By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
New Year's Eve is a big deal around Joplin, and this year's events will feature balloon drops, champagne toasts, local bands, great music and a Nashville flair.
Here's a rundown of celebrations held by Joplin's entertainment mainstays:
Nashville night out
Three of country music's major players will perform at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
John Rich, Keith Anderson and Cowboy Troy will play a Nashville New Year's show.
Rich, half of the duo Big and Rich, is also a songwriter and producer. Part of the band Lonestar, he has also been featured on CMT's "Gone Country" and NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice."
Rich has written songs for an A-list of country musicians, including Faith Hill ("Mississippi Girl"), Jason Aldean ("Hicktown") and Taylor Swift ("The Way I Loved You").
Along with Big and Rich and Cowboy Troy, Rich has been part of Musik Mafia, a larger-than-life, personality-filled movement in country music. His second album, "Son of a Preacher Man," was released in 2009 and featured the song "Shuttin' Detroit Down."
In addition to his own singing career, Anderson is also a writer and wrote Big and Rich's "Lost in This Moment." A native of Miami, Okla., he played baseball for Oklahoma State University and was pursued by the Kansas City Royals before a shoulder injury ended his career.
His music career began in Dallas, where he learned to sing and play guitar. His first Nashville hit happened in 2001 when he co-wrote "Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)" with several others. The song was performed by Garth Brooks and George Jones.
He has recorded two solo albums, the most recent of which is 2008's "C'mon!"
Cowboy Troy is known for singing country rap, also known as hick-hop. Since 2002 he has released four albums and one EP. The latest is 2009's "Demolition Mission: Studio Blue Sessions."
The three singers will perform at 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Doors open at 9 p.m. Singer Erin James will open.
Tickets range from $25 to $45 in advance and $30 to $50 at the door.
Details: 918-542-7140 ext. 2200.
JB's Piano Bar
Joplin's downtown dueling piano joint will feature Rick Killian and David Butler pounding keys, and drummer Ron Savage keeping the beat.
The celebration starts at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10, $25 for table party packs.
Blackthorn Pizza and Pub
Me Like Bees, Pearl Street Riot and Not a Planet will perform for Blackthorn's
end-of-year party. Tickets: $5.
Guitar's will host its Rock'n New Year's Eve Bash starting at 7 p.m. Tickets: $5, $25 for table for two, $45 for table of four.
Downstream Casino will feature a New Year's Eve party with live music, dancing, a balloon drop and a cash bar.
Tickets: $20 in advance, $30 at the door.
The Joplin area's newest casino will feature a band playing some new songs. Indigo Sky Casino will feature Red Dawn Blues Band, playing a variety of songs from its new album along with other blues classics.
Jukebox will feature a black-and-white-themed affair for New Year's Eve. Party favors such as hats and shirts will be provided, and champagne toasts and a balloon drop will happen at midnight.
Tickets: $5, $20 for table for two, $40 for table of four.