The best way to ring in the New Year is with a proper goodbye to the old year. For some, that might mean a quiet night at home watching the ball drop on television; for others, it may mean a fun night out with champagne toasts. But for those of you who haven’t yet decided how you’re going to spend the night, Listings Editor Devon Claire Flannery has gotten together information about a number of events to choose from that range from steak dinners to deejayed dance nights, and even some spiritual rituals of prayer and meditation.
However you choose to spend the night, keep in mind what Mark Twain said about New Year’s Day: “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Happy New Year!
The fabulous dance band Dude Fontaine will perform some classic hits. 9:30pm. Break Time, 5977 Encina Rd., Goleta. No cover charge; ages 21+. Call 692-9911.
Center of the Heart
Join fellow spiritual buffs for Dances of Universal Peace-an evening of circle dancing, poetry of the mystics, a candle-lighting ceremony, and meditation. 8:30pm-12:30am. Center of the Heart, 487 N. Turnpike Rd. Tickets are $20. Call 898-1603.
Circle Bar B Guest Ranch and Stables
In the mood for a Western-themed New Year’s? Head over to Circle Bar B for a prime rib dinner and lots of dancing. 6pm-1am. Circle Bar B Guest Ranch and Stables, 1800 Refugio Rd., Goleta. Tickets are $50 per person, or $80 per couple. Call 968-1113.
Chumash Casino Resort
Boogie into 2009 during the “Fun and Funky” New Year’s Eve bash, a dance party and flashback concert featuring 1970s disco tribute band the Boogie Knights and awesome ‘80s band The Spazmatics. 9pm. Chumash Casino Resort, Hwy. 246, Santa Ynez. Call about cost; ages 18+. Call 800-248-6274.
Elements Restaurant & Bar
Ideal for before a show, Elements will create a special meal for early diners. Reservations are required. Tickets for a four-course dinner between 5-6:30pm are $59; paired with wines, $98. Tickets for a six-course dinner by Chef Matthew Reddy before 10:30pm are $90; paired with wines, $149. Elements Restaurant & Bar, 129 E. Anapamu St. Call 884-9218.
DJ Bennett, Leon, and The Coral Sea will all be playing tunes, followed by a champagne toast at midnight. Noon-2am. Elsie’s, 117 W. De la Guerra St. Cover charge is $10; ages 21+. Call 963-4503.
The S.B. Symphony presents its one-of-a-kind show, Romance! Gershwin! New Year’s Eve!, featuring soprano Lisa Vroman and violin soloist Caroline Campbell. 8:30-10:30pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Tickets are $35-$100. Call 899-2222.
La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center
Quiet types can participate in a silent interfaith contemplative New Year’s Eve, spending the evening in hushed intention, walking the labyrinth, and meditating in an interfaith community to prepare for the New Year. 10pm-midnight. La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center, 800 El Bosque Rd. Donations requested. Call 969-5031.
The Mercury Lounge
West Indian Girl and DJ Marko 72 of Sugarcult will perform. 9pm. The Mercury Lounge, 5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta. Tickets are $25.27. Call 967-0907.
The restaurant’s annual Mardi Gras masquerade will include decorated tables with beads and chocolate, a five-course dinner, party favors, a midnight celebration, and a champagne toast, plus music by the Mark Parson Flambeau Duo. Reservations are required. Tickets for two celebrations will be available: $75 (6-8:30pm) and $120 (9pm-midnight). Palace Grill, 8 E. Cota St. Call 963-5000.
Enjoy a four-course sizzling fajita dinner that includes a Cadillac margarita and a bottle of champagne for every two to four people in your party. Noon-2am. Sandbar, 514 State St. Tickets are $44.99 per person; call about bottle service pricing. Call 966-1388.
Join fellow reggae fans for a Jamaican-style bash complete with themed decor and a special menu. Music by Michigan & Smiley will top it all off. 7pm -1:30am. SOhO, 1221 State St. Tickets are $100 for dinner package, $25 for dancing only; ages 21+. Call 962-7776.
Celebrate the coming of 2009 with a package that includes an open bar, savory appetizers, music by deejays Quasar and Spencer, a champagne toast, and a balloon drop at midnight. 11:30am-2am. Stateside, 1114 State St. Tickets are $100; ages 21+. Call 845-6685.
It’s the biggest night of the year! DJ Matty Matt will spin. 8pm. Tonic, 634 State St. Call about cost; ages 21+. Call 897-1800.
Three balloon drops, a champagne toast at midnight, plus music by DJ Gavin Roy and the Miss Kitty GoGo dancers await those attending the huge party at Wildcat. 9pm-2am. Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St. Advance tickets cost $20, call about at-the-door and booth reservation pricing; ages 21+. Call 895-5600.
Two celebrations featuring culinary choices like wild striped bass, Maine lobster, and Kobe beef, plus live music and dancing will be available for patrons celebrating the New Year. Reservations are recommended. Tickets are $99 (6pm) and $149 (8:30pm). Wine Cask, 813 Anacapa St. Call 966-9463.