New Year’s Party Bridges Past, Future

Is there a better way to ring in 2024 than with a visit to the stately Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake? It’s a place where cherished memories of days gone by have proudly lingered over the years. Built in 1865, this Victorian-era Romantic Italianate manor is the perfect setting to dress in your finest and launch a New Year.

“Last year’s New Year’s Eve party with a ‘Cirque du Soleil-esque’ circus theme was a fabulous event,” says Sharon LeCoque, chair of the New Year’s event and co-founder of the Farmers Market+ At The Dole.

The fun returns again this year on the evening of Dec. 31. This year’s party theme is all about live music. You can find it in several corners of the mansion and its annex. Scrumptious heavy appetizers are served by Wild Asparagus Catering of Barrington, with a Retro Candy “Bar” courtesy of The Inside Scoop.

The GooRoos warm up the festive crowd starting around 7:30 p.m. Then, the Modern Day Romeos ring in the New Year with a performance from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

To know the magnificence of this beautiful venue is to have knowledge of its past. It was in 1922 that Eliza “Lou” (Louise) Ringling purchased the Dole Mansion, along with her investment group, to create the country club.

With a nod to The Dole’s history, there’s also live jazz playing in Lou’s Lounge, a speakeasy-type venue in The Dole’s lower level. It’s named in honor of Ringling and the fact that her country club was built during Prohibition.

“Surely, there had to have been a secret place to sneak cocktails, as it was a social club, after all,” says LeCoque. “There also will be live music in the mansion on our recently acquired 1921 Steinway.”

Events such as the New Year’s Eve party, summertime’s Lakeside Festival, a year-round Farmers Market+ and ticketed events in Lou’s Lounge help to fund this organization and support the restoration and upkeep of the historic property.

A portion of proceeds will additionally support CASA of McHenry County.
To purchase your tickets for New Year’s at The Dole, head to

The Dole is located at 401 Country Club Road, in Crystal Lake.