Arts & Culture Bars & Nightlife Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Music & Events Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich December 23, 2014

Way back in 2009, one of the first blog posts I wrote for this website was a roundup of New Year’s Eve happenings in Downtown Phoenix.
The pickings were slim that year, although I was fortunate enough to attend the Joel McHale show at then-Dodge Theatre, along with pre-show drinks at Majerle’s. Good times.
Fast forward to 2014 and our downtown is a profoundly different place, as evidenced by the number of ways you can do NYE in DTPHX. Here are 15 suggestions:
1. Ride light rail. For free (beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 31.)
2. 90s New Year’s at Rose & Crown
Free party with DJ Evil Luck including a champagne toast. Odds you’ll hear 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love?” Strong.
3. New Year’s at Mother Bunch Brewery
Downtown’s new brewery is hosting its first New Year’s party with a special beer tapping and free champagne toast at midnight, plus live music and a best-dressed competition 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. No cover.
4. Resolutions! A New Show for an Old Year at Space 55
Join the offbeat theater troupe for music, funny-but-true stories and a celebration of possibilities at 8 p.m. $10.
coe_5077FE3A-5056-A855-8B86AB5C92F982995. Flannel Ball and Art Show at Growhouse
Join the quirkiest gathering downtown for an art show, live music and grunge-tastic party scene. A celebration of the most dependable, versatile and washing machine-friendly fabric ever 9 p.m. $10-$20.
6. New Year’s Eve 2015 at Seamus McCaffrey’s
Downtown’s oldest running NYE bar-ty features music from the Brazen Heads, midnight champagne toast and party favors starting at 9 p.m. $5.
7. New Year’s Eve Ball at Crescent Ballroom
DJ Sean Watson controls the turntables and Second Avenue will be closed to host a “Funky Dance Tent.” Cool Kids will be out in force. Party starts at 8 p.m. $5.
images (9)8. Laugh away 2014 with Jay Pharoah at Stand Up Live or Brian Regan at Comerica Theatre
Pharoah (7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; $27) does spot-on impersonations of POTUS, Denzel Washington and Kanye West while Regan (8 p.m.; $35-$65) serves up a smorgasbord of jokes about bodily functions.
9. New Year’s Eve 2015 Rock Gold at Copper Blues
Rock out with The Instant Classics and tiered experience packages beginning at 6 p.m. General Admission $20 with Gold and Platinum record packages available.
10. Hassle-Free NYE at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Bummed out by big crowds? Rent your own bar stool at downtown’s No. 1 destination for craft cocktails from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. $50.
11. NYE Boogie Ball at FilmBar
Celebrate the close of 2014 Boogie Nights-style with a 70s, ahem, adult film costume contest, plus a champagne toast. Starts at 8 p.m. $6 in advance; $10 at the door.
12. NYE On the Roof at LUSTRE
Stars above, lights below and a party in between. DJ Swirl, signature cocktails, tasty treats and the best views of downtown. Get there at 8 p.m. $50.
13. New Year’s Eve Celebration with Phoenix Symphony or Afrobeat Orchestra at Last Exit Live
End the year on a high note with the symphony’s guest conductor Stuart Chafetz (4 p.m. and 7 p.m. $30-$99) or head over to Last Exit Live for a dance party with Phoenix-based Afrobeat musicians (9 p.m. Free)
14. Epic NYE with Scarface at The Pressroom
Nineties rap king Scarface, who broke into the game with Geto Boys, headlines this party highlighted by special drinks, photo booth, food trucks and more 9 p.m. $40-$50 with VIP available.
15. Dinner, Champagne Toast and a Hysterical Whodunit, Murder for Two, at Herberger Theatre
What an all-in-one package!  Get your choice of dinner entree from Canyon Cafe or 1130 The Restaurant, ticket to Murder for Two and a pre-show champagne and chocolate reception 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $71.
And that’s not all. Downtown also boasts a wide selection of NYE dinners (Compass Arizona Grill, Arrogant Butcher and Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails),  family fun (Phoenix Theatre), plus dancing at Monarch Theatre and Gypsy Bar.
Have fun, be safe, and Happy New Year!