Ready to End It All?
For Folks Willing to Take a Road Trip, There's a Variety Of New Year's Eve Celebrations Around the Region

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Are you planning to roll on New Year's Eve (to say nothing of rock)? If you're itching to be on the road this weekend, here are some of the region's best offerings, from funky to family, for the last festive moments of the year. (Event prices are per person unless indicated; tickets for all of these events were still available as of press time.)

-- Elissa Leibowitz Poma

To Watch Things Fall

> Where: Times Square, New York

What's Dropping: A Ball. The most famous place in the world to see a New Year's Eve ball drop -- a tradition dating to 1907. The area becomes a crammed, confetti-covered street party that's broadcast live around the world. Arrive early to wait in security lines.

Details: The drop is best seen along Broadway, from 43rd to 50th streets, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street, according to the Times Square Alliance. 212-768-1560, http://www.timessquarenyc.org/. Free.

> Where: Havre de Grace, Md.

What's Dropping: A

Giant Duck. If seeing a ball drop lost its appeal decades ago, go for something a little wackier. This symbol of waterfowl-crazy Havre de Grace lands at midnight and is followed by fireworks.

Details: The Duck Drop takes place at Havre de Grace Middle School, 401 Lewis Lane. 410-939-2100, http://www.hdgtourism.com/. Free.

> Where: Ocean City, Md.

What's Dropping: A Lighted Beach Ball. The drop is part of the family-friendly celebration at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, with carnival rides, karaoke, country line dancing and a preteen dance party.

Details: The Convention Center is at 4001 Coastal Hwy. 800-626-2326, http://www.hittproductionsllc.com/. Tickets are $25 for adults, $12.50 for those younger than 17 and free for those younger than 4.

To Hear Music

> The Concert: The Philadelphia Orchestra's annual New Year's Eve concert.

Where: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

Why go: The Viennese-theme program will make you feel like you're on the Danube, rather than the Schuylkill, for the birth of 2007. Strauss and Mozart are part of the lineup.

Details: The center is at 260 S. Broad St. The performance begins at 8 p.m. 215-893-1999, http://www.kimmelcenter.org/. Tickets start at $33.

> The Concert: A New Year's Eve Spectacular at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Where: HarborPlace Amphitheater.

Why go: The Latin band Noche Latina, a regular at Fells Point venues, performs at 9 p.m., followed by the Top-40 variety group Tony Berry and New Money at 10:30 p.m. The fireworks are choreographed to music that will air on WWMX (106.5 FM).

Details: The amphitheater is at Pratt and Light streets. 410-752-8632, http://www.promotionandarts.com/. Free.

> The Concert: Gladys Knight performing in Atlantic City.

Why go: The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and R&B goddess will have you feeling pippy at this show at the Tropicana Atlantic City Casino and Resort. Take in a performance, then hit the slots to test out 2007, Lady Luck-wise. Knight sings Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. and Dec. 31 at 10:30 p.m.

Details: The Tropicana is at South Brighton Avenue and the Boardwalk. 800-736-1420, http://www.ticketmaster.com/. Tickets start at $25.

To See Fire in the Sky

> Where: Aboard the Battleship New Jersey in Camden, N.J.

Why go: No better way to see bombs bursting in air than aboard America's most decorated battleship. The decks open at 10:30 p.m., leaving time for the onboard music and cash bar before the fireworks show over the Delaware River.

Details: The ship is docked at 62 Battleship Pl. 866-877-6262, http://www.battleshipnewjersey.org/. $7 per person.

> Where: Pittsburgh's First Night Celebration

Why go: Knowing how hard it is for some little ones to make it to midnight, Pittsburgh puts on its Children's Fireworks Display at 6 p.m. It's part of the city's First Night party, which includes a parade and 100 performances.

Details: The fireworks are at the First Night main stage in downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District. 412-456-6666, http://www.firstnightpgh.com/. Cost is $8; free for children younger than 5.

To Be With Your Kids

> Where: Williamsburg's First Night Celebration

Why go: The many musicians, singers, storytellers and dancers perform in the historic buildings of Williamsburg, which leaves plenty to see between acts.

Details: Performances start at 6 p.m. on the campus of the College of William and Mary and throughout Williamsburg. 757-258-5153, http://www.firstnightwilliamsburg.org/. Admission buttons are $10 in advance, $15 on New Year's Eve; free for children younger than 5.

> Where: First Night Annapolis

Why go: The youngest set doesn't have to feel left out with a celebration that includes a "kids' countdown" starting at 2 p.m. and lasting until "Happy New Year!" is shouted at 5 p.m. A variety of other music and arts events start at 3 p.m.

Details: Events are centered at Maryland Hall and throughout downtown Annapolis. 410-268-8553, http://www.firstnightannapolis.org/. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 on New Year's Eve for adults, $14 for teenagers and seniors, $10 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for those 5 and younger.

To Party Hard

> Where: New Year's Eve Explosion in Virginia Beach.

Why go: This oceanfront party includes hors d'oeuvres and a breakfast buffet after midnight, four drink tickets and champagne at midnight. Work it off by dancing to the 11-piece band that plays rock, funk, disco and Motown.

Details: The Virginia Beach Convention Center is at 1000 19th St. 757-385-2000, http://www.vbfun.com/newyearseve. Tickets are $87.50, $175 per couple (through http://www.tickets.com/).

> Where: Midnight on the Market in Roanoke.

Why go: Forget reflecting on 2006. Relive the 1980s at this flashback party, which includes a Pac-Man competition, a "tubular" costume contest and '80s trivia games. Events begin at 9 p.m.

Details: The party is at Railside Plaza in downtown Roanoke. 540-342-2640, http://www.midnightonthemarket.org/. $12 in advance (and for designated drivers), $15 at the door; food and drinks cost extra.

To Sweat in the New Year

> Where: Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in New York.

Why go: Why not begin your get-fit resolution at the strike of midnight? This four-mile run through Central Park follows a costume parade and dancing at the Central Park Bandshell. There are fireworks, too.

Details: The run begins on Central Park's East Drive, south of 72nd Street. 212-860-4455, http://www.nyrr.org/. Race entry fee is $35 to $50; you must register and pick up race materials in advance; no pickups are available in Central Park before the race.

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