The best way to ring in the New Year is with a proper goodbye to the old one—and this year, Santa Barbarans have a plethora of choices as to how they will spend the last of 2010. The following is The Independent’s roundup of some of the best ways to welcome 2011—from ball drops and champagne toasts, to quiet meditation sessions or world music celebrations, and everything in between.

However you choose to greet the new year, keep in mind Andre Gide’s observation: “But can one still make resolutions when one is over 40? I live according to 20-year-old habits.” Happy New Year!

Canary Hotel

The last night of 2010 at one of the city’s most chic inns will be flourishing as an Air Canary-themed trio of parties will feature “in-flight” hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar, and a champagne toast throughout the hotel. Live music will be provided by DJ Sparx on The Perch, the inn’s rooftop bar (decked out for the night as a “Flight Deck”), a special guest deejay in the Captain’s Lounge, and area favorites Ulysses Jasz at the Coast Bar & Restaurant.

8pm-1:30am. Canary Hotel, 31 W. Carrillo St. Tickets are $40-$115, depending on time of purchase and rooftop access options. Reservations are recommended. Call (877) 548-3237.

Chumash Casino Resort

Boogie down into 2011 during a year-end dance party and flashback concert featuring 1970s disco tribute group The Boogie Knights and awesome ’80s band The Spazmatics.

9pm. Chumash Casino Resort, 3400 E. Hwy. 246, Santa Ynez. Call about cost; ages 18+. Call (800) 585-3737.

Four Seasons Biltmore

Welcome the New Year Four Seasons-style, with activities for families, adults, and children. The hotel’s Bella Vista Restaurant will host a five-course dinner for families, accompanied by live entertainment. At Ty Lounge, festivities will run until the wee hours for the 21-and-over crowd, complete with a live deejay, dancing, and a champagne toast.

Dinner (Bella Vista Restaurant): 8pm; $225. Late-night celebration (Ty Lounge): 7pm-midnight; $45. Four Seasons Biltmore, 1260 Channel Dr. Call 565-8237.

Granada Theatre

Ring in 2011 with a lively New Year’s Eve Pops Concert, performed by the S.B. Symphony under the direction of Richard Kaufman. This year’s theme is “Night on the Red Carpet.”

8:30-10:30 p.m. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Tickets are $35-$150; all ages. Call 899-2222.

La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center

Quiet types will enjoy A Sacred & Serene New Year’s Eve Retreat, spending the evening in contemplative, interfaith meditation and also a candlelit labyrinth walk.

10pm-midnight. La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center, 800 El Bosque Rd. Donations accepted; please RSVP. Call 969-5031 or visit

Mahakankala Buddhist Center

A Candlelight Compassion Retreat will feature three mini prayer sessions (attend one or all), with food and socializing in between each.

8:30-9:15pm, 10-10:45pm, and 11:30pm-12:15am. Mahakankala Buddhist Ctr., 22 W. Mission St. Free; all ages. Call 563-6000

Ojai Valley Woman’s Club

Bring family and friends to ring in the New Year with a wild concert featuring world music by Sligo Rags, a Celtic bluegrass fusion band. Food and waltzing will also be featured.

8pm. Ojai Valley Woman’s Club, 441 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. Tickets are $10-$20; kids under age 6 get in free. Call 665-8852.


Popular band Animal Liberation Orchestra will perform at this downtown nightclub’s Oceans of Light sea-themed New Year’s Eve bash. Show-only tickets and an optional four-course dinner package are both available. A champagne toast will commemorate the beginning of 2011 at midnight.

7pm (dinner) or 9pm (show only). SOhO, 1221 State St. Tickets are $45-$100; ages 21+. Call 962-7776.

Theater 150

Ring in 2011 at a New Year’s Eve version of 150’s monthly Dance Club Party. A no-host bar and snacks will be available.

9pm. Theater 150, 316 E. Matilija St, Ojai. Tickets are $10. Call 646-4300.

Wildcat Lounge

Three balloon drops, live entertainment by the Miss Kitty GoGo Dancers and DJ Hollywood, and a champagne toast at midnight await attendees at this year’s party at Wildcat.

9pm. Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St. Tickets are $25 in advance at; call (505) 385-5873 for booth reservation pricing. Ages 21+. Call 962-7970 for more info.

Mercury Lounge

Reggae artist Pato Banton will perform with area favorites Wetlands. A champagne toast at midnight and complimentary hors d’oeurves will be available.

8pm. Mercury Lounge, 5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta. $25.99; ages 21+. Call 967-0907.

Tonic Nightclub

One of downtown’s most popular clubs will host a New Year’s Eve blowout with a midnight balloon drop, plus live music by DJ Dynamix and C-Flo.

8pm. Tonic Nightclub & Patio Lounge, 634 State St. Call about cost; ages 21+. Call 897-1800.


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