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Ringing in the New Year in Style

Friday, December 7, 2007

Large Galas

(All events make discounted hotel rooms available, and all except the SalsaMetro party are black tie optional.)

Big Night D.C.

The Westin Washington D.C. City Center; 1400 M St. NW; http://www.bignightdc.com. $139.99, rising to more than $159.99.

The Westin is divided into eight themed party areas, with live music by Gonzo's Nose, Laura Lea & Tripp Fabulous and Justin Trawick; DJs Pat Premier and Kwest spinning current hits and retro favorites; mock gambling and other entertainment. Tickets include an open bar from 9 until close and a dinner buffet.

DOWNTOWN COUNTDOWN

Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW; http://www.downtowncountdown.net. $139, rising to $189. VIP tickets are $200, rising to $275.

Hosted by DC101's Elliot in the Morning for several years running, the Downtown Countdown has gotten so big that it's taking over two floors of the Washington Convention Center. Entertainment, offered in three ballrooms, includes Naughty by Nature, Pat McGee Band, Washington Social Club and DJ Johnny Bravo. Tickets include an open bar from 8:30 to 1:30 and a heavy hors d'oeuvres buffet from 9:30 to 11:30. VIP tickets allow access to additional bar areas, lounges and private seating.

The Last Hurrah

Hotel Washington, 515 15th St. NW; http://www.prosinthecity.com. $159. VIP $219. Will rise.

The Hotel Washington will be closed for most or all of 2008 as it's transformed into a sleek new W hotel, but Professionals in the City is throwing one last blowout party. Guests have access to ballrooms and bars throughout the hotel, including the famous Sky Terrace, with its views of the White House and the Washington Monument. The evening includes ballroom and salsa lessons, DJs, comedians, an open bar, dinner buffets and a midnight countdown hosted by Madonna impersonator Chris America. Singles can join candle-lit speed-dating sessions. VIP tickets add a seated dinner, early admission to the party and a private reception.

License to Thrill

Around the World Gala

Sheraton National Hotel, 900 S. Orme St., Arlington; http://www.euronetinternational.com. $149, rising to $189. VIP $199, rising to $250. Presidential $300, rising to $350.

Euronet International, a social organization for professionals from around the world, is hosting its James Bond-themed event for the third time. It features nine international areas through the hotel, including a Caribbean room with dance performances and DJs spinning tropical rhythms; an Icelandic martini bar; Bollywood dance performances and a DJ in an Indian ballroom; and unlimited vodka and champagne in Russia. Tickets include buffets in most rooms and an open bar. VIP tickets include a premium open bar (better spirits and champagne) and a private four-course dinner. Presidential VIP tickets earn access a special lounge, a top-shelf open bar, free-flowing Taittinger champagne and midnight crepes.

Mad, Mad Masquerade

Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW; http://www.scythianmusic.com. $125 until Dec. 15. $135 Dec. 12-30, $149 at the door.

Celtic folk-rock band Scythian is masterminding another takeover of the former City Museum, accompanied by '80s cover band the Reflex, Yamomanem and the DJ duo Beat Tactics. The evening also includes movies, wandering magicians, a top-shelf open bar and buffet stations. Guests are asked to wear masks.

Mix 107.3 New Year's Eve Party

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW; http://www.mix1073fm.com. $399 per couple.

Morning host Jack Diamond and his band are the main attraction at Mix 107.3 FM's annual party, along with retro music spun by fellow DJ Bob Aqua. Admission is priced for couples only and includes a four-course dinner, an open bar, psychic readings and a double room at the hotel.

New Year's Eve Global Gala

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd. NW; http://www.thingstododc.com. $164, VIP $225.

An international program of live music and DJs attempts to re-create nine international hot spots in one night: The Tom Cunningham Orchestra swings in "1920s Chicago," The Oasis Band performs reggae and calypso hits in "Jamaica"; and the Origem band wows salsa dancers in "1950s Havana." There are also DJs, live Irish music, Vegas-style gambling, karaoke, magic, comedians and a string quartet. Admission includes a top-shelf open bar and themed buffet stations, while a VIP option adds a pre-party cocktail reception and three-course dinner.

New Year's Eve at the Embassy of Italy

Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St. NW; http://www.prosinthecity.com. $159.

While everyone else is spending New Year's Eve in a dark, crowded bar, you could be listening to opera, tasting wine and watching classic films at the Italian Embassy. This special evening includes opera singers, a string quartet, screenings of great Italian films of the past 50 years, an Italian wine tasting, an open bar, Italian dinner and dessert buffets, chocolate samplings and dancing to a DJ.

Positive Black Men Coalition New Year's Eve Gala With Jean Carne

Hyatt Regency Crystal City; 2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington; http://www.positiveblackmencoalition.com. $99 for the concert, dinner and after-party; $60 for the after-party only.

Smooth R&B singer Jean Carne headlines the Positive Black Men Coalition's annual party, which also features Soul Patrol, DJs Lady Smooth and JC, a hand dance contest, and live broadcasts by MAJIC 102.3 FM (WMMJ) throughout three ballrooms.

Positive Black Men Coalition New Year's Eve Gala

Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Rd., Alexandria; http://www.positiveblackmencoalition.com. $40. VIP $80.

The Positive Black Men Coalition is throwing a party for old-school go-go fans with three ballrooms of music. Familiar Faces, Proper Utensils with Jas. Funk, Lil Benny & Mike Muse, and Lissen Da Grewp are performing live, while DJs Big John, Skeet and Teacha spin go-go, hip-hop and reggae. VIP admission includes a soul food buffet.

SalsaMetro.com's 10th Annual New Year's Eve Party

Hilton Silver Spring, 8727 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring; http://www.salsametro.com. $95, VIP $110. Add $5 and $10, respectively, at the door.

Orquesta La Romana, one of the finest Latin bands in the area, joins an all-star roster of local DJs, salsa instructors and dance groups, who will perform throughout the night. VIP tickets include a three-course meal and open bar.

Music Venues

9:30 club

815 V St. NW; 202-265-0930

Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown is joined by up-and-comers Mambo Sauce. $50. All ages.

The Birchmere

3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-549-7500

Bluegrass fans have a standing New Year's Eve date with the Seldom Scene and the Good Deale Bluegrass Band. $39.50.

Black Cat

1811 14th St. NW; 202-397-7328

The rock club continues its unlikely New Year's Eve tradition: The swinging Peaches O'Dell and her orchestra on the main stage, with DJs on the backstage. $20 advance, $25 at the door. All ages.

Blues Alley

1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-337-4141

The legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal estimates that he has rung in the new year at Blues Alley more than two dozen times. He's back again for two shows with the Keter Betts Memorial Band. The 6:30 show costs $105 and includes dinner and nonalcoholic beverages. The show at 10 includes dinner and unlimited champagne and costs $155.

The Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom

7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo; 301-634-2222

Swing dancers love New York bandleader George Gee and the Jump, Jivin' Wailers. Admission includes a dance lesson and light refreshments. $25. All ages.

Iota

2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-522-8340

Roots rock band Last Train Home returns from Nashville for its annual appearance. Vandaveer opens. $40.

Jammin' Java

227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna; 703-255-1566

The evening features rockers Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers. Arrive early and meet the band. $75. Age 18 and older. For an extra $25, get unlimited drinks from 8 to 11.

Jaxx

6355 Rolling Rd., Springfield; 703-569-5940

Local heavy metal groups compete in a New Year's Eve Battle of the Bands. $10 in advance, $12 on the day of the show. All ages. (First prize is $500 to spend at Guitar Center; interested bands can visit http://www.myspace.com/myrevolutionproductions.)

The Kennedy Center

2700 F St. NW; 202-467-4600

The Kennedy Center puts its vast space to good use on New Year's Eve. Acclaimed jazz singer Patti Austin performs two shows in the Terrace Theater ($65; tickets available only for 7:30 concert). Guest conductor Murry Sidlin and members of the National Symphony Orchestra honor Leonard Bernstein in the Concert Hall ($50-$90). "My Fair Lady" is in the Opera House ($25-$150). Attendees of all programs are invited to a free party in the Grand Foyer after the shows, featuring the Salon Orchestra of Washington and dancing until 1.

Rams Head Tavern

33 West St., Annapolis; 410-268-4545

Blue-eyed soul singer Billy Price headlines. Admission includes buffet dinner, champagne toast, tax and gratuity. $113.

Rams Head Live

20 Market Pl., Baltimore; 410-244-1131

Germantown metal band Clutch performs with Priestess and Puny Human. $35 in advance, $38 on the day of the show. All ages.

The Red and the Black

1212 H St. NE; 202-399-3201

Rock duo Curly and the Rocket return. Guests and price to be announced.

Rock and Roll Hotel

1353 H St. NE; 202-388-7625

Buzzworthy indie rockers Georgie James are featured on the main stage. DJs for the evening include Stereo Faith, People's Champion, Gavin Holland, Cale, Ca$$idy and Austin. Basic admission is $30. Silver-level admission ($50) includes unlimited rail drinks from 8 to 1. Gold-level admission ($80) offers a top-shelf open bar from 8 to last call. Everyone gets champagne at midnight.

State Theatre

220 N. Washington St., Falls Church; 703-237-0300

Party like it's 1989 with the Legwarmers, a local '80s cover band. $30. Age 18 and older.

Twins Jazz

1344 U St. NW; 202-234-0072

Kelly Shepherd and NoMad Stories mix classic jazz with world influences. Admission includes a three-course Ethiopian meal and a bottle of champagne. $75.

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