Check out some of these hot spots for raising a toast to the New Year.
Want to stay close to home? It’s just a short (slightly more than 3 hours) drive to Asheville, N.C., where the Grove House Entertainment Complex accommodates three venues, including LGBT club Scandals, the complex’s main venue. Scandals has been around for 30 years and is known for its popular drag shows. The other venues are Club Eleven on Grove and the Boiler Room; both will be ringing in 2016 with their own parties. Get access to all parties for $25. Also, this is an 18+ event.
Keep Austin Weird, and queer, y’all. Austin Pride is hosting a Cirque Noir: 2016 New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, including a silent auction and a live feed from the Times Square Ball Drop. There will be aerial performers and a live performance from Crystal Waters.
Minibar, one of Chicago’s most heralded LGBT bars, located in the center of Boystown, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this New Year’s Eve with a night of dancing and dining. DJ Profess will be spinning the beats while revelers enjoy drinks and a buffet dinner; cost is $108.15.
The place to be every New Year’s Eve for a gay ol’ time in the Sunshine State is the infamous Bourbon Street Pub. Thousands of people pack Duval Street to drink, dance and then watch drag queen Sushi, seated in an oversized red stiletto, drop from the New Orleans House as the clock strikes midnight. VIP balcony tickets are available and are fairly close to all the action, but you’ve got to pay $150 for the privilege, and no places are reserved.
Rolling the dice and taking in a show have different meanings on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. The annual Evolve Vegas party, the only gay New Year’s Eve party happening on the Vegas strip, organizes activities, parties and entertainment. This year’s entertainment includes Trixie Mattel from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 7; Scott Nevins from Bravo’s show, “The People’s Couch”; and singer Z Lala. Regular tickets cost $99 and VIP passes are $149.
The “NYE of SIN” party by LEZ Factory and Babeland Sex Toys is a must-go party for women who love women and who love to indulge fantasies. The promoters warn its directive that ladies wear black and show skin will be “strictly enforced.” Hundreds of women are expected at this erotic party inside a bank vault in the Financial District. Tickets range from $35 to more than $500 with bottle service and a table.
Of course, in New York, there’s the Times Square Ball Drop that brings together some 1 million people in Times Square. Get more details on the event at www.timessquarenyc.org/index.aspx
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
Temperatures are hot in the desert and even hotter when men take off their clothes as part of the city’s NYE party, “Stripper Circus La Grande Fete” at the Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club. Make it rain in the arid environment with thousands of other gay men while enjoying plenty of champagne to cool your brow. Twenty-dollar tickets get you into a VIP reception.
Fly to the West Coast and celebrate at a humongous circuit party known as “Colossus.” Featuring DJs Nina Flowers and Twisted Dee, the party will have a balloon drop and confetti storm, champagne toasts, a Red Bull chill/massage room and even a free breakfast. The party doesn’t stop on Jan. 1, though. Make it a three-day weekend and get the New Year off to a festive start at “Mass,” a New Year’s Day party with DJ Phil B, and then visit “Underworld” on Jan. 2 with DJs Cindel and Shawn Perry. One hundred and fifty bucks gets you a three-day pass. Oh, and don’t forget about the entire Castro District—there’s plenty of LGBT clubs and venues for all to rejoice in.
Girls want to have fun, too, and there’s no better place for lesbians and other women who love women to celebrate the New Year than just a 20-minute drive from downtown DC in Falls Church, Virginia. Dubbed “DC’s premier all-female, all-fun party band,” Wicked Jezabel will be playing tunes to groove to at the party, which also benefits military service dogs. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door, and include food and a champagne toast at midnight.