New Year’s Eve is almost upon us, with all of its partying and promise. Check out what bars and other venues have in store for this year’s Thursday-night celebration:
▪ Get ready to drop the potato, Idaho. Ring in 2016 at the biggest New Year’s Eve show in town. The third annual Idaho Potato Drop will happen at Capitol Park, 601 W. Jefferson St., in front of the Idaho Statehouse. You’ll find an entertainment stage, arts and crafts fair, food trucks, a cocktail and beer garden, and fireworks.
Boise comedian Sean Hancock will host both on stage and in the heated VIP tent atop the KeyBank Capital Center, 702 W. Idaho St. Bands including locals Matt Hopper and the Roman Candles and Steve Fulton Music, as well as Eugene, Ore.-based Blue Lotus, will play before the big moment — a 17-foot potato replica dropping 200 feet from a crane.
VIP tickets are $100 at PotatoDropShop.com and include food, drinks, gifts and tunes from DJ Justin Case. Otherwise the event is free. Channel 7 will broadcast from the party at 11 p.m. Need a ride? Download the Uber app, put in the promo code “potatodrop2015” and you’ll receive a $25 credit. (VIPs will receive a $50 credit.)
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For parking, food vendor and taxi information, go to IdahoPotatoDrop.com.
▪ Head to the corner of 6th and Main streets for the New Year’s Bash Block Party. A $20 cover will get you into China Blue, Dirty Little Roddy’s and Amsterdam for DJ dancing, drink specials, prizes and giveaways. Call 577-7975 to reserve VIP seating.
▪ Welcome in 2016 with Rocci Johnson and the gang at Humpin’ Hannah’s, 621 W. Main St., with the annual New Year’s Eve Bash. The craziness starts at 7 p.m. with DJ “Jazzy” Jim. The Rocci Johnson Band takes the stage at 9 p.m. and will rock you into 2016. There will be a dance contest, prizes and giveaways, including ski passes, dinners, T-shirts, CDs and concert tickets. Plus drink specials and a midnight toast. There’s a $10 cover at the door.
▪ Get rockin’ at Liquid, 405 S. 8th St., at a prefunk party with Idaho country singer Muzzie Braun from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Then rock until New Year’s Day with Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats from 10:30 p.m. to close. The $5 cover starts at 10 p.m. Free glass of champagne to toast.
▪ The Kings of Swing and vocalist Pamela DeMarche will provide you with big-band jazz and dancing at the Mardi Gras Ballroom, 615 S. 9th St. It’s from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.) with a no-host bar and free appetizers. Tickets are $20 ($15 each for a group of four or more) at 283-8649, KingsOfSwing.org and Dunkley Music, 3410 N. Eagle Road. 21 and older.
It’s show time
▪ Comedian Curt Sudden will lead things off at Playhouse Boise (formerly AEN Playhouse), 8001 W. Fairview Ave., then Boise’s Blues Brothers Rock ’N’ Soul Revue will have you dancing. No-host bar and complimentary appetizers, party favors and a midnight toast. Tickets are limited. It’s $40 per person, $75 per couple by phone only, 779-0092. PlayhouseBoise.com.
▪ Celebrate with cocktails, dinner and doo-wop show band The Alley Cats at Nampa New Year’s Eve at the Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St. Dinner is sold out but you still can get in on the show and post-show appetizers and a free midnight toast. $45 at 468-5500 or NampaCivicCenter.com. There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door.
▪ Head to the Knitting Factory, 416 S. 9th St., Boise, for a night of alt-country rockin’ with Possum Livin’ and Timber VanLom and headliners Micky and The Motorcars. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at TicketWeb, $30 day of show, $75 for VIP seating. This is an 18 and older show.
▪ Looking to dance like crazy into 2016? The Revolution Center, 4983 Glenwood St. in Garden City, has got you covered with NYE Electric Snow: 2015 New Year’s Eve Countdown. You’ll hear EDM artists Dirtyphonics, Candyland, Protohype and others starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $25 general ($30-$35 at the door), $45 and $55 for VIP at Ticketfly.
Dining, music, dancing
▪ Helina Marie’s Wine Bar, 11053 W. State St., Star, will Ring in the New Year with gourmet appetizers, sparkling wines, party favors and dancing. It’s $15 per person in advance, $20 at the door, and includes a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Reservations: 286-7960. Facebook.com/HelinaMaries.
▪ Enjoy New Year Night In Monaco, a six-course dinner inspired by the Principality of Monaco, at Chateau des Fleurs, 176 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle. Music by Kevin Kirk and Sally Tibbs Ensemble. 7 p.m. Dec. 31. $139 per person (taxes, gratuity and drinks not included) at chateaueagle.com.
▪ The Speakeasy: Swingin’ in the New Year will include electronic-infused vintage music and dancing, lessons from Heirloom Dance Studio from 9 to 10 p.m., DJs Chiron and Just Some Clown and a champagne toast. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31, The Drink Event Center, 3000 N. Lake Harbor Lane, Boise. $12 advance at chironaudio.com, $20 at the door.
▪ Cowboy up for 2016 at the Bulls and Broncs Bash at the Canyon County Fairgrounds, 111 22nd St., Caldwell. You’ll see bull riding and saddle bronc events starting at 8 p.m., then kick up your heels with the Jeff Palmer Band until midnight, when there will be a balloon drop. It’s $20 in advance at CanyonCountyFair.org; $25 at the door; $10 for kids 6 to 12. Hotel packages are available.
▪ Count down to the New Year at Pinz Bowling Center, 1385 S. Blue Marlin Lane, Meridian. The Countdown Party goes from 9:15 p.m. to 1 a.m. and includes cosmic bowling (for four to eight people per lane), an appetizer and dessert spread served from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m., one ticket to the XD Dark Ride, a $5 game card, plus party favors and sparkling wine or cider for a toast. It’s $45 general, $27 for 12 and younger through Wednesday, Dec. 30. (Z Lounge lanes are $5 extra.) Admission is an additional $5 at the door. Reservations recommended. PinzBowlingIdaho.com.
▪ Or party next door at Wahooz Family Fun Zone from 5 p.m. to midnight. You’ll get unlimited laser tag, mini golf, go-carts, access to the Kiddie Cove, a $5 game card, and countdown with balloon drop and party favors. Unlimited XD Dark Ride passes are $5 more and the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet is $6.99 and goes from 5 to 8 p.m. No reservations needed. It’s $15.99 at the door. WahoozFunZone.com.
Also this year, Wahooz offers a “Noon Year’s Eve Party” for those who don’t want to stay up late. It’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, with all the same activities as that night’s event, but at only $14.99 per person.
▪ Reserve a bowling lane at Big Al’s, 1900 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, for the big night. Up to six guests will enjoy three hours of bowling (shoes included), a midnight toast and balloon drop, party favors and a $10 arcade card for each person from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. PowerHouse Lane prices are $149 for up to four guests, $35 each for up to two additional guests. Availability for VIP Slider Alley is limited. It’s $199 for four and $45 for each additional person. To reserve a lane, call 258-6434, ext. 2.
▪ Skate into the New Year at Idaho IceWorld, 7072 S. Eisenman Road, Boise. Public skating goes from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. It’s $5 per person at the door and includes skate rental. Party hats and favors will be available. IdahoIceWorld.com.
The New Year’s Overnighter at Wings Center, 1875 Century Way, Boise, is sold out.
Hit the road
▪ The Johnny Cash tribute band The Cold Hard Cash Show at Whiskey Jacques, 251 N. Main St., Ketchum is sold out.
▪ “A Night of Revelry” at Shore Lodge, 501 W. Lake St., McCall is sold out.
Michelle Jenkins contributed to this list.