Welcome to winter in Wisconsin, where the weather is anything but predictable. Having experienced (and survived) many a Wisconsin winter, however, I know that bravery alone will not be enough to ensure a safely celebrated NYE at Light Up Eau Claire. Let’s rethink this idea of “braving the cold” and talk about how we can be prepared for what mother nature is throwing at us.

Here’s everything you need to know about safely (and warmly) celebrating New Year’s Eve in downtown Eau Claire:

1. Dress for the weather

Light Up Eau Claire 2017

Perhaps this one is a no-brainer, but dress smart. Wear layers, know that hats, mittens and scarves are your friends and remember that you can always take off your jacket when you get where you’re going. For those of you attending the New Year’s Eve Gala at The Lismore Hotel, there will be a complimentary coat check available. The outfit sported by Randy in “A Christmas Story” will be the fashion statement this New Year’s Eve.

2. Know where to warm up

Light Up Eau Claire 2017

Although there will be plenty of fun happening on the streets of downtown on NYE, there are also music venues throughout downtown that will offer tunes to dance to and comfort from the cold. Of course, you can always pop into the lobby of The Lismore Hotel for a quick break from the cold as you’re traveling between venues.

Though perhaps not quite as warm, there will also be fire pits. Just a few feet away, will be the Eau Claire-Stream, where you can stand by a portable heater and get your picture taken in the photo booth at the same time.

3. Warm freebies

Light Up Eau Claire 2017

In addition to the photo booth, at the Eau Claire-Stream, you will find Visit Eau Claire staff and volunteers handing out free hand warmers and hot chocolate. 

4. Time it right

Make sure to give yourself some time indoors in between running from venue to venue, hanging out by the Eau Claire-Stream or participating in the lantern parade. Also, make sure you're bundled up the whole time!

While you're ringing in the new year, make sure you capture memories with lots of photos are share them with us using #CaptureEC.