Party of the Year: New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Downtown

December 29, 2015

Located in the heart of Downtown, the Independent Distillery offers a wide selection of modern and pre-prohibition style beverages.

Located in the heart of Downtown, the Independent Distillery offers a wide selection of modern and pre-prohibition style beverages.

By Kai Parmenter

The holidays are winding down, and the nights are long. That can only mean one thing: time to celebrate the new year.

Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a celebration without Hotel Congress and the Rialto Theatre, two of Downtown’s most historic venues. The New Year’s Eve Bash at Congress will be a speakeasy-themed, Prohibition-era party, replete with dancing, food and all manner of liquor and alcoholic beverages. The event will feature live performances by Tom Walbank, Kings of Pleasure, Shadow Dancers, Vintage Burlesque by Contessa Oblivian, and period music by singer Catherine Byrne and pianist Jeff Haskell. General admission ticketholders will also receive complimentary party favors and a Whiskey del Bac whiskey toast.

Just across the way, the Rialto will be hosting Dark in the Desert, featuring performances by XIXA and DJ Dirty Verbs. Billed as “an all-night glow-in-the-dark cumbia party,” the event kicks off at nine p.m., with advance tickets starting at just $10.

Ring in the new year with an all night cumbia party with XIXA at Rialto.

Ring in the new year with an all night cumbia party with XIXA at Rialto.

Yet it would be a mistake to assume the New Year’s Eve happenings in Downtown end there. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Tucson Museum of Art will feature nine exhibitions on the 31st, including the upcoming String Theory: Contemporary Art and the Fiber Legacy. Don’t forget about brunch at the Museum’s renowned Café a la C’Art, voted one of the best museum restaurants by Food & Wine magazine in 2014.

If handcrafted spirits are more your scene, the Independent Distillery has you covered. In the courtyard shared with HighWire Lounge and Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, Independent Distillery will be hosting a Great Gatsby-themed party, complete with pre-prohibition style drinks and live music. Located directly across the courtyard, HighWire Lounge will also be open for business, featuring wine on tap, draft beer and cocktails infused by molecular mixology. The party runs from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.

As if that weren’t enough, Elliott’s on Congress will host a New Year’s Eve party, including $1 champagne. Playground Bar & Lounge, Unplugged Wine Bar and Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails will also have events for New Year’s Eve, with more details available here.

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