Get bubbly!
Get bubbly!

New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a happy time filled with reflection, champagne, kisses and anticipation for another 365 days ahead of us. But nowadays, it’s far from that. There’s so much buildup to the night’s activities, that if you don’t wake up in a Galt House hotel room with dollar bills stuffed down your dress and a tiger licking your feet, you’ve somehow failed and will now live out 2016 in shame.

Let’s just throw those hifalutin expectations out the window and settle for a mediocre night spent with friends and family, listening to music, dancing like a fool and not fretting if you don’t sip champagne or kiss a stranger at midnight. Just enjoy yourself and let the night happen.

We know that’s easier said than done. So that you’re not out of the loop, here are some interesting events we came across when planning our own night out. This isn’t a complete list by any means. But our friends over at Do502 have compiled that for you if you’re curious.

Billy Goat Strut Revue | Photo by Edward Neary
Billy Goat Strut Revue | Photo by Edward Neary

New Year’s Eve Prohibition-Era Dance Party @ Headliners

Whenever Billy Goat Strut Revue is on the bill, you know it’s gonna be a great party. This WFPK-sponsored show also features musicians Zach Longoria and Carly Johnson, as well as DJs Matt Anthony and Woodrow on the Radio and a little burlesque action from Vaudeville Louisville thrown into the mix. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. And showtime is 8 p.m.

No Cover New Year’s @ Haymarket Whiskey Bar

In all honesty, they had us at “No Cover.” If I’m planning on going out and enjoying an adult beverage or three, paying an inflated cover charge is just another kick in the pants. Of course if there are bands or other performers involved, I understand the need for covers. But when a bar charges $10 just to get through the door and offers no extra amenities, I get angry and settle for the cheap stuff. Life’s too short to drown your sorrows in PBR, so the folks over at Haymarket Whiskey Bar have teamed up with Four Roses to offer you a cover-free night of entertainment and general merriment. The band lineup includes The Deloreans, Jalin Roze and Sketching, with DJ sets by OK Deejays, Midnight Hour and Sound System. That’s a lot of bang for no bucks! The party starts at 8 p.m.

Kid Rock’s New Year’s Eve Bash @ Yum! Center

I’m going to venture a guess that if this appeals to you, you already have your tickets and cowboy hat picked out. We don’t doubt it’ll be a crazy night at the Yum! Center, especially since Mr. Rock visits every Derby and has a soft spot for Louisville. He’s bringing along friends Tim Montana and The Shrednecks to the party, which starts at 9 p.m. We hear there’ll be drink specials (hopefully better than $8 for Bud Light draft), party favors and even a balloon drop. Tickets start at $20. Yeehaw!

Connection's veteran drag performers will return Thursday night.
Connection’s veteran drag performers will return Thursday night.

The Last New Year’s Eve Party @ The Connection

As you may have heard, the beloved Connection nightclub/gay bar is closing the doors on its current location and will reopen next year further down Floyd Street. So this NYE party marks the end of a 27-year era. They’re bringing back their most legendary drag performers to mark the occasion, which includes Robbi Lynn, Asia, Vanessa DeMornay, Margo Davis, Reva Deveraux, Amirage, Mokha Montrese and, of course, the hostess with the mostess, Hurricane Summers — among many others. Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Louisville NYE Party @ 21c

For those who want to get fancy while they dancy the night away, the Atrium Gallery at 21c is hosting a NYE party featuring tunes spun by GlitterTitzDjz. Tickets are $59 and include two cocktails. Doors open at 9 p.m.

New Year’s Eve @ Galaxie

Here's that spicy margarita I had at Galaxie. Yum!
Here’s that spicy margarita I had at Galaxie. Yum!

I had one of the best spicy margaritas I’ve ever had here recently, so I was happy to see they’re hosting a laid-back night of free debauchery Thursday night. Fun is never a 100 percent sure thing, but if you add $3 champagne drinks and DJs to the mix, even Grandma might get up and dance. Did I mention there’s no cover? Party starts at 7 p.m.

New Year’s Eve with Roxxxy @ Play

Drag star Roxxxy Andrews from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” hosts the evening’s events, which include performances by all the Play Mates, a balloon drop and champagne toast. There’s never a dull night at this Butchertown dance club, especially when drag queens are involved. The fun starts at 9 p.m., and cover is only $10.

New Year’s Eve Animal Mask-querade @ Against the Grain

If you don’t want to be yourself Thursday night, why not be a frolicking goat or a prowling cougar? Animal masks and attire are encouraged at this party, and all AtG beers will be $1 off, with well drinks priced at $2.50. We’re pretty sure there’s no cover, either. Score! The party starts at 7 p.m.

New Year’s Eve @ The Ice House

The Ice House is a pretty sweet and cozy venue, and they’re opening it up Thursday night for a party with DJ AK. General admission tickets ($20) include appetizers, and VIP tickets ($75 per table of six) guarantees you a seat, a bottle of champagne and apps. The party starts at 9 p.m.

Meta
Meta

Discotheque Downtown New Year’s Eve @ Meta

For those looking for something different than the same old, same old party scene, you should head over to Meta, where they dance to a different beat and mix some of the best cocktails in town. The night’s entertainment will be DJs JP Source and Narwhal, who will spin some house, disco and Italo music for the occasion. We’re guessing they’ll be coming up with some delicious champagne drinks to help you move and shake without the restraints of self-consciousness. The free party starts at 8 p.m.

Remember, this list is just the tip of the NYE iceberg. For a list of everything going on around town, click here. Most likely your favorite bar or restaurant will be celebrating in some way, so just do what the spirits of the holiday move you to do. And please call a taxi, Uber, Lyft or City Scoot to get you home safely. 

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."