Party plans roll on with an eye on the weather

As professionals dressed up public celebration venues on Sunday, party shops were anticipating a run on festive supplies for home gatherings, and people across the area were watching the possibility of snow for the last evening of 2012.

“Generally speaking, people in this area wait to see what the weather is going to do,” said Betty Wilson, owner of Fun Party & Wedding Services in Shawnee. “If it snows, home parties will be the thing.”

At Union Station, Joy Torchia said New Year’s revelers can stay at the Sheraton or Westin hotels at Crown Center and use the enclosed walkways to reach a party that is expected to attract more than 750 people. This is the second consecutive year the hotels have teamed with Union Station to offer party package rates.

“With a hotel package, people don’t have to go out at all,” she said.

Union Station is supplementing its already-festive holiday interior with a band at the rear of the Sprint Festival Plaza. A theater-size video screen will carry New Year’s celebrations from around the world as the 2013 ball drops across the time zones. Rocket and Teresa, the Mix 93.3 FM morning DJ team, will be the announcers during the evening, which runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Kansas City Convention Center is offering dinner and dancing in the Grand Ballroom to ring in 2013. Revelers can buy a package that includes a room at the Downtown Marriott.

For do-it-yourself parties, Wilson, who has owned the Fun Party shop for 33 years, said people tend to put off buying supplies until New Year’s Eve, just hours before their guests are supposed to show up. It’s the same way on the Missouri side of the line, according to Jerri Brandon, manager of the Brookside Party Warehouse.

“We’ve been steadily busy, but everybody waits until the last day,” she said. “It’s not like Christmas, where everybody is ready before.”