Buzz: From Cole Swindell to duck poppers, downtown Rome is rocking this week. What to do this New Year’s weekend. ‘Chipper’ trees already arriving. Floyd County Republican Women meet Tuesday. Guest speaker: Police Chief Denise Downer-McKinney.

Buzz: From Cole Swindell to duck poppers, downtown Rome is rocking this week. What to do this New Year’s weekend. ‘Chipper’ trees already arriving. Floyd County Republican Women meet Tuesday. Guest speaker: Police Chief Denise Downer-McKinney.

Bring One for the Chipper ‘corral’ already up and in use at Home Depot: At least a dozen cut Christmas trees already are in the corral in the parking lot outside The Home Depot in Rome in advance of the Jan. 6 Bring One for the Chipper campaign from 10 a.m. until noon that Saturday. Bring a tree and get a seedling in return. These photos are from Thursday. morning by Hometown Headlines.

What’s buzzing in downtown Rome:

  1. A different type of ‘Cole’ for Christmas: If you wondered what those huge crowds were on Broad Street Wednesday and Thursday nights, it was back-to-back sold out shows for Cole Swindell’s Home for the Holidays at Rome City Brewing Co. RCBC didn’t have dinner service because of the crowds — but steered guests to other restaurants in downtown Rome that now serve RCBC craft beer. That list:
  • Johnnys Pizza – Downtown Brown
  • Harvest Moon – Clocktower IPA
  • Jefferson’s – Goatmeal Stout
  • Cigar Bar – Downtown Brown
  • The Foundry – Romulus Mango IPA
  • O’Charley’s – Downtown Brown

2. The great escapes: Colosseum Escape Rooms opened Thursday evening at 608 Broad St. Anxious to hear some of the first reports of those who made it through the two escape rooms.

3. So ask the CEO about the duck poppers: Heritage First Bank invited the community to a reception Thursday afternoon, congratulation President Ryan Earnest as he added the chief executive officer title as well. The lobby at the bank’s main office at 501 Broad St. was filled with a who’s who of Rome, including an interesting mix of some of the longtime business leaders as well as a lot of new blood. Sharing the limelight: Duck poppers. They were among the offerings to guests in the event catering by The Season Events. Some what’s in a duck popper? Holly Lynch describes it as a slice of duck meat, jalapeno pepper, cream cheese — all wrapped in bacon and then grilled. There’s a reason some of the guests didn’t move far from the table Thursday night — except to shake Ryan’s hand (as well as wife Susan and son Carson). Great business event to end the year.

The Floyd County Republican Women meet Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 11:30 a.m. at the Red Lobster on Shorter Avenue. The meeting begins at noon. This month’s guest speaker: Denise Downer-McKinney, Chief of Police, City of Rome

What to do this weekend: And keep in mind we might have polar weather for that Polar Bear Plunge on Monday.

Sunday: Sing in the New Year at Rome City Auditorium from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Join The Callback Company for an evening of music of all sorts. With a live band and grand piano, the options are endless. Anyone is invited to sing if you bring music and performer fee of $50, which includes a video of your performance. General admission tickets are $8. Details

Sunday: Rome City Brewing Co. will host Babes Bayou for a New Year’s Eve Bash starting at 10 p.m. Presale tickets available now online for $10; tickets will be $15 at door or $25 per couple. Tickets

Jan. 1: Polar Bear Plunge in Cave Spring at Rolator Lake/Park. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and jump is at 2 p.m. Cost is $25 and includes t-shirt and lunch. You can download applications now or pick one up from local merchants in Cave Spring.  Proceeds benefit the Cave Spring Historical Society. Details

Jan. 1: Rome City Brewing Co. at 325 Broad St. will open for a rare Monday to celebrate New Year’s Day and watch college football! Owner Jay Shell says they will be serving their traditional New Year’s Day dinner including collards, black-eyed peas and fried chicken. “New Year’s Day lunch has become our biggest lunch of the year,” says Shell. You can watch both the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl later that evening at RCBC.

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