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For December 28 through January 4

Get the party started
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of those times when it’s not business as usual. This year the Walton Arts Center has come up with a plan to shorten the week, by starting New Year celebrations early with a New Year’s Eve, Eve party on Saturday night.

New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New Orleans. There will be musical entertainment by the Ben Harris trio and jazz pianist Ada Lee Malone. And Fayetteville’s fun-time party band, Full House will keep the party going until 1 a.m.

A live auction will offer goodies such as a guitar autographed by Vince Gill, a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Dallas Cowboys football tickets, a weekend in New York and a diamond pendant.

The party starts at 8. A $75 all-access pass includes food, beer and wine. 21 and up.

First Night Fayetteville
First Night Fayetteville, the no-alcohol, all ages New Year’s Eve celebration will begin at 6 p.m. at the Fayetteville Town Center. Three time Grammy nominees Trout Fishing in America will take the Town Center stage a 6 p.m. followed by magicians and jugglers who will entertain until 10 p.m. At 7 p.m. the First Night giant puppet parade will circle the Square. An outdoor music stage and indoor stages at businesses near the square will be hopping from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

A highlight of the night will be the 9:30 performance of the Claudia Burson Trio with special guest saxophonist Keefe Jackson at The Cosmopolitan hotel (formerly the Radisson). Jackson left Fayetteville for Chicago a few years ago and released his first album “Ready Everyday” with his band Fast Citizens last month.

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children and free for those under six. Advance tickets at the Northwest Arkansas Mall and Collier’s Drug stores or at 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve at the Town Center. For a complete schedule, go to www.firstnightfayetteville.org.

New Year’s Eve
What are you doing New Year’s Eve? Whether it’s a low-key night of dining out at one of the great local restaurants, dressing up for a masquerade ball, dancing the night away to techno or your favorite band, it’s all happening in NWA.

But, the big show of the holiday season will be happening Saturday night at George’s when the Cate Brothers do a farewell show. The band is taking a break in 2007, so this show is going to be packed. (Their New Year’s Eve show at the Baisn Park Ballroom in Eureka Springs is sold out). The Cate Brothers are some of the nicest guys in the biz, so get out an with them well.

On tap for New Year’s Eve:
DJ’s will be spinning wax at the Common Grounds, Dickson Theater, the Lightbulb Club, Tony C’s off Dickson and the Electric Cowgirl (where there will be a balloon drop with thousands of dollars worth of prizes). Tangerine, near the downtown square, will make you think you’re in a big city with a slate of go-go dancers and female impersonators.

Live music fans can catch the all-star lineup of Wooden Stares, Brighter Later, SilverStone and Hunkr Down at George’s. Also on Dickson Street the amped up bluegrass/alt county Charliehorse will play the Copper Bar at US Pizza. The Green Door on College Avenue and the Ice House in Bentonville will be hosting masquerade balls.

If you want to get a little further out of town, head for Eureka Springs on New Year’s Eve Day. Hummer limousines and folks dressed to the nine generally flood the little art town on the last day of the year. Although some of the more popular hotels are booked, there are still rooms available and at decent prices. And since the town is filled with spas, a spa day might be the thing to do on the last day of 2006. And, a big congratulations to Chris and Su-Lauren who will be tying the knot at the Crescent on New Year’s Eve.

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