Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

Fireworks explode over Old Sacramento two years ago for a New Year’s Eve celebration that will be repeated this Tuesday with 15-minute shows.

Five distinctive ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sacramento

Published: Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 - 4:00 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 - 2:53 pm

We all know the stereotypical New Year’s Eve partygoer: sparking-wine glass in one hand, noisemaker in mouth, cruising quickly toward a Jan. 1 hangover.

But New Year’s Eve celebrations aren’t a one-party-hat-fits-all kind of affair. Some folks like a more low-key way to ring in midnight, others crave good music, and families want a fun place to take the kids.

Sacramento once again abounds with New Year’s Eve options to suit all kinds of tastes – midtown hipsters looking for full-throttle fun, couples on a final date for 2013, and even those who want to call it an early night.

Here are five places to party this New Year’s Eve, with each suited to a different celebration style:

If you want to boogie to live music ...

Tower of Power

with Average White Band

Thunder Valley Resort

1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln

(916) 408-7777

Cost: $59.95-$89.50

plus service fees.

New Year’s Eve sure would be dull without some live music to get the party pumping. And the Holiday Pavilion at Thunder Valley Resort will be no place for wallflowers with the funky one-two punch of Tower of Power and Average White Band. Tower of Power is known for showcasing one of the hottest horn sections in all of rock ’n’ roll, with its rump-shaking grooves behind such tracks as “What Is Hip?” and “Don’t Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream).” Average White Band will meanwhile conjure a famous scene from “Swingers” with the classic funk instrumental “Pick Up the Pieces” and other tunes that’ll take you back to those disco dancing days of the 1970s. Can you dig it, man?

If you’re going out with the family ...

New Year’s Eve

Sky Spectacular

Old Sacramento

Cost: Free

The annual fireworks show in Old Sacramento returns with even more family-friendly offerings. Look for an increased security presence and plenty of upbeat entertainment, following the unfortunate cancellation of fireworks in 2012 due to a shooting. This year’s program gets the fun back on track with the Radio Disney Road Crew, uptempo R&B and soul from Joy and Madness and new country from McKenna Faith. Fireworks will start going “boom” at 9 p.m. and midnight, with each of these 15-minute pyrotechnic extravaganzas choreographed to classic rock tunes. For those who’d rather enjoy these fireworks vicariously at home with the heater cranked, the music-driven show will be simulcast at midnight on KSEG (FM 96.9).

If you’re on a date ...

Grange Restaurant

926 J St., Sacramento

(916) 492-4450

Cost: $75 per person

2013 was a banner year for Sacramento’s food scene, and Grange Restaurant played a prominent role in the “farm-to-fork” initiative with its dedication to sourcing local ingredients for fine cuisine. Treat your sweetie to a classy evening of scrumptious food with Grange’s New Year’s Eve dinner menu. Courses include such options as Pacific oysters, Passmore Ranch sturgeon, aged rib-eye and Meyer lemon meringue pie with ginger ice cream. If you’re not staying at the adjacent Citizen Hotel, the central downtown location of Grange makes for a short, hand-holding walk – or quick cab ride – to snuggle while watching the Old Sacramento fireworks.

If you want to be back home by midnight ...

Crocker Art Museum

216 O St., Sacramento

(916) 808-7000

Cost: Free

There are some of us who would rather take it easy on Dec. 31, away from the amped-up, late-night crowds and their revelries. But you can party properly while the sun’s still out. The Crocker Art Museum will be holding its New Year’s festivities 12 hours earlier – at noon instead of midnight. So, as folks are simultaneously ringing in 2014 across the globe in Azerbaijan, a crowd will similarly gather at the Crocker Art Museum. Come to Sacramento’s artistic hub for “Noon Year’s Eve,” a family-oriented festival with the prerequisite party hats plus live music, activities and more. For those who just want to soak in some final art appreciation for 2013, the museum will be open and free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you want to keep it indie ...

Old Ironsides

1901 10th St., Sacramento

(916) 443-9751

Cost: $10, $8 in advance

Leave the typical Top-40 club bangers and Lana Del Rey remixes for the regular folks. The folks from “Lipstick” dance night at Old Ironsides team up with Submerge magazine for raucous, indie-themed festivities. DJs Shaun Slaughter, Roger Carpio and Adam Jay will spin the finest jams in nu-disco, indie rock and other genres that’ll make you feel approximately 27 percent cooler after hearing them. This dance-party throw-down features a live set by Contra, plus a champagne toast, party favors and more. Advance tickets can be purchased for $8 (cash only) at Cuffs (2523 J St., Sacramento).


Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias.

Read more articles by Chris Macias



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