New Poll on New Year's Eve Activities

Poll looks at celebration and entertaining styles for the big night and beyond

When it comes to ringing in the millennium, home is where the party is, according to a new online poll. And on a night when some may think tuxedos and tiaras are de rigueur, an overwhelming majority of revelers actually prefer a casual get-together to a formal affair.

In the independent poll conducted by Survey Site on behalf of Wine Market Council, almost half of the 600+ respondents said that this New Year's Eve will find them at home, enjoying a special party or dinner with friends and family, compared to 25% who plan to celebrate out on the town.

Only 12% are planning a special trip, 9% have "other" plans (such as "getting married") and just 7% say they will do nothing but "watch the ball drop on TV." And despite the millennial mandate for glitz and glamour, 89% of respondents express a desire for a more relaxed, casual celebration.

Asked which considerations were most important for a great party -- food, drink, entertainment, clothing, setting, or the company itself, 84% of respondents answered "being with loved ones." Also topping the list of "musts" were great food and drink (73 and 72 percent respectively.)

Sixty-two percent of survey participants will accompany their meals with wine or champagne, compared to only 8% each opting for soda or beer, and 6% for cocktails. And despite early warnings about wine shortages, only 9% of respondents are actually worried enough to stockpile their red, white or bubbly.

According to the poll, the preference for a more relaxed style of entertaining will continue well into the new millennium. The most popular way to throw a party in the year 2000? Improvisation, with almost 29% of respondents saying they can make a party out of any food and drink they happen to have on hand.

Twenty percent of hosts say they will play the "eclectic expert" -- making one or two special things themselves and buying other key components -- great bread, dessert and wine -- from the best sources in town. Only 9% of respondents say their parties will be Martha Stewart-perfect.

DATE: 12/8/99

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