A new year party for every style

There are lots of opportunities to welcome 2013

Contributing writerDecember 28, 2012 

Solstice, Christmas and Hanukkah are over. The world hasn’t ended yet. And if you’ve put off planning for a New Year’s Eve celebration the way the politicians have put off planning for the so-called “fiscal cliff,” you still have three more days.

Here’s a guide to some of the local possibilities for ushering in 2013, the first year in most of our lifetimes to end with the oft-thought-unlucky number. Imagine the Facebook status updates that numerical coincidence might inspire.


Last year, the New Year’s Eve event was the outdoor Snow Rave, complete with a ball drop.

But with trickster-about-town David Scherer Water out of town this year, the folks at the Olympia Ballroom have picked up the ball with the Olyball New Year’s Bash featuring the Blackberry Bushes Stringband and The Brown Edition, along with DJ HeartTone.

And they’ll be dropping the ball, too, at the appropriate time.

Olyball New Year’s Bash, 9 p.m. Dec. 31, Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way, Olympia $15 in advance at brownpapertickets.com, $20 at the door.


Harlequin Productions’ Stardust series of holiday shows is no more. But the theater is continuing the Stardust tradition of ringing in the New Year on East Coast time – a decision originally made in honor of the fictional Stardust Club in New York City.

Monday’s performance of “A Christmas Survival Guide” starts pretty early, so it can wrap up in time for the 9 p.m. toast (with complimentary champagne). And when it’s all over, you can head home for a sensible night of rest or go out and do it all over again.

“A Christmas Survival Guide,” 7 p.m. Dec. 31, State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. $38, $35 for military and seniors, $25 for students and those younger than 25. 360-786-0151, www.harlequin productions.org.


Just as Harlequin Productions always celebrates the new year early, so to does the Hands On Children’s Museum. That’s no different at the museum’s snazzy new location, which features a four-level climbing structure.

What is different, though, is the museum – now the largest children’s museum in the state – is recommending advance reservations and offering timed entry to help manage the expected crowds.

Noon Year’s Eve, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 31, Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia. $12 for child members, $15 for child nonmembers, $4 for accompanying adults. 360-956-0818, hocm.org.


This New Year’s Eve party is for those who like a swingin’ sound. It also offers substantial hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast, and there’s a no-host bar.

New Year’s Eve Party with Johnny Lewis’s Big Band 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31, The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia. $35, $280 for a table of eight, available at Music 6000. For ages 21 and older; semiformal. 360-866-2178, 360-786-6000.


Call it Saturday night fever, or call it disco fever: If you’ve continued to burn, baby, burn through the decades, Little Creek Casino Resort has the New Year’s Eve party for you.

Performing at the party is the Sonic Funk Orchestra. The news release for the event trumpets that the orchestra “will take you on a trip from ‘Saturday Night Fever’ to Studio 54 like no other local band can.” (Of course, that’s not a very long trip given that the movie came out in 1977, the same year that the club opened.)

New Year’s Celebration with Sonic Funk Orchestra, 9 p.m. Dec. 31, Little Creek Casino Resort, 91 state Route 108, Shelton. $45. For ages 21 and older. littlecreek.ticketsunplugged.com, 800-667-7711.


OK, so there aren’t any polar bears in Olympia. But if you are as hardy as one, head to the Polar Bear Plunge at Long Lake. Rugged folks can ring in the new year cold and soaking wet on what’s bound to be a chilly day with even chillier water.

Polar Bear Plunge, noon-1:30 p.m. (plunge is at 1 p.m.) Jan. 1, Long Lake Park, 2790 Carpenter Road SE, Lacey. Free. 360-491-0857, ci.lacey.wa.us.

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