What's that you say? We shouldn't believe those new-agey interpreters of Mayan end-times prognostications? What about all those other Apocalyptic signs — scary Republican candidates, 666 cough syrup at Walgreens and the fact that we even know who Snooki is.
It may be our last NYE bash, so let's do it up big, and if you're wanting to venture out on NYE, please don't be an amateur and drink and drive.
To help you out, here's what's probably just a drop in the ice bucket of NYE events scheduled in Tampa Bay. Parties range from all-Sabbath metal madness at the Mug to Ella's usual soiree to St. Pete's First Night tradition to a Vienna-inspired symphony at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Lest we forget to mention Cheap Trick's Dream Police revival and the grand opening party of the new Barbarella nightclub in Ybor. Plus, a lot more ... e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend a New Year's event that doesn't appear here.
All-White Party at Whiskey Park North VYBE Nation, Blazin Ent. and RSMG present a chic shindig that requires guests to be dressed entirely in white. (Don’t forget your Clorox pen!) The club says it offers “The No. 1 grown and sexy night In Tampa." Indeed. 8 p.m.-3 a.m. For tickets, visit NYE2012TAMPA.eventbrite.com. 11921 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa.
√ The Anti-Amateur Hour NYE Party at Refinery Visit the beloved Seminole Heights haunt for high-caliber cuisine and a chill, sophisticated party featuring the audio and visuals of DJ Fuego. 5137 N Florida Ave, Tampa, 813-237-2000, thetamparefinery.com.
√ Aqua-Eve New Year’s Eve Party Dive into the New Year at The Florida Aquarium at Aqua-Eve. Celebrate with live music, complimentary food (tastes of Florida, Mexico and Asia), beer and wine (included in event but cash bar will be available) along with a champagne toast and the best view in town for an amazing fireworks display at midnight! Last year’s event sold out so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets. Attire is downtown chic or black tie. $90-$100. Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-273-4000. flaquarium.org.
Black & White New Year’s Eve Benefits Voices for Children at Cheap. The restaurant is fully converted into lounge. VIP tables, Dance floor, extended 2,000-foot outside area with heaters. Highlights include a midnight balloon drop, champagne toast and mistletoe. Red carpet / paparazzi entrance. $5 Drink specials, $4 shots. $10 for women, $15 Guys for guys in advance, or walk up for $15/$10. Sat., Dec. 31, 9 a.m. Cheap, 309 S. Howard Ave., Tampa. 813-541-1940. cheapinsoho.com.
√ Brass Mug New Year’s Eve Metal Meltdown Singod, After Death, Forged With Blood, Planet Graveyard and Tomorrow’s Dream; all playing the music of Black Sabbath. Tomorrow’s Dream kicks the Meltdown off at 8:30 with the music of Black Sabbath. Midnight champagne toast for everyone, plus party favors and plenty of headbanging to go around. 21 and older pay $5; under 21 pay $8. 1441 Fletcher Ave. E, Tampa. Click here for the Mug's Facebook page.
Carmel Café & Wine Bar New Year’s Carmel Café & Wine Bar, Tampa Bay’s Mod Med restaurant prepares a special menu for NYE. Dishes and optional wine pairings for duos of diners to share while enjoying live entertainment. John Barney will perform in Clearwater and Ben Bryan at the Carrollwood location, both from 9 p.m. until midnight. $35 plus. Sat., Dec. 31, 6 p.m. Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar, 14306 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-265-1415; 2548 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-724-4228. carmelcafe.com.
The Cowhead Show Performances by Gary Cannon, Pitbull Toddler and Paper Stanleys (best reason to attend). 9 p.m. The Ritz Ybor, General admission: $25. 21 and older only. ritzybor.com.
√ Crowbar New Year’s Eve Party While Cheap Trick is playing its own classic, Dream Police, Tampa favorite Poetry N Lotion will be performing Devo’s Are We Not Men? A. We Are Devo with the help of David Kibby of Brahm Bones. It’s a fantastic combo given the seminal new wave band’s theatrics and PNL’s folky lounge and funk-fusion dynamics. This highly recommended Thx Mgmt show includes The Rosewoods (formerly known as the Jackals), The Happiness Machine (ex-members of the Sun Society) and Thee Liquid Jesus DJs; hosted by Mr. Saturday Night and Black Viking God. Drink specials will be featured with a free champagne toast. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. Doors are at 9 p.m. 18 and older admitted. No cover. thxmgmtlive.com.
√ Cheap Trick New Year’s Eve at Jannus Live The feisty irreverent rockers from Rockford have been going strong since the late ‘70s, playing a signature pop-rock sound that’s often imitated but never duplicated. The band headlines a New Year’s Eve performance, playing in its entirety their famed 1979 album Dream Police. Guitar enthusiasts start salivating as Rick Nielsen is practically a show unto himself with his vast collection of unique and customized guitars. The band’s backed by the 18-piece Rhythmic Noise Philharmonic Orchestra & Mind Choir in 4D. Courtyard tickets include admission to the event, and early bird tickets include all-you-can-drink access inside the courtyard. $100-$150. Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-565-0551. jannuslive.com.
Collage in the City: a New York Affair Music by Fight Another Day; NY-themed backdrop. $10 Cover. $2 PBR. $3 Blast Cocktails. $4 “Struggling Artist Shots.” 9 p.m. $10. 1701 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. 813-758-9298.ellasfolkartcafe.com.
√ Fly New Year's Eve DJs Soft Rock Renegades provide the soundtrack for the free party; dinner reservations recommended. 8 p.m.-3 a.m., Fly Bar and Restaurant, 1202 N. Franklin St., Tampa. flybarandrestaurant.com. 813-275-5000.
√ First Night New Year’s Eve St. Petersburg First Night St. Petersburg celebrates its 18th Annual New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts at multiple venues in downtown St. Petersburg. Hear live music from Rebekah Pulley, Ronny Elliott and event closers the Vodkanauts. The event offers family-oriented festivities with music stages, entertainment, drama, dance, games, art, fireworks and more. $12 adult, $6 children. Sat., Dec. 31, 5 p.m.-midnight. Vinoy Park, Bayshore Drive and Seventh Avenue N.E., St. Petersburg. 727-823-8906. firstnightstpete.com.
√ New Year's Eve at the Independent Bar Tampa DJ Brian Oblivion (aka artist Brian Taylor) will spin funk, soul, disco and rare grooves. 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. Free cover. 5016 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. IndependentTampa.com.
Jackson’s Bistro New Year’s Eve Bash Entertainment in multiple areas; fireworks display at midnight. Revelers can cavort on the waterfront patio and rent cabanas and duck the crowd in VIP areas. The event organizers describe it as Vegas-style open format party. In Jackson's Lush Lounge, you can trip out to "Miami-style" house music (Tony Puccio and Hi Frequency). In the Bistro and patio, hear hits spun by DJs Kiko, Sharrif and Camo, and in the Glass Room, hip-hop and Latin/world music by Fuentz will pump up the party. Valet and table service available. $25-65 advance tickets (subject to change). Private tables are $395 and up. Fireworks at midnight; champagne toast. For reservations, visit piedpiperproductions.com.
Mad Men New Year’s Eve Benefits Pasco Kids First. The cocktail/black tie optional event ranges from $100 to $150 per person, offers VIP, Open Bar from 8 p.m. to 2 a..m Sixties-themed attire is suggested but not required. 21 and older only admitted. Mangrove’s at SoHo. 208 S Howard Ave., Tampa. 813-258-3302. mangroves-restaurants.com.
√ Mahaffey Theater’s Disco Eve Disco never died, in fact, it’s still donning gold lamé and ready to shake your groove thing right into 2012 with that era’s top divas Gloria Gaynor, Sister Sledge and Maxine Nightingale. A champagne toast, after-party and fireworks are included. $75-$150. Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 800-745-3000. themahaffey.com.
Masquerade Party at The Venue Live it up with a genteel disguise. $40. 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. For info, e-mail 727-571-2222 or e-mail email@example.com.
√ Mermaid Tavern A swimmingly good time can be had at the recently opened Mermaid Tavern in Old Seminole Heights. Take in the sultry sounds of the Stolen Idols, led by longtime Tampa music scene linchpin Drew Farmer. His band will perform exotica, tiki lounge and Brazilian-style jazz while revelers partake of drink specials, hors d'oeuvres and artisan cheeses, as well as a champagne toast at midnight. $10 at the door. The Mermaid serves 20 craft beers on tap, 65 wines, and the party goes from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.. 6719 N. Nebraska Ave, Tampa. For more information, call 813-238-5618.
Monte Carlo Bash and Burlesque Show at Club Skye 8 p.m. Tampa radio station WiLD 94.1 will be broadcasting a live countdown to New Year’s and the club will offer a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. A balloon drop filled with cash prizes, concert tickets and more. The burlesque troupe La Vie En Rose performs. 18 and up permitted.
New Year’s Eve at The Amphitheatre Ybor Last year with Baby Anne and Trashy, the Amphitheatre had more than 2,000 people in attendance. Doco joins them this year, and ladies get in free all night. Free champagne toast at Midnight, VIP gains you access to upstairs, and special surprises are in store throughout the night. Table reservations available. Ladies free; $15-25 guys. Sat., Dec. 31, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Amphitheater, 1609 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. 813-248-4050. facebook.com/events.
√ New Year’s Eve with The Isley Brothers Treasure Island’s largest pool will be fully-covered in a see-through dance floor, so you can literally dance on the water while the legendary Isley Brother’s groove you into to 2012. Grammy winners and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Ronald and Ernest Isley have had nine No. 1 albums with mega-hits like “It’s Your Thing”, “Twist and Shout” (later redone by The Beatles) and “Shout.” A little bit of funk and pop with free flowing champagne and other surprises will make this a New Year’s Eve to remember. Reigning Champions of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” Futuristic a cappella wonder Pentatonix opens the show. A portion of the proceeds benefits All Children’s Hospital. $150 plus fee. Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m. Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island. 727-367-4511. theclubti.com.
New Year’s Eve Dance Party Whiskey Joe’s is doing it up reggae-style this New Year’s Eve with Deja and Impulse live, as well as the bay area’s hottest DJs. $10. Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Whiskey Joes (new location; former Castaway restaurant), 7720 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. 813-281-0577. whiskeyjoestampa.com.
√ Noon Year’s Eve Lowry Park Zoo and Radio Disney AM 1380 are hosting some family fun once again midday on NYE. There will be games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, educational displays and more. The entire family can count down to Noon with noisemakers, hats, and a juice toast. Activities are included with Zoo admission. $23.95, $21.95 seniors, $18.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. Sat., Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. 813-935-8552. lowryparkzoo.com.
New Year’s Eve with Michael Palascak New Year’s Eve features two shows at Side Splitters 7:30 p.m. pre-party includes a champagne toast, mock countdown, and party favors! 10:30 p.m. gala includes open bar, champagne toast, party favors, countdown, balloon drop, music & dancing, and a continental breakfast buffet. Both shows feature a live comedy show with Michael Palascak, who’s been a fixture on the late-night circuit and champions awkward humor. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. 813-960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
Outback Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade and Band Blast Bowl yourself over at a parade and pep rally featuring floats, college cheerleaders and more than 20 marching bands. The family-friendly event is sponsored by United Healthcare, Budweiser, 970 WFLA, 93.3 FLZ Radio, 620 WDAE and the city of Tampa. Free admission. Sat., Dec. 31, 5:30-9 p.m. Seventh Avenue, Ybor City. outbackbowl.com/tampabay/ybor.html.Push Ultra Lounge New Year’s Eve View the fireworks from the roof deck; dancing and music by DJ’s Rev Kev, Coz, Kristijan and Lyndon. Hot 101.5 will hold a live remote broadcast beginning at 10 p.m. 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. $20, $25 day of event. 727-895-7874.
Timpano Rooftop Eve A South Tampa favorite. Swank it up like a celeb and watch street performers down below along with music by Flats. Proceeds benefit the Heartbeat International Foundation. 1610 W. Swann Ave., Tampa. Tickets start at $100. therooftopeve.com, 813-299-0636
√ Salute to Vienna: A New Year’s Eve Celebration The 15th anniversary of this lavish concert offers a fresh new program featuring a brilliant cast of more than 75 musicians, stellar European singers, and dancers in beautiful costumes. The glorious music of Johann Strauss Jr. (Vienna’s “Waltz King”) and his contemporaries delights and inspires. Popular operetta excerpts, favorite waltzes and polkas create an ambiance of refinement and charm in the tradition of the famous Austrian Neujahrskonzert (New Year’s Concert). 8 p.m. $72, $66, $56, $46. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road. 727-791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Swing Dance into 2012! Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Gulfport Casino with dancing to live music by Caliente. There will be lessons, along with a cash bar and champagne toast. $22. Sat., Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd., Gulfport. 727-893-1070.
Tampa Convention Center New Year's Eve The gala, presented in conjunction with the city of Tampa, celebrates with a giant balloon drop and live countdown at midnight, door prizes and more. VIP tickets include dinner, open bar, Champagne toast, valet parking and VIP entertainment. Ticket prices range from $125 to $350. 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa. 813-569-0756. tampabaynye.com
Undertow w/The Funky Seeds Free champagne toast and food. No cover. 9 p.m.-midnight. 3850 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach (just north of the Don CeSar); 727-368-9000. undertowbeachbar.com.
—Nastasya Trudeau helped with this report.