By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
Special EventsCelebrity Theatre
Epic Red Cup New Year's Eve
After taking a year off from hosting a massive Auld Lang Syne extravaganza, the EDM artists and promoters of Warsaw Pact Entertainment are bringing back the Epic Red Cup New Year's Eve affair to help send 2012 out with a bang. The 18-hour affair, which runs until the afternoon of January 1, will offer fire-dancers and body-mod performers in abundance, as well as a cadre of local mixmasters and DJs. The lineup of talent includes more and a dozen locals, including Brandon Decarlo, Sam Groove, Louder, Frieghtrain, and Maxx Destrukt. Pac D also performs a special sunrise set. 8 p.m.; $40 presale, $50 at the door. Call 480-289-1868 on the day of the event for location info.
Fort McDowell Casino
10424 N. Fort McDowell Rd., Fort McDowell
Festivities will take place throughout the casino, including free food from 7 to 10 p.m., music from the Kenny G Project in the Lucky 7 Saloon starting at 9 p.m., complimentary party favors all evening, and champagne at midnight. 7 p.m. Call 480-837-1424.
Herberger Theater Center
222 E. Monroe St.
Arizona Theatre Company stages a special New Year's Eve performance of the romantic musical comedy version of Jane Austen's Emma, as penned by Tony Award-nominated composer Paul Gordon. Patrons will also toast 2013 with champagne or sparkling cider. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $32. Call 602-256-6995 or see www.arizonatheatre.org.
Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale
Revel in the swanky amenities at this Scottsdale boutique hotel's stylish NYE shindig, including a four-hour premium open bar, savory hors d'oeuvres and a buffet, and plenty of top-shelf champagne. A video countdown and confetti explosion will also take place at midnight. DJ Decipha from 101.5 Jamz and DJ XCalibur will provide the soundtrack. 9 p.m. Admission starts at $95 for early bird tickets. Call 480-248-2000 or visit www.globaladrenaline.net.
Lone Butte Casino
1077 S. Kyrene Rd., Chandler
Complimentary champagne toast at midnight, free party favors, and live music from the Str8up Band in the Cascades Lounge. 9 p.m., free. Call 800-946-4452.
Mill Avenue's New Year's Eve
Mill Avenue District, Tempe
Tositos may have nixed its involvement with Tempe's annual New Year's extravaganza, but that's not stopping the merchants of Mill Avenue from throwing a big-time block party of their very own. The ginormous event will boast the same sort of amenities as in year's past, including a variety of food and drink vendors, a pair of fireworks spectaculars at 9 p.m. and midnight, children's areas, and games and other fun distractions. The live music lineup includes performances by dance-pop duo S.O.S., alt-folk act Jared and the Mill, and other local bands. 6 p.m., free. Call 480-355-6060.
Scottsdale's Ultimate Block Party
4209 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
Reggae rock act The Dirty Heads and local punkers Authority Zero will headline the music lineup of this annual Old Town throwdown. Meanwhile, the block party itself will encompass Craftsman Court and such bars as Rockbar Inc. and Dos Gringos, and it will also feature multiple DJs, beer and wine vendors, and more. Gates open at 5 p.m. and general admission is $30. See www.scottsdalesultimateblockparty.com.
Stand Up Live
50 W. Jefferson St.
Rotund and ribald comedian Ralphie May will provide the laughs during a pair of New Year's Eve gigs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. The earlier show, where admission will be $59.26 per person, includes VIP seating, dinner, and gratuity included; while the latter performance, with tickets available for $43.70 each, offers an appetizer platter, gratuity, party favors, and a midnight countdown. Call 480-719-6100.
Sun Devil Stadium
500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe
College football fanatics will flock to Tempe to witness the battle between the Big 12's Texas Christian University (7-5) and the Big Ten's Michigan State Spartans (6-6) for gridiron glory during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 29. Tickets are $25-$125. Call 480-965-4215.
75 N. 2nd St.
Conductor Michael Christie will wield the baton as the Phoenix Symphony presents its annual New Year's Eve concert and celebration. Besides performing George Gershwin's "American in Paris," a variety of Strauss waltzes, and a moving tribute to the late composer Marvin Hamlisch, the orchestra will provide its rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" (natch). 7:30 p.m., $27-$83.
Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale
The resort's showroom hosts R&B icon Evelyn "Champagne" King, who rocked the Billboard charts with such hit songs as "Shame" and "Love Come Down." L.A. cover act The Boogie Knights provide support. 9 p.m., $150. Call 480-850-7734.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
If you'd like to forgo the whole taxi thing to get between drinking destinations, consider joining the fun of the New Year's Eve Pub Crawl at Tempe Marketplace. The alcohol-filled excursion will take patrons on a tour through six different bars and restaurants, including Bar Louie, Cadillac Ranch, King's Fish House, and San Felipe's Cantina. At each stop, a special passport will be stamped, allowing the chance to win a $1,000 Vestar Visa Gift Card and other prizes. Meanwhile, the Laura Walsh Band will perform on the district stage. 8 p.m. See www.tempemarketplace.com/newyearseve for more details.