Hotel Fredonia turned transformed into New Year's Eve wonderland - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Hotel Fredonia turned transformed into New Year's Eve wonderland

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Fredonia Hotel staff spent Friday with all hands on deck readying for the New Year's Eve Dinner and dance.  "It takes everyone," Paula Daniel, trainee.  "It takes a lot of preparation.  It takes a lot of hands.  A lot of people."

Planning began more than four months ago, however, some moves must wait until the day of the event.  Things like blowing up balloons in preparation for a midnight drop.

"It's a crab mushroom."  Or, the preparation and cooking of lots of good food.  "I ordered about 60 pounds of strip loin.  We hand-cut our own steaks here.  I have about 25 pounds of red fish and 25-30 pounds of chicken we have prepared for tonight's dinner," James Harp, chef, said.

Event planners are calm and collected, but sticklers for detail.  "We have decorations that have to be placed on every single table. We have the disco ball that had to go up. We have horns, hats, everything has to be laid out perfectly," Kelly Nelson, event planner.

A bit of stress is noticed when everyone gathers around to read directions for the balloon drop.  Organizers worry about every detail coming together.  Band members begin to arrive early.  One band's job is to calm the crowd, the other's is to get the blood pumping.  "Start the evening off during dinner with a little bit of slower music and work our way up to a little bit more of rocking New Year," Connie Schaefer, banquet manager, said.

There's plenty of wine and champagne.  "The theme is come in have a good time. Dance, eat and hang out with good friends," Nelson said.

Those without reservations can catch dinner elsewhere, or in the hotel restaurant.  Around 9 o'clock you can join the dancing and the midnight toast.  Admission is $45.

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