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Pinellas County ready to ring in 2013
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Pinellas County is ringing in the New Year in a variety of ways.
Photo courtesy RUTH ECKERD HALL
A long-time tradition, Salute to Vienna, patterned after Vienna’s world famous Neujahrskonzert, returns Dec. 31, 8 p.m.
Swingin' the New Year, a celebration for all ages, at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, features the 20-Piece Swingin' the New Year Orchestra.
Say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in the New Year in a variety of ways as Pinellas County rings in 2013.

• Ruth Eckerd Hall offers a head start to the celebrations. A long-time tradition, Salute to Vienna, patterned after Vienna’s world famous Neujahrskonzert, returns Dec. 31, 8 p.m., for a 14th season with a fresh, new program. Enjoy a festive New Year’s concert, featuring a brilliant new cast of more than 75 musicians, European singers and dancers in beautiful costumes. A lighthearted blend of popular Strauss waltzes, polkas and famous operetta excerpts from Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow and more. Tickets are $72, $66, $56 and $46 and available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater, by calling 791-7400 and online at www.r­uthec­kerdh­all.c­om.

• One of Pinellas County's biggest events, First Night St. Petersburg celebrates its 18th annual New Year's Eve celebration of the arts from 5 p.m. to midnight at multiple downtown venues. The event features family-oriented festivities with music stages, entertainment, drama, dance, games, art, fireworks and more.

Tickets will be available on New Year’s Eve at all venues where First Night performers or activities are scheduled. The main information booth will be located on the south end of the Museum of Fine Arts at Beach Drive Northeast and Second Avenue.

First Night is supported almost entirely by private funds. Button sales are important to make sure that the tradition of First Night continues. Many venues are only accessible with a button. All artists are paid and the event is produced by a small, part-time staff and volunteers. Hand stamps will be used at the event after buttons are gone.

Advance buttons are available through Dec. 25 for $10 adults and $5 for children. After Dec. 25, all buttons are $10. Children under age 5 admitted free. For more information, visit www.f­irstn­ights­tpete­.com/­ticke­ts.ph­p.

• Light It Up Clearwater New Year's Eve Celebration is in the Duval Ballroom at the Holiday Inn & Suites, Clearwater Beach. Enjoy awesome appetizers, music, dancing, party favors, champagne toast and a view of the fireworks. Tickets are $65 and available at the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce office, 333c S. Gulfview Blvd., between McDonald’s and Crabby’s Bar & Grill.

Recommended parking is at the Surf Style Mega Store or Hyatt Regency parking garage. Florida Free Rides is providing transportation to the Duval Ballroom. For more information, visit www.l­ighti­tupcl­earwa­ter.c­om.

• Swingin' the New Year, a celebration for all ages, at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, features the 20-Piece Swingin' the New Year Orchestra. This all-star big band features vocalists, Lorri Hafer, Emily Gail, and Ron Pond. The evening includes live music, dancing and celebration from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., plus an intro swing-dance lesson from 8 to 9 p.m. (no partner needed). Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

The celebration features a midnight countdown and balloon drop; a vintage fashion photo shoot and contest; party favors and chocolates, prize giveaways, free parking, and a full cash bar with champagne bottles and toasts available.

The St. Petersburg Coliseum provides historic swing-era ambiance, a smoke-free atmosphere, and a 15,000 square foot oak dance floor. Dress to impress. New Year's and vintage attire are encouraged.

Tickets are $29, plus $1 Coliseum surcharge and available at www.T­ampaB­aySwi­ng.co­m, by phone at 727-669-7830 or 773-0064. The St. Petersburg Coliseum is located at 535 Fourth Ave. N., St. Petersburg.

• Q Year's Eve Dance Party, presented by Q105, begins at 9 p.m. Dec. 31 at Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Ring in 2013 with one of Tampa Bay’s best party band, The Hunks of Funk. Tickets are $35 and $75 and include complimentary champagne toast and great view of the St. Petersburg fireworks display. A limited number of VIP tickets are available and include access to the VIP Lounge, private restrooms, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast and view of fireworks from VIP Lounge Terrace.

Tickets may be purchased online at TheMa­haffe­y.com, charge by phone at 893-7832 or in person at The Mahaffey Box Office. The Box Office is open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and at least 90 minutes prior to any ticketed event.

• Rockin' in the Midnight Hour is the theme of this year's New Year's Eve celebration at the Tradewinds Island Grand on St. Pete Beach. Festivities are happening in the Grand Ballroom from 9 to 1:30 a.m. Partiers 21 and over are invited to don their best duds for an evening of festivities, food, and fun. The locally famous Greg Billings Band will keep everyone on the dance floor until the wee hours. And, no party is complete without a dance contest. Guests will also have access to an open bar and will receive a glass of champagne and noisemakers for the balloon drop at midnight. A gourmet hors d’oeuvres buffet includes lobster shepherd’s pies, warm fig and balsamic flat bread, Thai vegetable spring rolls and a pasta station featuring gnocchi in a sweet basil sauce and braised beef ravioli. A dessert display of chocolate fondue and miniature pastries will give the buffet a sweet ending. Entrance to the party is $140.

Children ages 4 to 12 can also ring in the New Year with their own party complete with games, crafts, dinner and more. Cost is $60 for the first child and $30 for each additional. There will also be a Teen Bash for ages 13 to 18 complete with a disc jockey, life-sized video games and mocktails. Cost is $35 per teen. Both parties are from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Available for guests of the resort and party guests and can be reserved through the TradeWinds activities desk. For party reservations and information, call 363-2258. For overnight room reservations and packages, call toll-free 866-JUST LET GO (587-8538) or visit JustL­etGo.­com.

• Shephards’ Beach Resort on Clearwater Beach is planning a Sin City New Year's Eve party, featuring a Las Vegas themed night of gaming and parties. Enjoy a champagne toast and fireworks, plus a premium open bar, two bands, two disc jockeys and three parties all in one place. Tickets for the party are available for advance purchase for $69 per person if purchased before Dec. 25, and $79 per person until New Year's Eve and at the door. Party Package with buffet dinner is $110 per person if purchased before Dec. 25 and $120 per person if purchased after.

VIP pricing is for four people at $500 and includes a private booth in The Wave Nightclub with choice of liquor bottle or Moet bottle, additional people are $100 per person. Email Ray for VIP at ray@shephards.com, subject NYE VIP. Partiers must be age 21 and up. Food available until 2 a.m. Shephard's is located at 619 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. Call 442-5107 or visit www.S­herph­ards.­com for tickets and room reservations.

• The Club at Treasure Island invites members and their guests to its 2013 New Year's Eve Spectacular complete with champagne toast, photo booth, dazzling light displays and holiday decor. The night include nonstop entertainment with show bands, Live from Montreal and the world-renowned Boogie Wonder Band, plus America's Got Talent favorites, the Incredible Distinguished Men of Brass and from Rio De Janeiro, DJ Rob2K in the in the Pool Pavilion.

Green Flash will be playing in the Marker 14 Restaurant & Lounge where partiers can enjoy a four-course Prix Fixe gourmet menu. Soft Flamenco sound of pianist Lito Cortez and his trio accompany dining in the Boco Ciega Ballroom where Chef Paul will be serving a grand master dinner buffet.

All-access New Year's Eve dance party tickets are $75. Buffet and four-course Prix Fixe dinners are $75. Dance party tickets with dinner are $135. The Club at Treasure Island is at 400 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island. Call 367-4511 or visit www.t­heclu­bti.c­om.

Local bars and bands set to party

• Cricketers British Pub & Restaurant, 2634 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin. Hope Darling plays from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Call 736-1322 or visit www.c­ricke­tersp­ub.co­m.

• Crum's Bar and Grill, 2924 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Trigger City Trio takes the stage at 8 p.m. Call 827-2831 or visit www.c­rumsb­ar.co­m.

• Cuso's Bar & Grill - 2405 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. On The Rocks (OTR) provides the party sounds starting at 9:30 p.m. Call 596-5633 or visit www.f­acebo­ok/cu­sos.

• Frenchy's Rockaway, 7 Rockaway St., Clearwater features Sweet Spot from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a break for a fireworks show from 11:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. Call 446-4844 or visit www.f­rench­ysonl­ine.c­om.

• Gators Cafe & Saloon, 12754 Kingfish Drive, Treasure Island is hosting a New Year’s Eve Ball with Black & White playing from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Call 367-8951 or visit gator­scafe­.com.

• JD's Restaurant & Lounge, 125 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach is featuring a full schedule of music for the last day of 2012 with Jelvis playing from noon to 4 p.m.; John Ellis, 4 to 8 p.m.; North 2 South, 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; and Phil Tolotta at the piano bar, 8:30 p.m. Call 595-1320 or visit www.j­dsres­taura­nt.co­m.

• Jimmy B's Beach Bar, 6200 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with free cover charge. Josh Horton plays from 2 to 7:30 p.m. and Phoenix takes over for the main event, 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call 367-1902 or visit www.b­eachc­omber­flori­da.co­m/ent­ertai­nment­.asp.

• Jimmy's Sports Lounge, 1200 Clearwater-Largo Road, Largo is partying with the Jenna Stone Band, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Call 400-6803.

• Mako's on the Rocks, 14450 Walsingham Road, Largo is featuring the band Cellfish for its New Year's Eve Party. Call 727-595-6256 or visit www.m­akoso­nther­ocks.­com.

• Porpoise Pub, 8701 Seminole Boulevard, Seminole is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with Big Deal on the main stage. Call 727-393-7616 or visit www.s­crewi­eloui­esbar­andgr­ille.­com.

• State Theatre, 687 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg booked Less Than Jake to provide entertainment for its New Year’s Eve party. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets $20. Visit www.S­tateT­heatr­eConc­erts.­com.

• The Dunedin Smokehouse, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Full Fledged Unit is playing. Call 727-736-2227 or visit www.t­hedun­edins­mokeh­ouse.­com

• The Local 622, 622 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. New Year’s Eve party music by Cope & Bobby Lee Rodgers. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets $15. Visit www.S­tateT­heatr­eConc­erts.­com.

• Two Buks, 1915 N. Hercules Ave., Clearwater is partying with Shakes Society. Call 727-442-0812 or visit www.t­wobuk­s.com.
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