Welcome to 2017

10 things to do to celebrate what we hope will be a damn good year

You could stay home on New Year's Eve. There's no law against being anti-social. Perhaps, if this sounds good to you, your New Year's Eve celebration includes a cheese board, a bottle of wine and some good headphones to listen to the music of those 2017 leaves behind—a little Bowie, some Prince, Leonard, Mose, Leon and, well, the list is too too long.

If you stay home, even if you have the best brie in the world, you might regret not making the most out of the end of a difficult year. And depending on what's ahead, getting out of the house and spending it with our fellow men and women might be the best thing you can do.

So go forth, kick this rotten year in the ass. Here are some ideas if you decide humanity is worth celebrating, and yes, it really is:

1. Mystery and Magic

Ken Kesey won't be there with a magical bus, but this crew is gaining a reputation of creating a lot of fun. The Mystery and Magic Dinner Theater presents a full night of New Year's Eve fun at the Westin La Paloma (3500 E. Sunrise Ave.), 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The evening starts with a classic, interactive murder mystery comedy show, that includes a three-course dinner prepared by La Paloma's executive chef, followed by a variety of performers featuring the reigning Arizona Stage Magician of the Year. The traditional count down to the New Year includes hats, noisemakers, champagne toast, balloon drop and dancing. For more details, go to


2. A Parisian Holiday

You can't be in Paris on Midnight, but you can be at a jazzy New Year's Eve Paris-themed event that starts with a reception, entertainment and appetizers at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort (3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.). Next you will enter the dining ballroom for the music of guitarist Marc Antoine and a delicious gourmet meal. Then the party really gets going.  Rick Braun, host and trumpeter extraordinaire, is joined by singer-songwriter Jeffrey Osborne and saxophonist Richard Elliot. Visit tucsonnewyearseve.com for more info.

3. Let your boots drop

The Maverick (6622 E. Tanque Verde Road) hosts a country New Year's Eve night from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $15 each and includes party favors, and champagne for a midnight toast. Live music by Flipside. A special New Years Eve dinner menu will be available from 6 to 10 p.m. Bring canned food to donate. They are stuffing the Maverick Monster truck with food for the Community Food Bank and dropping a monster boot at midnight. For more details, go the event's Facebook page.

4. Returns to old Las Vegas

Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson (311 E. Congress St.) turns into Old Vegas on New Year's Eve with casino games, swanky cocktails, live music, Elvis and Frank, and a champagne toast. MC Temest Du Jour will be there with a gaggle of showgirls. For more info, go to hotelcongress.com

5. Putting on the Ritz

The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain (15000 N. Secret Springs Drive) will have an elegant five-course New Year's Eve dinner with live entertainment from 5:30 to 9 p.m. If we were heading north we'd stick around for the Fireworks Hike, which takes place at 11 p.m. $65 plus tax and gratuity. Call 572-3050 for reservation and more details.

6. Retro Rock 'n Roll

Dance the night away with the Westward Look Resort (245 E. Ina Road) as the Retro Rockets bring in the New Year at 7:30 p.m. The family friendly show takes place in the Catalina Ballroom and includes a three-course dinner, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Call Robin for reservations and info 884-5530.

7. Bowling Queen

If anything get's you out of the house for New Year's Eve, it should be bowling. Golden Pin Lanes (1010 W. Miracle Mile) has two events for New Year's Eve. For family, there's a party from noon to 3 p.m. at $39 per lane and up to six people, individual tickets at $7. The evening festivities go from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at $59 per lane up to six people or $12 for individual tickets. Party favors, music videos and champagne or cider to toast at midnight. Tickets can be purchased at Golden Pin Lanes and online at


8. Rialto and R Bar

The Rialto brings you the Glow in the Dark New Year’s Eve Party with XIXA, the Gabriel Sullivan and Brian Lopez led combo, who not so long ago called themselves the less wieldy Chicha Dust, XIXA is just now beginning to headline theater-sized venues all over Europe, so loving is their overseas following—this after an Euro introduction by Howe Gelb and Giant Sand. Gelb aside, Bloodline, XIXA’s 2016 LP, can (lazily) be described as a cumbia-inflected psych, a sort of guitar-and-melody driven “desert noir” that marries explosive rhythms (Latin and otherwise) with soaring refrains. The album has so far been criminally overlooked stateside, but not in Tucson. XIXA is bringing their show—in what could become a New Year’s Eve tradition—to the Rialto. Get yer tix, the show, which is billed as an all night, glow-in- the-dark cumbia party that will also feature DJ Dirty Verbs, will likely sell out. More info at rialtotheatre.com.

If country music is more your jam, the Rialto is also presenting Two Steppin' on Toole: A Country NYE. Doors open at 7 and show starts at 8 p.m. with Drew Cooper, Billy Shaw Jr., Jason Curtis, Alec Petford, and Caiden Brewer. Enjoy a Nashville and a Tucson midnight countdown. Hosted by KIIM's own Shannon Black and Jessica Northey of CMchatLive.com

9. A night at the Carriage House

The Carriage House (125 S. Arizona Ave.) celebrates the New Year starting at 7 p.m. with light hors d'oeuvres, followed by a five-course, wine-paired dinner featuring Chef Janos' greatest hits, and dessert with a sparkling wine and live music. A percentage (20 percent) of the proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona, an organization that provides a home away from home for families who have traveled far to bring their children to Tucson for medical treatment. Reservations and more info, go to

10. For the day after

Resolutions or a detox on your list at the beginning of 2017? Consider a run/walk. On Sunday, Jan. 1 at 11:17 a.m. (registration starts at 9:45 a.m.), kick off the New Year in the healthiest way possible with the third annual Cocoa 5k run/walk in Oro Valley. The race will take place along the multi-use path, beginning at Steam Pump Ranch (10901 N. Oracle Road), and will include snacks, water and of course, hot cocoa. This is a professionally-timed race, and prizes will be awarded to the overall male and female winners and five-year age group categories. T-shirts will be available for sale. Children 12 and under race for free with paying adult. Proceeds will benefit Oro Valley’s Round Up for Youth Recreation Scholarship Program. Go to www.active.com/oro-valley-az for more details.

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