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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Bringing in the new year, Tucson style”

Most of America’s attention focuses on New York City on New Year’s Eve ð- and why not? The Big Apple is the epicenter of the US, with a long tradition of counting down the New Year as the ball drops. And there, in Times Square, the aged, but still omnipresent, Dick Clark will lead a majority of the night’s festivities. But this year is different: Ryan Seacrest’s name is now attached to the end of “”Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”” The change signals the passing of the torch from an icon to a tool. And if this doesn’t enthrall you, turn away from your T.V. sets on Dec. 31, go and find something to do here in Tucson, because there’s plenty to do.

2008 New Year’s Eve Jazz Gala. at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa. 6 p.m. $175.

This isn’t just a party; this is a full-fledged gala event. The night starts with drink specials, music and a silent auction and lasts until a five-course meal is served at 7:45 p.m. And 15 minutes later, the Jazz All Stars begin playing through the night. Artists, such as Rick Braun and Richard Elliott, will grace the stage, as champagne toasts are made.

Circus Congress: 2009 New Year’s Eve at Club Congress. 8 p.m. $18 in advance; $20 at the door; $60 VIP.

The self-labeled “”greatest show on Earth,”” features Flam Chen’s Death-Defying Midnight Aerial Extravaganza, carnival curiosities (not sure what that means, but it sounds fun) and freakish monstrosities (even more confused). The standard champagne toast is included on the list of happenings, as is some live music.

Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Moveable Musical Feast at The Arizona Inn. 6:30 p.m. $195.

Dinner will be served in five different dinning rooms, beginning with salads and progressing to filet mignon. Following dinner, two of TSO’s “”stars”” will play until the night picks up. Guests will receive sparkly hats and be escorted to an elegant nightclub for a performance by TSO’s “”SwingN the New”” Jazz Band.

First Night Festival at the Leo Rich Theater ð- Hispanic Roots Stage, Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. 4 p.m. to midnight. $12 adults, $6 children 6-12.

Events include – Josephina Javelina Wants to Be A Ballerina, – a Tucson Symphony Orchestra just-for-kids concert; performances by Nelly & Javier Mazon, Ballet Folklorico Tapatío, Los Quatros Vientos and La Mezcla. There will also be a magic show for children and performances by Mirror Image and the Degrazia Spanish Band at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave.

New Year’s Eve Party at the University Mariott Park Hotel, 880 E. Second St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. $339 per couple.

This party includes the whole shebang. It kicks off with a dinner buffet from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with hosted cocktails and followed by music by Still Cruising and Sheer Delights, both oldies bands. The cost includes sleeping accommodations, a champagne toast and party favors, and a breakfast buffet in the morning.

If you don’t want to shell out a lot of dough for your New Year celebration, there are a few options before you:

?Invite friends over to celebrate-crack open some munchies and have everyone pitch in for a nice bottle (or two or three) of champagne or sparkling wine.

?Go stargazing.

?Head to a bar. Any bar. There are bound to be people out and about.

?Two words: movie night.

?Sponsor a dance party with your friends. Invite everyone over (BYOB) and crank up that music you downloaded illegally this semester.

?Go bowling.

?Sit back and give in to Dick Clark.

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