New Year’s Eve on Congress Street
December 29, 2014
by Cristina Manos
Hotel Congress is THE place to be on New Year’s Eve but the “Tucson Times Square NYE Block Party” is sure to sell out. So if you don’t like big crowds or forget to buy a ticket in advance, there are some other options for your New Year’s Eve celebration.
The Block Party at Hotel Congress will offer New Year’s Eve elements that no other venue on Congress Street has. First and foremost: A 15 foot Taco leads the way to 2015 as it will be dropped out of the sky during the countdown to midnight.
What better symbol than a giant Taco to send the message “Be Yourself Tucson”? In New York they may drop the ball, but in Tucson they drop the Taco, a representation of the unique, diverse Tucson community, according to Dave Slutes, the Hotel’s events coordinator. Slutes wanted to set Tucson apart and represent accurately; hence, the Taco.
Hotel Congress (311 E Congress) is also the only venue to feature three stages for live music performances. The Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta will perform on the main stage, while Neon Eon and Tom Heavy and The Partymakers share the rock stage, and the Strange Family Circus entertains from the sideshow stage. Champagne toast is included in the price. After midnight the Zsa Zsas are sure to entertain and DJ Andrew Shuta will be rocking the house. Please check website for VIP options, ticket prices and purchases.
The Rialto (318 E Congress) and it’s sister club, the R Bar (350 E Congress), are also offering niche party enhancements like a glow-in-the-dark theme complete with party favors, a champagne toast and live music. Chicha Dust and DJ Dirty Verbs will rock the Rialto and Howe Gelb will play at the R Bar. Doors open at 8pm, but check out the Rialto website for earlier events, one of which involves Grower Champagne, a champagne campaign for family owned farms who create carefully made bubbles.
Playground (278 E Congress) will team up with H2O Discotec (61 E Congress) to throw a double rooftop New Year’s Eve Party, one cover gets you into both rooftop clubs, a glass of champagne, multiple James Bond style gambling tables, dance floors and VIP bottle service. Presale tickets are available on the website for the Playground’s “New Year’s Eve 2015 Casino Royale” event.
Unplugged (118 E Congress), Downtown’s wine bar, will also feature bubbles from around the world. Unplugged will have a DJ for the evening, no cover, world renowned champagne and German Blue Vine, warmed, spiced red wine.
Good Oak Bar (316 E Congress) believes in a mellow approach to New Year’s Eve, the bar itself is normally “funky and interesting” so the only enhancement added for NYE is food available up until midnight. At midnight you can still step outside to see the giant Taco drop across the street at Hotel Congress during the countdown to 2015. There’s no cover and Good Oak Bar will feature tunes from a custom made playlist.
Rumor has it that Elliot’s (135 E Congress) will throw its traditional 3-2-1 Party from 10pm until close. That’s $3 for top shelf, $2 for beer, and $1 for well drinks. A DJ will man the music and there’s no cover. Call Elliot’s for details.
An option for those who want to be under-the-radar for New Year’s Eve – enjoy the dusky atmosphere of the District (260 E. Congress). Nothing fancy going on here, just five bands to help you ring in the new year: Ultramaroon, Free Machines, Carbon Canyon, Katterwaul, and Whispering Wires will rock you into 2015.
One New Year’s Eve party worth checking out that is not on Congress Street, but nearby at 283 N Stone Ave, is “Back to the New Year – Time Traveler Ball” happening at the Maker House. This party also offers elements that no other venue will have, most distinctly – three time periods. There will be a “1955 Hill Valley Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, the cyberpunk future of Blade Runner/5th Element EDM room, and the present day Maker House courtyard.” The actual Universal Studios Back to the Future Delorean will be displayed amongst the time machines featured at this elaborate time-traveler-vortex-steampunk NYE party.
Whether you go out or stay in have a safe New Year’s Eve and best wishes for 2015! Remember what the Taco says: “Be Yourself Tucson in 2015 and always!”