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New Year’s Eve is upon us — as is a resurgent COVID-19, currently raging across the state in staggering numbers. But it seems like the omicron variant, while highly contagious and not something you’d wish on anyone, is less debilitating and certainly less lethal than the original brand. And if we learned anything about ourselves around this time last year, it’s that a lot of us have no problem whistling past the news of the day on the way to a good party.
But, in South Florida, we can be sensible at the same time. In looking at the brighter bright side of New Year’s Eve 2021, this is the perfect time to celebrate outside in these parts. Here are some of the best spots, many in the open air.
The new and fresh Rosewater Rooftop poolside lounge atop The Ray hotel in Delray Beach will be the height of sophistication on Friday night, with DJ Diego Harispe (Miami Beach, Buenos Aires) and some special guests. A premium open bar ticket includes top-shelf spirits, beer and wine all night, and a champagne toast at midnight. Cost is $321 (includes tax, tip and fees). Visit RosewaterDelray.com.
For people who know who they are (ahem, raises hand), Respectable Street in downtown West Palm Beach is hosting the Trashfire New Year party at 9 p.m., with lowlife music from the Disrespectables and resident DJs, raunchy burlesque by Lily Vile and Kylee Kat and a midnight toast with shots of Jameson. Tickets cost $10. Visit Facebook.com/respectablestreet.
Mathews Brewing Co. in Lake Worth Beach (“where craft beer meets rock ‘n’ roll”) will do what it does best, celebrating with sets by two local bands to know in 59 Shop and Sons-of-a-Tradesman, and drink specials from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Simple. Visit Facebook.com/mathewsbrewing.
The hospitably hip Delray Beach cocktail bar Death or Glory is calling its party Rave or Glory, with a DJ spinning ‘90s nostalgia, drink specials and free champagne at midnight. No cover, no reservations — just a cool crowd. Visit DeathOrGloryBar.com.
Kitschy indoor-outdoor cocktail bar Throw Social in downtown Delray Beach will create a Hawaiian Luau theme for a party running 8 p.m.-2 a.m., with the Smoking Aces playing the outdoor patio stage. Of course, there also will be games that encourage throwing things. Tickets start at $130 (includes food and champagne toast), with several levels of VIP cabana accommodations. Visit ThrowSocial.com.
No one is saying you can’t get a head start on your New Year’s resolution (“sing aloud in public more often”) when Krazy Train unleashes its arena-rock covers (GNR, Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Journey) 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at Crazy Uncle Mike’s restaurant-brewery in Boca Raton. Tables are hard to come by, but there appears to be availability on the patio (table for 8 is $200, plus tax/tip/fees). Visit CrazyUncleMikes.com.
Pre-COVID, Billy Joel was a fixture of New Year’s Eve in South Florida at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise. (You’ll have to wait until Joel’s Jan. 28 concert at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket.) The next best thing is Turnstiles, the excellent tribute led by Boynton Beach singer-pianist Tony Monaco, who will do a 7 p.m. NYE show at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton. Tickets start at $45. Visit FunkyBiscuit.com.
The Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown takes over Fort Lauderdale’s Esplanade Park, on the New River across from the Museum of Discovery and Science, with live music and family activities (games, petting zoo, pony rides, etc.) from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., including a Kids Countdown at 7 p.m. The band Remix will play pop hits and oldies 5:45-855 p.m., followed by Southern Blood at 9:30-11:55 p.m. The event’s signature illuminated Anchor Drop happens at midnight, followed by another set from Southern Blood until 1 a.m. Admission is free. Visit Parks.FortLauderdale.gov.
With a similar theme, Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale will host its third annual Babies & Ballers party at 6 p.m., a stylish family celebration with a mini red carpet, dream boarding, a sparkling cider toast and a major balloon drop at 8 p.m. To keep a head count in advance, they’re looking for you to RSVP with $25 per party, which will be deducted from your bill. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Facebook.com/tarponriverbrewing.
The Wharf Fort Lauderdale knows how to throw a grown-up party and has a beautiful outdoor location on the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35 for general admission before 10 p.m., $50 if you want to roll in later. (Psst: On Saturday, the Wharf will host Clicquot Picnic, with $100 bottles of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and $200 bottles of Veuve Clicquot Rosé NV all day.) Visit WharfFTL.com/nye.
Open-air hot spot Rooftop at 1 W. Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale may have the best view of the gleaming downtown skyline, and so its advance general-admission tickets ($75 for guys, $25 for gals) are pretty much gone. Last we checked you could still reserve an 8 p.m. table for a party of up to six people for $1,200. Visit Facebook.com/Rooftop1WLO.
The Angeles, the unique new dance club created within the stones of a 100-year-old church in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, will offer Miami-based DJ A-Train and DJ Deville, of Las Vegas, on Friday night. A 10 p.m.-midnight open-bar package costs $75. Visit TheAngelesFTL.com.
Munchie’s Pizza Club in Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District — owned by former professional tennis player (he lost to Roger Federer), stand-up comedian and Miami Beach mayoral candidate Steve Berke — will feature German model-turned-DJ Miss Nine and labelmates from Twisted Funk Records. Tickets currently cost $75 and include premium open bar 9 p.m.-midnight. Facebook.com/munchiespizzaclub.
DAER Nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood hosts popular DJs Cedric Gervais and Alex Sensation beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $125, with open bar until midnight. Admission after midnight is $50. VIP tickets are sold out. Come back from the card room at 11 a.m. Saturday for music from DJ Oliver Heldens at DAER Dayclub. Tickets cost $50. Visit MyHRL.com.
The Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard will host an indoor-outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration on the Skyline Terrace, overlooking the New River. Tickets cost $120 per person (including tax/tip) and comes with a four-hour open bar, DJ and party favors. Consider yourself warned: There will be contests for best dressed and best dancer. Visit Facebook.com/RiversideHotelFL.
The Weekender – South Florida Events Newsletter
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An expanded edition of the free Friday Night Sound Waves concert series at Las Olas Oceanside Park (The LOOP) in Fort Lauderdale will include music from versatile veterans the Goodnicks 6:30-9:30 p.m., with a DJ set followed by a laser light show, ball drop and more music from the Goodnicks 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. The after party will be at the Elbo Room. Visit TheLOOPflb.com.
LIV nightclub and the Fontainebleau resort on Miami Beach exert an electromagnetic pull on the South Florida’s NYE party-minded with a 9 p.m. poolside performance by pop temptress Doja Cat; tickets start at $349 (open bar until midnight). Inside the iconic club, acclaimed DJ Alesso will hold court at 9 p.m. General-admission tickets cost $400 for gals, $450 for guys (both open bar until midnight); entry after midnight is $300. VIP access runs up to $25,000 for a dance-floor table. Visit LIVNightclub.com.
Rising rapper Jack Harlow brings songs such as “Whats Poppin” and “Tyler Herro” to Story on Miami Beach, with tickets $275 (both genders, with open bar until midnight) or $175 after 12:30 a.m. The show is bookended by Story performances on Thursday night by Black Coffee and Saturday night by French Montana. Visit StoryMiami.com.
Orchestra Miami’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is the centerpiece of the free, family-friendly “Ode-to-Joy” Beachfront Concert 7 p.m.-midnight in Collins Park on Miami Beach (Collins Avenue between 21st and 22nd streets). The evening includes a reading by Cuban-American presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco and a closing display of fireworks. Admission is free. VIP tickets (includes reserved parking and seating, access to cash bar and concessions) start at $150. Visit OrchestraMiami.org/odetojoy.