more drivers.  Riders must call between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. from one of nearly 30 sponsor food and drink sponsors, which include most of the major bars in downtown Colorado Springs and surrounding suburbs.  Riders must also provide registration and proof of insurance for their vehicle.


Yellow Cab of Colorado Springs:  (719) 777-7777

Designated Driver of Colorado Springs:
for a list of participating establishments -
to request a ride - (719) 650-3450
to volunteer to drive - (719) 466-4768


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