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As the city is prepping to welcome in a new year, we hope you're already decided on where you'll be the night 2012 begins. Downtown will be a busy place, and everyone will be happier knowing in advance what they'll be doing and whom they'll be with when the ball drops and the cork pops (and the cheerful make-out begins).
In case you haven't nailed down your plans already, we've developed a list of our favorite New Year's options this Eve. To guarantee a spot on these RSVP lists, you'll want to get your tickets yesterday. Don't wait for your friends; this New Year's, it's every man and woman for themselves. After all, if the Mayans are right, this may be our last New Year's we've got!
If you want to save money and give the kiddies something to cheer about, the City of Austin is putting on their annual Austin's New Year celebration down at Auditorium Shores. This year, live music will arrive in the form of Carolyn Wonderland and Lavelle White, the Rockin' Gospel Project and the Flying Balalaika Brothers, among others. There will also be a circus, a photo booth, light and sound sculptures and something called a "space squid self-transmogrifier." Free of alcohol, there will still be plenty of fun.
ACL Live hosts the best classically Austin New Year's you can be a part of this year. Willie Nelson will be welcoming in the new year with several of his surprise guest friends, and we're told Father Time will also be joining him on stage. Who knows if another opportunity like this one will show up again in the future? The tickets are pricey, but the memories will inarguably be priceless.
If you like the idea of a concert for New Year's, another Austin living legend, Bob Schneider, rocks the Paramount Theatre on Saturday night. He'll be joined by fellow local favorites Quiet Company, whose latest album is one of this year's biggest breakout hits. This will definitely be a great way to set up 2012 as another excellent year for amazing music experiences.
For a more rowdy music NYE concert experience, we recommend checking out Mohawk's lineup for that evening. For only $15, you can experience two of Fun Fun Fun Fest's best acts: Big Freedia and Turquoise Jeep. This is going to be one of the most exciting and fun evenings you'll have all year long, with all the bouncing and choreographed dancing you'll see and do at this show. No need to hold back at this one; you're free to be who you wanna be.
Speaking of over the top and instantly amazing, the ND@501 Studios is hosting another installment of Bearracuda, the traveling bear dance party on Saturday. While there won't be any bears of the gummy, Chicago or Care varieties, there will be plent of large, hirsute gay men dancing, celebrating and ringing in the new year. But of course, like every party at the ND, everyone is welcome to join the good times in their most fabulous outfits imaginable.
More traditional bears and bear lovers might really love the snowy climate that will be created at VOLK, the Russian New Years party planned at Justine's Brasserie. The entire evening will be themed after the classic black and white film, Dr. Zhivago, so you're sure to find plenty of entertainment, fine food and surprises to make the night magical.
If you're a film fan, you might also love the New Year's Eve B-Movie Ball at Marchesa Hall. Produced by Grabbable Entertainment, this is a full-on costume ball and multimedia art event that will invite you to become a part of the night's fun. If you missed out on the perfect Halloween costume or just love a good theme party, this is the perfect chance to show off your skills.
Of course, you might prefer to stay at home and avoid all the nonsense and noise that is sure to erupt into the streets come midnight. BFFs Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin are always entertaining, and it's always fun to see how Kathy will shock the adorable, straight-laced Cooper. (Hopefully, she'll have some great stories to share about it when she visits the Long Center next month.)
We can't emphasize enough that you have to act fast if you want to make it to any of these parties. As our city is known for our parties, there are sure to only be a few tickets left at these, the hottest and most exciting parties of the night. So, go, get 'em already. Why are you still reading this? Go!
Happy New Year's, y'all. See ya on the other side!