Get off on the good foot for 2015 with our guide to New Year’s Eve events
Every year, New Year’s Eve brings a horde of locals and visitors to the streets of Downtown Santa Cruz, all of them ready to forget about the trials and tribulations of 2014 and usher in a new year of unlimited possibilities. While the town clock attracts plenty of revelers, some of us prefer end-of-the-year events that don’t include huddling in the cold and surreptitiously sipping champagne to avoid fines. With that in mind, GT has handpicked a few other choice ways to ring in the New Year.
Alison Sharino Band at Cocoanut Grove: Kicking off early in the evening with a buffet of upscale treats like New York steak, Caribbean coconut chicken and red snapper, and continuing into the night with dancing to Alison Sharino Band, which plays all the hits from “Mony Mony” to “Hey Ya,” the New Year’s Eve bash at the Cocoanut Grove is a celebration on the classier side. The event also features a full bar, live DJ, and a complimentary glass of bubbly as the clock counts down to midnight. $45-$95.
Extra Large at Crow’s Nest: Dance off everything that bugged you about 2014 with long-standing local favorite Extra Large at the Crow’s Nest this New Year’s Eve. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and those on the dance floor should be ready to get their hands in the air (waving like you just don’t care is optional) as they collectively bounce to the six-piece ensemble’s blended style of reggae, Latin spice, and funk. $15.
Fire & Ice at Chaminade: Hey, if you really want to go crazy this NYE, how about Chaminade’s “Fire & Ice” themed soiree? The resort offers an open bar of beer, wine, and champagne from 6 p.m. to midnight, and includes a room—so no one is to be left sober when the clock strikes 12. After dancing the night away to a live DJ, feel free to sleep in, as the resort offers a complimentary late check-out on New Year’s Day. $429, depending on room availability.
Harry and the Hitmen at the Crepe Place: Santa Cruz grown Harry & the Hitmen bring their “psychedelic Motown throwdown” to the Crepe Place for a three-night end of the year extravaganza. Starting the festivities on Dec. 29, the local boys will unleash their dance-inducing grooves at 9 p.m. each day until New Year’s Eve. The series includes late-night sets from fellow local, soul-infused bands like Iration (Monday) and 7 Come 11 (Tuesday), and a mystery set of new tunes on New Year’s Eve. $20.
Iration at the Catalyst: Dip out from the hustle and bustle of Pacific Avenue on New Year’s Eve into a night full of feel-good reggae at the Catalyst. The night’s main act, Iration, hails from Hawaii, but grew up in Santa Barbara. Their music is a mix of pop, rock and reggae, and things get going at 9 p.m. with the beach-inspired reggae of the Expanders and the Wheeland Brothers. $45.
SambaDá at Moe’s Alley: The competition is stiff, but we’ve got to go with this show for funkiest New Year’s Eve haps. Led by capoeira master Papiba Godinho, this Brazilian groove factory is all you need for an instant party. The 9 p.m. show will feature Yabas Dance Company and other special guests. $20/$25.
Winter Wonderland featuring DJ Dex at Zelda’s: Dinner starts at 4:30 p.m. and local South Bay DJ Dex takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. with eclectic remixes of classic rock, funk, and dubstep to get down to as this tour around the sun comes to a close. With drink specials, party favors, and door prizes, Zelda’s is representing for Capitola Beach this New Year’s Eve. Free.
Photo: Reggae-rockers Iration headline the Catalyst’s New Year’s Eve show.