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First Night has new uptown location for free NYE bash

By Hilary Trenda and Brittney Cason
htrenda@charlotteobserver.com

Oh, 2013, you went by way too fast. It seems just moments ago we were at this same time of year, with the Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt version of “What Are You Doing New Years Eve?” on repeat in our heads. But in keeping with the present, we wanted to be clever and offer “14 Ways to Ring in 2014.” Then we found more than 14 promising events to list and, well, who doesn’t like to have options? Happy New Year.

First Night

WBTV First Night Charlotte is back for its sixth annual NYE bash, but this year the free festivities will be at Romare Bearden Park, 300 S. Church St. The alcohol-free community celebration emphasizes visual/performance art in an activity-filled countdown to midnight.

First Night Kids runs 1-6 p.m. on the Church Street side of the park and will feature entertainment, Crown Town (DIY-crown creation and customization) and TapSnap photo booth with free photos. The Kids’ countdown begins at 5:50 p.m.

First Night evening activities run 7-9:30 p.m. and include live music, comedy and more.

Countdown to Midnight” starts at 10 p.m., and headliner Sol Fusion will play till 12:30 a.m. on the main stage.

Details: www.firstnightcharlotte.com.

Uptown

Rich & Bennett's NYE Bash 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Phoenix (300 N. College St.) featuring three DJs, food from Cosmos and balloon drop at midnight. $55 for gals, $75 for guys. www.rockhouseevents.com.

Third annual Black & Gold Ball at the Westin 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at the Westin Hotel (601 S. College St.) with DJ Lil’ Betty in the Lobby Bar and Mandi Stapleton in the Ember Grille. Free. 704-375-2600, www.cltfun.com. Meanwhile, the NYE Latin Extravaganza will also be at the The Westin Ballroom, so the hotel will be jumping. www.nyecharlottenc.com.

Charlotte’s own Anthony Hamilton presents Masquerade at Vanity (500 W. Fifth St.). $20 advance; the countdown begins at 9 p.m. 704-277-0855.

Studio 54 at Whiskey River 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Whiskey River in EpiCentre (210 E. Trade St.) with DJ Boss Austin leading the tunes and the countdown. Studio 54 party favors to accompany the complimentary champagne toast at midnight. $35, 21 and up, dress code enforced. 704-749-1097, www.WhiskyRiverCharlotte.com.

The 2014 Ring In at Saloon 8 p.m.-2 a.m at the N.C. Music Factory (900 N.C. Music Factory Blvd.) with Simplified. $50 all-inclusive, but the price increases on last-minute tickets, so start your resolution to stop procrastinating early. 704-716-2327, www.salooncharlotte.com.

Back to the Future Bash 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Roxbury (115 W. Fifth St.) Ring in 2014 going back to the ’80s and ’90s with an old-school dance party. Confetti blast and champagne toast at midnight. $20-$25. 704-375-8090, www.roxburynightclub.com.

John Tosco’s Fourth Annual Variety Show 8 p.m., Knight Theater (430 S. Tryon St.) The producers of the Tosco Music Parties and Beatles tributes gather different kinds of acts for this family-friendly variety show, which includes dogs, aerialists, a magician, puppets, dancers, mime, a barbershop quartet, a juggler and comedian and cirque act. $14.50-$34.50. www.blumenthalarts.org.

SouthPark

Red Carpet Affair 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at Village Tavern (4201 Congress St.) will feature appetizers, drink specials, midnight champagne toast and more. $20. 704-552-9983, www.villagetavern.com.

Ballantyne

NYE 2014 Masquerade at Cosmos Ballantyne (8420 Rea Rd.) featuring DJ Rob Reeves, balloon drop and midnight champagne toast. Free before 9 p.m., $20 after, and a four-course dinner is offered for $40. Dress code enforced. 704-544-5268.

South End

NYE at Dharma Lounge 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (1440 S. Tryon St.). The club rings in the new year with “debaucherous disco” and the underground sounds from Dirtybird’s Mark Starr, KT Caustic and more. $20, 18 and older. 704-334-8336, www.dharmacharlotte.com.

NoDa

Overboard NYE 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at Neighborhood Theatre (511 E. 36th St.) Presented by Permanent Vacation. Free. 704-942-7997, www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.

Elizabeth

Kennedy’s Premium Bar & Grill New Years Eve Party 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (366 N. Caswell Road). From a champagne toast to a breakfast buffet, $60 is all-inclusive. 704-375-0218, www.kennedyscharlotte.com.

University

NYE soiree at FireWater (8708 J.W. Clay Blvd.) featuring an a la carte menu and a champagne toast. $10 after 10 p.m. 704-549-0050.

Around the region

Gatsby Christmas Burlesque Show 8 p.m.- 2 a.m., at Barreled at the Lift Speakeasy (1600 E. Woodlawn Road). Kick off 2014 with a “Great Gatsby”-themed burlesque show in this cozy hookah bar. $80. 704-626-8850, www.barreledcharlotte.com.

Sparkle New Year’s Eve: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont) shares the sparkle of the season with its first NYE affair. The sparkling wine tasting lasts 6-9 p.m. and attendees will receive a commemorative flute, samples of sparkling wine and mini desserts. $20 for garden members, $25 for nonmembers. Reservations required. 704-829-1252.

NYE 2014 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with Galway Hooker (17044 Kenton Drive, Cornelius) is an all-inclusive party with open bars, hors d’oeuvres buffet, live music and DJ. $65 in advance, $75 at the door. This events sells out annually. Tickets and details: 704-895-1782; www.galwayhookerpub.com.

Habitat for Humanity of Lancaster County’s fourth annual Topping Out NYE party starts at 9 p.m. at the Lancaster Moose Lodge (200 Shrine Moose Dr , Lancaster, S.C.) and will feature a cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music and midnight champagne toast. $35 per person, $20 for table reservations. 803-283-1203.

Trenda: 704-358-5089; Twitter: @htrenda
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