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Shindigs galore

Here's a list of New Year's Eve gatherings from formal to casual.

New Year's Eve celebrations will range from mild to wild as Hernando County prepares to ring in 2001.

Here are a few options.

For those who like to party on the water, BJ Gators in Hernando Beach will offer a special menu, party favors, a champagne toast and live entertainment by Mid-Life Krysis beginning at 9 p.m.

Owner Bob Mancuso said customers will enjoy the restaurant's heated patio even if the weather turns cold.

"The beautiful water is one of our best features," he said.

BJ Gators is at 4054 Shoal Line Blvd. For reservations and information, call 596-7160.

Masaryktown will hold its annual dance at the Masaryktown Community Center on Lincoln Avenue. Music by One and Only DJ starts at 9 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m.

"At the magic hour, we have balloons fall from the ceiling," said honorary Masaryktown mayor Pauline Chorvat. "This is a real New Year's Eve celebration."

Tickets for the dance are $25 per couple or $13 each and include a buffet dinner and noisemakers. For information or reservations, call the center at 796-3208 or 799-1219.

Differences Pub in Spring Hill will have a costume party with a Renaissance theme beginning at 8 p.m. There will be a buffet, champagne toast, balloon drop and party favors. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.

Differences is at 1413 Kass Circle in Spring Hill. For tickets and information, call 238-1317.

A short drive from Hernando County, Plantation Inn and Golf Resort, 9301 W Fort Island Trail in Crystal River, will have a dinner and gala. Organizers plan a five-course meal and music by Celebration. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

There will be a cash bar and a champagne toast at midnight. Reservations are required. Tickets are $185 per couple. Coat and tie are suggested for men. For information, call (352) 795-4211.

"We are offering an elegant option for New Year's Eve," food and beverage director Chris Prior said. "This will be an evening to remember."

South of Hernando, Hudson Beach's Inn on the Gulf, 6330 Clark St., will have a semiformal New Year's Eve party on the upper deck beginning at 9 p.m. For $50 per person, attendees will get a prime rib dinner, champagne toast, cocktail, party favors, continental breakfast and live music. With a hotel room, the cost per couple is $170. For reservations, call (727) 868-5623.

"We're right on the Gulf of Mexico, so it's a very beautiful surrounding," manager John Malacos said.

VFW Post 10209, 15166 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, will have food, music and dancing from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Phil and Nancy will entertain. The cost is $10 per person. Call 796-0398.

The Polish American Social Club will hold a dinner and dance at the club, 7615 New Jersey Ave., Hudson. Doors open at 5 p.m.; prime rib or chicken dinner served at 6:30 p.m.; dancing to Music Blenders starting at 9 p.m. Coffee and doughnuts will be served at midnight. Tickets are $22 (no refunds). Reserved seating only. For reservations call Phyllis, 688-6385, Marge, (727) 862-1145, or the club, (727) 868-9763.

VFW Post 9236 will hold a dinner party at the post, 3435 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. A prime rib dinner will be served at 8 p.m., with an open bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Music will be provided by Briar Rose. Favors and champagne will be provided. The cost is $27.50 per person. Call the post, 596-9236, or Commander Bill Maglidt, 597-2768.

If dinner and dancing aren't your style, you can bowl in the new year at Mariner Lanes in Spring Hill.

The New Year's Eve party includes unlimited bowling, a live DJ, buffet and a midnight champagne toast. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the party starts at 9. Price is $26 per person. Mariner Lanes is at 3544 Mariner Blvd. For information and reservations, call 683-7576.

At Spring Hill Lanes, the New Year's Eve party will last from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. There will be unlimited bowling and a buffet featuring prime rib, lasagne and turkey. Tickets are $30 per person, and reservations are required. All ages are welcome.

Spring Hill Lanes is at 3447 Commercial Way. For information, call 683-7272.