I ended up spending New Years in Phitsanulouk. I opted against Chiang Mai for several reasons. Chiang Mai was becoming quite lively around New Years, with numerous parades, dance performances and live music performances, and New Years was obviously going to be quite a celebration. Yet Chiang Mai, being the "go-to" spot for all tourists (Western and otherwise) was becoming completely flooded by tourists. Phitsanulouk seemed small enough (and close enough to the more popular spots of Ayutthuya and Chiang Mai) that it wouldn't receive many tourists. Yet Phitsanulouk was also large enough and lively enough to hopefully have a decent celebration (and hopefully a less Western one at that). So that was my gamble. And after ten hours on the bus (three from Tha Ton to Chiang Mai and then seven more to Phitsanulouk), my gamble paid off.
Phitsanulouk is a cozy town by the river with a huge, lively night market. The night market became the center for the festivities with three separate stages for dances and music. Endless rows of food vendors and souvenir stands lined the streets, with people setting off firecrackers into the river. The middle music stand was devoted more to the young crowd with (yes, Brandon and Maya you can be jealous), Thai heavy metal and rock bands performing all night long.
As for the tourism, I think I was one of maybe three. All in all, it was pretty awesome.