2018 came early for the group at the Belvedere Cocktail Lounge on Brundage Lane on the last Sunday of 2017. 

Owners Richard and Donna Sliska started the early New Year's celebration 15 years ago because they thought the older residents of Bakersfield deserved to party too — but on their time. 

"We deserve good dancing and music in the day time as well as the nighttime," Donna Sliska said. 

Regulars Linda Pascuzzo and Scott Whisler, appreciate the Bellvedere for tipping its hat to those that are over the hill. 

"It allows us to come celebrate on our own time," Pascuzzo said. "I'm in bed by 10, I'm 60 — I'm too old for that." Pascuzzo said of the typical partying until dawn New Year's Eve mentality. 

This year the Belvedere decided to make the "ball drop" at 3 p.m. rather than 2 p.m. as it has been previously.

"They're trying to keep us old folks out for a little longer," Whisler said. 

A pool table with goodies such as sandwiches, dips and snacks and live music from Bakersfield band Rockamole was enough to entice Ernie Goll for her second Old Fart's Party.

"I don't drive at night, and besides, everyone here talks to you like they've known you for a long time," Goll said.

Goll isn't a regular, but said she feels like one every time she walks through the door. Her best friend, Babe Arias, likens the Bellvedere to Bakersfield's version of Cheers. 

"It's not a bar, it feels more like a second home," Arias said. "Everyone is really nice and talks to everyone else." 

Goll's skepticism of driving past midnight on New Year's Eve was echoed by other attendees. What started as a couple of old farts singing Auld Lang Syne at 2 p.m. has now turned into a safer alternative to a night of drinking and dancing the year away. 

But for others the Old Fart's Party is just the first pit stop. Margarete Hlaudy said she'll be ringing in the New Year with some Moet champagne, sauerkraut and pork sausage. 

"I just came to join the early birds and be with my friends," Hlaudy said. 

Hlaudy has been in the 2018 spirit for the entire day, as she called her sister, who lives in Germany, before going to the Belvedere. 

"The ball has already dropped there," Hlaudy said. "2017 is already over."

However, this won't be the bar's last party of the year as the Belvedere will host a more traditional New Year's Eve party in the evening. 

But for those past the partying age, the new year will be rung in early.

"We're old farts, we go to bed at like five o' clock," Arias said. 

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