The inaugural Lou Year’s Eve is a massive family-friendly event — in the style of First Night celebrations — that aims to unite the city and laud its rich arts and culture scene. On Saturday, Dec. 31, more than 40 performances will take place at 15 venues along Main Street downtown from 2 p.m. to midnight.
The activities, which will be held both inside and out, include performances by Dave Moisan of “The Voice,” the Louisville Ballet, Actors Theatre, Louisville Lion Dance Team, an ice sculptor and many, many more. There also will be children’s activities in the form of a scavenger hunt, balloon makers, magicians, puppet shows and hands-on art projects, among others.
From the Frazier History Museum and the Kentucky Science Center to KMAC and 21c Museum Hotel, the venues are all within a short walking distance of each other.
You can peruse the full schedule of events online, but remember the People’s Procession parade starts at 5 p.m. and marches from Ninth to Fifth streets — and anyone is welcome to participate. After that, at 6 p.m., Mayor Greg Fischer will take the stage outside the Kentucky Center for the Arts to give opening remarks.
You’ll want to stay near the main stage if you’re over 21, because an adult beverage garden will open at 6 and feature performances by Wildwood (6 p.m.), DJ Glenn Smith (7 p.m.) and Billy Goat Strut Revue (10 p.m.). And last but not least, there will be a countdown as the clock nears midnight, featuring Kentucky’s largest disco ball.
Admission is $8 in advance, or $10 at the door for adults; $5 for children ages 6-12.
And since we’re on the topic of New Year’s Eve, we thought we’d share a few other highlights around town …
• 21c Museum Hotel
21c knows how to throw a party, and this year is no different. The Atrium Gallery will feature dancing, entertainment, live performances, a full cash bar and music by DJ Matt Cox. Sponsored by Michter’s and Against the Grain, you can’t go wrong with these two spirits makers on board.
Admission is $59 per person and includes two drinks and party favors. It runs 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (There’s also a special meal at Proof on Main before the party, so if you’re interested in dining, check out the website.)
• Headliners Music Hall
Surf’s up at Headliners for New Year’s Eve, so come dressed in your best Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops. WFPK‘s annual end-of-year bash features radio personalities Matt Anthony and Woodrow on the Radio, as well as performances by Jaxon Lee Swain, Inertia and guest vocalists Cheyenne Mize and Christy O’Connell.
We hear there’s even going to be a limbo contest and, of course, photo booths, balloon drops and more.
Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m.
• Mellwood Arts Center
Anytime Tony and the Tan Lines take the stage, you know there will be dancing and good times had by all. The band is headlining this annual Eventris production at Mellwood Arts Center, which also includes music by DJ KDogg and is an all-inclusive affair with cocktails, appetizers and a champagne toast at midnight.
That’s not a bad deal considering most places will be charging covers. With sponsors like Maker’s Mark, Bud Light, Grey Goose and Red Bull, it sounds like a win-win-win-win to us.
Admission is $80 and can be purchased online. Act soon, because they’ve sold out the last two years. Runs 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
• The Silver Dollar
The folks of Do Something Good Events are not happy with 2016, considering the great losses we suffered — from Bowie and (Carol) Brady to Prince and Princess Leia. So they’re planning this “2016, Ya Fired!” bash at The Silver Dollar that benefits the ACLU of Kentucky.
With the tagline, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it’s finally over,” the party includes music by Fern & Dylana, Mark Fleshman, Dennis Schmidt and DJ JP Source, as well as appetizers, a cash bar, party favors and a bourbon toast at midnight. That’s right. We said bourbon.
Admission is $35 a person or $50 a couple in advance, or $45 at the door. Runs 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
• Fourth Street Live
Dubbed as “Louisville’s largest New Year’s Eve Party,” this annual event includes access to six bars at Fourth Street Live — PBR, Tavern on Fourth, Tengo Sed Cantina, The Kill Devil Club, The Marquee Bar, The Sports and Social Club and Birracibo — as well as music from 100% Poly, a balloon drop at midnight, a champagne toast and much more.
VIP admission is $100 per person, or $175 per couple, and includes an all-inclusive bar package from 9 p.m.-midnight. Runs 8 p.m.-4 a.m.
We’re not entirely sure what a silent disco is, but it’s free and it sounds fun. Made possible by Silent Events, the company behind the silent discos at Bonnaroo and other festivals, the quiet party will take place at Galaxie in NuLu and feature drink specials, multiple DJs and glowing headphones.
With Wild Turkey, Campari and Red Bull on board as sponsors, there’s no way this party could be lame — unless an ex shows up.
Admission is free. Runs 11 p.m.-3 a.m.
• All bars, restaurants, hotels, venues
There will be special NYE parties, dinners, dances and more Saturday night at just about every bar, restaurant and hotel in town, so pick your favorite, stay close to home, do something new … or whatever. Just don’t spend the night alone. If you still need assistance with your social life, remember to check out our Insider Event Calendar, powered by the folks at Do502.
And pace yourself — especially you Cards fans who will be up early rooting for victories in football and basketball. And remember, don’t drink and drive. Taxi, Uber, Lyft, CityScoot, TARC, run, walk, skip or shimmy your way home.
Happy New Year. May 2017 be merrier and bright.