Events | The Scene

Local scene: First Day Hikes, New Year’s parties for all ages in La Salle, Bureau, Putnam counties

Stage 212 in La Salle hosted its annual New Year’s Eve Celebration For Kids  on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. The child-friendly event was hosted by Buddy the Elf and featured appearances by The Paw Patrol, The Little Mermaid and other characters.

1. First Day Hikes: For anyone looking to start the new year with some fresh air and exercise by joining a guided hike, there are some options New Year’s Day. ReImagine Mendota will be hosting a First Day Hike at 10 a.m. at Lake Kakusha. Participants will meet and park at the Rotary Pavilion/dock. To get to the pavilion, drive to the water tower and watch for signs. The hike will be an informal 3 miles around Lake Kakusha, about one hour, 30 minutes.

Volunteers will host their sixth annual First Day Hike at 8 a.m. at the Dayton Bluffs Preserve in Ottawa, 2997 N. Route 71, just northeast of Hank’s. Visitors can join one of two different guided Dayton Bluffs hikes. Visitors can warm themselves in front of a bonfire. The first 60 visitors can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

The Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center will host one with participants meeting in the hotel lobby at 10 a.m. to pick up a snack and a Starved Rock backpack. The tour concludes at the lodge at 1 p.m. Dress appropriately for the weather, and wear proper footwear. In the event of ice and snow, Yaktrax are advised for extra traction. The hike will be about 3 miles round trip.

The Ottawa City Council authorized a grant application for a project at the 253-acre Dayton Bluffs Preserve that would be put towards putting in accessible parking to replace a gravel lot and provide paths instead of woodchip and grass-covered trails.

2. Siblings New Year’s Bash: Stage 212 in La Salle is helping young people ring in the new year in style with the Siblings New Year’s Bash, a child-friendly party presented at 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday at the theater, 700 First St. The event will feature appearances by Mario and Luigi, Elsa and Anna, the PAW Patrol team and more. After the performance, there will be a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with all characters. Tickets for the event are on sale for $10 each and can be bought online at or by calling the box office at 815-224-3025 and leaving a message. Tickets can be picked up at the door.

3. Holiday basketball tournaments: There are plenty of local basketball teams playing in the Marquette and Plano tournaments. Marquette’s boys basketball tournament will conclude Friday with its championship game. The Plano boys basketball tournament concludes at 8 p.m. Saturday with its championship.

4. Ring in the New Year with Fiddlerock: Red Dog Grill, 411 Great Loop East, at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, will host the Fiddlerock program from 9 to 11 p.m. with ‘80s music until midnight. Dinner will run from 7 to 9 p.m. (not included in the ticket price). The ticket is $15. There will be a balloon drop at midnight. The purchase of your ticket does not guarantee you a table for dinner. Reservations for dinner are required. Call 815-434-4406 to make a reservation.

5. Gaetano’s New Year’s Eve: Musician Maui Grimm will begin at 8 p.m. at Gaetano’s Vault, 200 E. Main St. Dinners will be served from 5 to 9 p.m., and appetizers will be available until midnight. There will be a complementary champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. The bar will be open until 2 a.m., and there will be dancing all night long. Reservations and walk-ins are welcome. Call 815-822-9000 for reservations or information.

Would you like your event highlighted in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to the Illinois Valley community calendar at where they are then considered for inclusion in this feature.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois