Bid a fond farewell to 2015 and prepare to greet 2016 as it arrives in Portland Thursday night. There’s no shortage of local celebrations, from lavish balls to family-friendly gatherings to the massive Sobriety Powwow.

So whether you want to find that big party in the city or need help throwing a celebration at home, here’s how to ring in the new year in Portland.

A party aboard the Portland Spirit.  

Free TriMet: Note to all revelers: If you’re planning on drinking, consider taking public transit back home. TriMet is once again offering free rides on all buses, MAX trains and the Portland Streetcar from 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 until service ends in the wee hours of Jan. 1.

Big parties and balls: Check out my list of Portland’s biggest New Year’s parties and balls, including the Champagne Ball, the InspireTruth event and – you guessed it – a concert by Pink Martini.

Last-minute events: Making all your plans at the last minute? Here’s a New Year’s Eve guide for procrastinators, with events that won’t be sold out if you decide, say, tonight that you want to go.

Sobriety Powwow: For those who want New Year’s Eve without all the booze, or those looking for a completely different kind of New Year’s celebration, there’s the massive Sobriety Powwow at the Oregon Convention Center, which is expected to draw some 5,000 people.

Concerts galore: Portland’s best musicians are getting in on the celebration, staging concerts at venues across the city. See David Greenwald’s list of 17 New Year’s Eve 2016 concerts, ranging from hip-hop and dance music to jazz sets and cover bands.

Northern Lights: Forget fireworks, the Northern Lights may be visible over darker areas of the region on Wednesday and Thursday nights. You won’t see that vibrant green with the naked eye, but some lights should be visible away from the bright city.

Party at home: If you’re throwing a party at home, consider making one of these 16 New Year’s appetizers or perhaps one of 16 New Year’s recipes, compiled by Grant Butler for just such an occasion. And be sure to follow his 6 simple rules for throwing a great cocktail party.

Say goodbye to Levant: Southeast Portland’s Levant was well regarded for its Eastern Mediterranean fare, opening in 2013 and most recently ranking No. 35 in our guide to Portland’s 101 best restaurants. Sadly, the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve service will be its last.

–Jamie Hale | | @HaleJamesB

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