Ivories: Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88's add to the fun at the 142 Throckmorton.
By Gabe Meline
Congratulations. You made it through the crazed shopping and the tedious travel. You made it through the company party, the family gathering, the annual news reports about low fourth-quarter sales from the shrinking dollar and last night you finally cleaned up the stain from that sloppily-mixed eggnog you tipped over while drunk-dialing your ex-girlfriend's parents on Christmas Eve to tell them you miss them and love them and to ask what channel Yule Log is on this year. Yes, my friend, you made it out unscathed.
Now it's time to party.
Despite a few inspiring episodes —moments that we all hopefully witness, adore and cherish —Christmas is absolutely one of the most individually brutal holidays we could ever hope to survive, despite its ideals of loving one's fellow man with equality for all. You want to see equality and love by the bucketful, man?
Go out on New Year's Eve.
Yeah, yeah, a lot of people think New Years' Eve is "amateur night," whatever that means. When it comes to partying, do you really want to see a bunch of "professionals"? Hell, no, pardner —you wanna see office slaves and ranch hands and retail clerks and alimony lawyers and bloggers and unemployed dudes and waitresses all partying totally unprofessionally because, jeez, we're all in this together and we made it through another year of the shitty president and my ex-girlfriend can stick it anyway and this band is rippin' and d'you wanna maybe make out or sumthin'? Sweet, le'ssgo.
That is equality and love, amateur though it may be. In one moment, with one haphazardly recited midnight countdown, with total strangers kissing poorly, with lousy confetti and an even lousier song, the entire sweet and beautiful world is one. Here is our certain-not-to-be-complete list of places to go and be a part of it. Compiled by Cristina Wilson and Gretchen "7pm" Giles.
Ace-in-the-Hole Pub Ring in the New Year with Free Peoples and the Jug Dealers. Includes buffet dinner, Champagne toast and party favors. 3100 Gravenstein Hwy. N., Sebastopol. 8pm. $30 –$40. 707.829.1101.
Black Rose Irish Pub NYE party with the Spindles. 2074 Armory Drive, Santa Rosa. 8:30pm. $10. 707.546.7673.
Black Cat Bar & Cafe NYE party with the absolute funk of Sistas in the Pit. 10056 Main St., Penngrove. 9pm. $15. 707.793.9480.
Tommy Castro Annual rockin' New Year's bash with balloon drop and white-boy blues master. Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 9pm. $50. 707.765.2121.
Club Yamagata New club wants you to wear boots to this fun party with DJ, food and more. 16225 Main St., Guerneville. 9pm. Free. 707.869.9875.
Johnny Downer Gotta be an upper, right? Guaranteed to be lousy with hipsters, which is always a positive. Sonoma County Golf Park, 1475 W. Sierra Ave., Cotati. 707.795.1760.
Flamingo Lounge Party with Crossfire. 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 9pm. $30. 707.545.8530.
Forestville Club Dance party with the Poyntlyss Sistars. 6250 Front St., Forestville. 9:30pm. Call for price. 707.887.2594.
Jake's Rockabilly party with Buckaroo Bonet. 1030 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 9pm. $15. 707.778.8825.
John Allair Quartet Boogie keyboard master, Van Morrison's two-hand man, takes over swank locale for night of fun. Hotel Healdsburg, 25 Matheson St., Healdsburg. 10pm. Free. 707.431.2800.
Latitude DJ dance party with balloon drop, party favors, appetizers, hip-hop and Top 40. 5000 Roberts Lake Road, Rohnert Park. 8:30pm. $10. 707.588.1800.
Main Street Station Cabaret-style party with Out of the Blue. 16280 Main St., Guerneville. 7pm. $15. 707.869.0501.
Midwinter's Night Masked Ball Dress-up extravaganza features dinner, dancing, Champagne, caviar bar, desserts and more lusciousness. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, 551 Broadway, Sonoma. 8pm. $250. 707.939.SVMA.
Mc T's Bullpen NYE with folk Angelina from 6pm. Champagne at midnight. 16246 First St., Guerneville. 9:30pm. Free. 707.869.3377.
Mother to Mother New Year's party benefit for Sonoma Valley nonprofit looks to be one of the most off-the-cuff and fun party of the night, naturally including burlesque and DJ dance party. Pre-party offers dinner and rock-and-roll bingo with prizes. Andrews Hall, Sonoma Community Center, 276 E Napa St., Sonoma. Pre-party at 7:30pm; dance at 9:30pm. Party, $25 –$30; pre-party, call for info and reservation. 415.250.6534.
Murphy's Irish Pub New Year begins on Irish time at 3pm with Celtic strains of Greenhouse; at 9pm, it's a NorCal New Year with Carrtunes. 464 First St., Sonoma. 707.935.0660.
New Year's Eve Ball Ballroom, Latin and swing dancing plus treats, Champagne and favors. Reservation required. Monroe Dance Hall, 1400 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. 8:30pm. $55; includes appetizers. 707.529.2824.
New Year's Eve Dinner Dance Sons of Italy Petaluma hosts prime rib and ravioli dinner with dancing to Dry Creek Band, continental breakfast after midnight, hats and noisemakers. Reservation required by Dec 27. Petaluma Veterans Center, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma. 6pm. $45. 707.763.4626.
New Year's Eve with Schulz Museum Bring the little ones down to make root beer and party blowers to toast the New Year, plus candy collage and Snoopy crafts. Charles M. Schulz Museum, 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. 10am –3pm. $5 –$8. 707.579.4452.
NYE at Safari West Celebrate this New Year's under the watchful gaze of four-footed animals with dinner and dancing. Advance purchase required. Safari West, 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa. 7:30pm. $80. 707.579.2551.
Papa's Taverna Go Greek for the New Year at riverside party with live music and dancing by Yanni and Yorg. 5688 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma. Dinner, 7pm; music from 8pm. $75, includes meal, Champagne, party favors, music. 707.769.8545.
Pink Elephant Fun and fireworks with the always-rockin' Thugz. 9895 Main St., Monte Rio. 9pm. Free. 707.865.0500.
Russian River Brewing Co. Free grown-up fun with HugeLarge and the Black Sheep Belly Dance troupe. 725 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 8pm. Free; 21 and over only. 707.545.BEER.
Sebastopol Peace Party Dancing, singing, celebrating with artists plus meditation room, intention altar, labyrinth walk and midnight "Imagine" sing-along. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. 7pm. $10 –$20. 707.823.1511.
Sky Lounge Live jazz with the cracklin' sugar of Brulee. 2200 Airport Blvd., Ste. 143, Santa Rosa. 707.542.9400.
Sless, Vega, White, Molo & Thomas
New Year's Eve show benefits Legal Aid of Sonoma County with jams from Barry Sless (David Nelson Band, Phil and friends), Bobby Vega (Tower of Power), Ray White (Frank Zappa), John Molo (Phil and friends, Bruce Hornsby) and JT Thomas (Bruce Hornsby). Ages 18 and over. Odd Fellows Hall, 195 N. Main St. (upstairs), Sebastopol. 9pm. $35; cash only. email@example.com.
Singles New Year's Eve Bash Society of Single Professionals hosts dance party for single adults of all ages. Flamingo Resort Hotel, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 9pm. $20. 415.507.9962.
Spancky's NYE bash with Vanilla Funk. 8201 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati.10pm. Free. 707.664.0169.
Sparkle! New Year's Eve dance party for LGBTQ community and friends with hors d'oeuvres, bubbly and DJ Lori Z. Benefits Positive Images. Come early for three-course dinner. Alice's Restaurant, 101 S. Main St., Sebastopol. Dinner, 8:30 –10pm; party, 9pm –2am. Party, $30 –$35; dinner, $25 –$30. 707.829.3212.
Susan Comstock Swingtet Jazz, Latin, swing, blues, fun. Eat there or just come for the party. French Garden Restaurant, 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $30 –$100. 707.824.2030.
Tradewinds Party with Bobby Young Project. 8210 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. 9:30pm. $25. 707.795.7878.
Twin Oaks Tavern Outnumbered party with bubbly, food, favors and free car rides home for locals. 5745 Old Redwood Hwy., Penngrove. 707.795.5118.
Costume Arts Ball Family-friendly costume party themed for the Roaring Twenties includes jazz band, games, prizes, cabaret and more speakeasy fun. Call for details or to help. Fairfax Pavilion, Elsie Lane, Fairfax. 8pm –1am. $10; kids under six, free. 415.624.3637.
Eat New Orleans dance party with Snakebite and Ninth Ward Millionaires, straight outta the Big Easy. 218 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo. 9:30pm. $20. 415.453.8600.
Finnegan's Marin NYE party at the pub. 877 Grant Ave., Novato. When you show. Free. 415.899.1516.
Fourth Street Tavern Funk it up with Surreal. 711 Fourth St., San Rafael. 9:30pm. $5. 415.456.4828.
New Year's Eve for Kids Optional overnighter for party with face-painting, food, live music, movies and more. Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. From 5pm. 415.830.3615.
Nick's Cove Plan to stay over for this first annual NYE bash, this year featuring the Big Skin Band. 23240 Hwy. 1, Marshall. 8pm. $75, includes prix fixe meal. 415.663.1033.
19 Broadway Club Rockabilly and funk party with Chrome Johnson and Vinyl. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 9pm. $45 –$50. 415.459.1091.
Old Western Saloon Make it a Pt. Reyes night with the Bluebellies. Main Street, Pt. Reyes Station. 9pm. $15 –$20. 415.663.1661.
142's New Year's Eve Bash Send it off right with political satirist Will Durst's Big Fat Year End Kiss Off and dancing to Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88's. 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $60. 415.383.9600.
Peri's Silver Dollar Jeb's Twangin' New Year's Party with party favors, Champagne and actual guaranteed "fun." 29 Broadway, Fairfax. 9:30pm. $15. 415.459.9910.
Rafters Grille The night begins at 7pm with jazz by Robin DuBois; at 10pm, hop it up with the R&B and '70s sound of the Beat Meters. 812 Fourth St., San Rafael. 415.453.4200.
Sabor of Spain Party with About Face while feasting on Spanish treats. 1303 Fourth St., San Rafael. $30 –$45. 415.457.8466.
Spirit Rock Join hosts Wes Nisker and Nina Wise for a New Year's Eve celebration at Spirit Rock, featuring drumming by master percussionist Barbara Borden and dance music by 5Rhythms DJ diva Davida Taurek. Spirit Rock, 5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Woodacre. 8pm. $40 –$80, sliding scale; plus, donation for teachers. 415.488.0164.
Station House Cafe Teja Gerkin plays stunning finger-style guitar in the bar. 11180 State Route 1, Pt. Reyes Station. 6:30pm. Free. 415.663.1515.
Zydeco Flames Red-hot Cajun dance party at the Rancho Nicasio. Town Square, Nicasio. 9pm. $35 –$45. 415.662.2219.
Ana's Cantina Dancing to DJ Miguel. 1205 Main St., St Helena. 707.963.4921.
Calistoga Inn R&B music with Lunatic Fringe. 1250 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga. 9pm. $4. 707.942.4101.
Dance in the New Year Ballroom Dancers Inc. present dance party and buffet with music by Tom Leops Band. Napa Senior Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa. 8pm. $37.50. 707.258.9928.
Downtown Joe's DJ dancing to Top 40 and oldies, as well as balloon drop, dinner specials and more. 9pm. Free. 902 Main St., Napa. 707.258.2337.
Fire & Ice New Year's Eve party starts with four-course dinner and heads to dessert buffet, dancing to Five Point O, midnight Champagne toast and bistro buffet. Culinary Institute of America, 2555 Main St., St. Helena. Two dinner seatings, 6:30pm and 9pm. $195. 707.967.2337.
Hydro Bar & Grill Plans not solidified at press time, but worth taking a peek in. 1403 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga. 707.942.9777.
Masquerade Ball Étoile Restaurant at Domaine Chandon hosts over-the-top New Year's Eve celebration. Dress in masquerade attire and welcome the New Year in a charade. The horn-heavy Blue Moon Band plays Motown, rock and R&B. Domaine Chandon, 1 California Drive, Yountville. 9pm. $275. 800.736.2892.
Napa Valley Wine Train Appetizers, free-flowing wines and jazz music mark reception before boarding train for full dinner. 1275 McKinstry St., Napa. 4:30pm. $200 –$225. 800.427.4124.
New Year's Eve Spectacular Blast out the old year with music by Bell Brothers, SK2, Bill Noteman and Rockets and Bay Area Big Band plus buffet dinner, cocktails, bubbly and party favors. Konocti Harbor Resort, 8727 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville. $250 –$550. 800.660.LAKE.