From the oldest societies straight to today, an annual turn toward renewal has been celebrated, and in these challenging times, that celebration is as important as ever.
No need to look far afield to find an event that suits one’s needs. Sonoma and Napa are up to the challenge. Readers may have a look at these wonderful local celebrations of the turn toward good times.
British Dance Invasion
In recent years, the Flamingo—once the favored getaway spot of my mom—has taken its midcentury resort vibes and turned them into an ethos of cool. It is not an aesthetic with this place; it is a way of life. Regular dance nights and chill out events have become a must do experience as the pandemic has waned. So it is fitting that one of the most happening NYE parties would be right here.
Right on point with the retro aesthetic, one can get set for an invasion of favorite British artists and bands, as spun by DJ Armin. It is recommended to dress in British best for a costume contest with prizes. Tickets are limited and on sale now. Admission includes a complimentary glass of champagne for a midnight toast.
8 pm, Saturday, Dec. 31, the Vintage Space at the Flamingo Resort, 2777 4th St., Santa Rosa. $80. Spots can be reserved at tudorrosetearoom.com/nye-british-invasion.
Need to get a fix a little earlier in the day to make sure to start New Year’s Eve pre-filled with joy? One could bounce on over to the Napa Yard beer garden at Oxbow Gardens for the holiday pop-up bar, Miracle.
Growing in reputation, Miracle’s xmas-xplosion vibe and wacky cocktails invade choice spots around the Bay, including the Flamingo in Santa Rosa and Brewster’s in Petaluma. This season is the first time the hyper-spirited meta-cocktails will be slung in Napa.
The holiday oasis is overflowing with kitschy festive décor, right down to the glassware and a themed cocktail menu, with fan favorite cocktails such as Christmapolitan, Snowball Old-Fashioned, Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!, Jingle Balls Nog, Nice Shot and Naughty Shot. On my visit, I had a warm Christmas Carol Barrel while my buddy sipped Grandma Got Run Over By A T-Rex from a ceramic dinosaur.
And for even more motivation, at the end of this year’s season, Miracle will donate 10% of all proceeds from the sale of selected signature glassware to the Seva Foundation, a global nonprofit eye-care organization that works with local communities around the world.
Hours vary, now until Dec. 31, Napa Yard Oxbow Gardens, 585 1st St., Napa. Closed Mondays.
In this humble writer’s opinion, there is no dance party like a Royal Jelly Jive dance party. More on this phenomenally fun band in the next issue, but rest assured that the humid-in-one’s-clothes, NOLA-inspired band that puts the fun in funk is one the best tickets around. As keyboardist and band energizer bunny Jesse Lemme Adams said, “Some of our biggest shows have been New Year’s Eve shows.” This band has the big sound for it, and anyone who has been to the Mystic knows that the place knows how to party.
I am sworn to secrecy, but expect some guest appearances by other local luminaries from the Americana+ scene.
Doors 7pm, show 9pm, Saturday, Dec. 31, Mystic Theater, 23 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma. $40. For tickets, go to mystictheatre.com.
The North Bay Cabaret is always a rollicking good time, a natural fit for the biggest night of the year. Whiskey Tip has ample indoor and outdoor space that allows for different simultaneous activities, like a multi-DJ silent disco dance party and a variety show featuring more than 15 performers, including special guest Jamie DeWolf. DeWolf is a notorious spoken word performance artist whose provocative hilarity has become a signature feature of North Bay Cabaret events.
Live local music will be featured, headlined by The Crux, plus Audio Angel, and Joshua James Jackson & The Dream Team.
The event was canceled last year due to the Omicron surge, so it is especially exciting to see the annual NYE Cabaret back for its sixth year, with its unique twist on art and live entertainment.
Doors at 6pm, variety show at 7pm, live music at 10pm, Saturday, Dec. 31, Whiskey Tip, 1910 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa. Tickets are $85 at the door if available or $75 in advance at the Whiskey Tip, the Next Record Store or online at northbayevents.com.
Those feeling the need for dinner and dancing all in one spot may like to hit Dawn Ranch in Guerneville.
DJs will be playing all night, starting with that dinner music vibe that one has to have to really celebrate. At 10pm, the party switches, the tables get kicked over (please check with venue before any table kicking) and a dance party breaks out with funky, groovy and soulful vibes on the turntables, courtesy of DJ Timote and DJ Bank$hot.
This is a sit down event from 8 till 10pm, followed by dancing until 1am. A champagne toast will be given at the stroke of midnight.
8 pm, Saturday, Dec. 31, Dawn Ranch, 16467 Hwy 116, Guerneville. $150 per diner.
Reservations may be booked at dawnranch.bpt.me.
On the other hand, if one is looking for cool-as-hell, no frills rockin’ and clockin’ sweaty night out, they’ll be heading to Healdsburg for John Courage. Called by the Bohemian “one of the most recognizable figures on Sonoma County’s music scene,” Courage’s current musical incarnation might be more down tempo and bluesy than in the past, but one can bet the originals and covers will be steamy, passionate and full of Sonoma verve. It’s recommended to dress in layers, since a lot of the fun space here is out of doors.
9 pm, Saturday, Dec. 31, the Elephant in the Room, 177A Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. $20 at the door.