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YES! Weekly’s ten best New Year’s parties

by Sharon Armstrong

Rockin’ New Years Eve

Barn Dinner Theatre; 120 Stage Coach Trail; 336.292.2211; $85

Elvis is a hard-working man. For a dead guy, I mean. The Barn Dinner Theatre presents the King who will be helping to ring in the new year with the help of Elvis impersonator Stephen Freeman for a night of dinner, dancing and prizes. Freeman was born right here in High Point and while serving as a Thomasville police officer found his true calling as an Elvis avatar. The tickets are selling out fast so if you want to party with the original hound dog (or the next best thing, damn it) forget the letter, return to sender, don’t be blue and get you some tickets.

Simon’s New Year’s Eve Party 2007

The Embassy Suites; 204 Centreport Drive; 336. 668. 4535; $50-$379

Actually there are three parties at the same venue. For $379 per couple you get an all-inclusive ticket, with a $100 charge for additional people. It involves an open bar from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., a luxurious dinner buffet served from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and overnight accommodation in a two-room suite. No need for designated drivers then! For $109, you get the same deal sans room. You will have to find your own way home after midnight. And for the basement bargain price of $50 you get the open bar from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. I don’t know about you, but I can pack a lot of drinking into three hours.

Rum Runners New Year’s Eve

212 S. Elm St.; 336. 379. 8877; $50

Offering a buffet-style dinner and a Champagne toast at midnight as well as the usual dueling pianos. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner served from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Chris Wiles New Year’s Comedy Show

Greensboro Coliseum; 336. 373. 2632; $40

This will be the third annual “Happy Whew Year” from Greensboro’s Comedy Zone host and emcee Chris Wiles. The ticket gets you Chris, post-concert hors d’oeuvres and DJ/dancing. A diverse comedian, his skits range from improvisation to pointed impersonations. Start the new year laughing? Not the worst plan in the world.

Winter Show

Green Hill Center for NC Art/Art Quest; 200 N. Davie St.; 336. 333. 7460; FREE

If you are still not totally tapped out from Christmas, Green Hill’s annual holiday exhibition showcases works in all media, offering the public a rare opportunity to view and buy a wide variety of unique art. Free. Open on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., you don’t even have to cut into your drinking time. Hoorah!

Hogmany!

If you don’t feel like traipsing around downtown you can always opt for hosting the party yourself. House parties rock. New Year’s Eve is huge in Scotland and “first footing” (visiting all your friends and family and demanding they feed and water you) involves a dark-haired man (any dark haired man), a lump of coal and a bottle of whisky. It’s for luck. With our history of Viking invasion, apparently the last thing you wanted on your doorstep on the first of the year was a big blonde dude.

Jukebox New Year

The Greensboro Ballroom; 4922 Mary St.; 336.854.1850; $30 ($25 advance)

Can you dance? Or, like me, do you have several pairs of left feet? If you do feel like being energetic, some would say ambitious, you could have a Jukebox New Year and dance to the sounds of yesteryear as you greet 2007 at the Greensboro Ballroom. Greensboro has a ballroom? Classy!

Brat Pack Prom

Finley’s; 1614 N. Main St., High Point; 336.336.883.4113; $TBA

Relive the ’80s at the Brat Pack Prom with a tuxedo and a tie and cummerbund combo that matches your high-top Chuck Taylors. Try out your best impression of Judd Nelson as Bender from The Breakfast Club. “You know what I got for Christmas this year? It was a banner fuckin’ year at the old Bender family. I got a carton of cigarettes. The old man grabbed me and said ‘Hey, smoke up Johnny.'” Kills every time.

The Red Rooster

703 Jonestown Road, Winston-Salem; 336.760.4499; $30 ($25 advance)

2007 money drop. Impersonator. Mechanical-bull rides. Champagne toast. Drink specials. Free food. Sound like a plan. I don’t know’… a mechanical bull? I feel queasy just thinking about it!

The emergency room

Apparently the ER is the place to be on New Year’s Eve, or rather New Year’s Day. Statistics show that the emergency room admittance numbers go through the roof over the festive season. I guess a lot of things seem a good idea at the time after a few. A word to the wise: Clooney won’t be there.

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