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Party Night The Last Night Of The Year Is Also The Night When Just About Everyone Howls At The Moon. Here Are Some Top Spots

As unpredictable as a calendar year may be, there are certain days during the year the we know exactly what will transpire.

On Valentine’s Day, people buy flowers. On Halloween, they don costumes. On Christmas, they exchange gifts. And on New Year’s Eve, they party down.

Tuesday - New Year’s Eve - will be no different.

Which reminds me, only three more years until we can “party like it’s 1999.” For now, we’ll just party like it’s 1996.

If you’re planning on hitting the town this New Year’s or are thirsty for some cheap champagne, there are hundreds of celebrations happening in the area. Following is a list of New Year’s Eve parties to help get you started.

Just a reminder: Don’t start off the new year on a bad note by drinking and driving.

The Davenport Hotel has a classy evening planned for New Year’s Eve. The night includes a buffet dinner, a champagne toast and a no-host bar. Cocktails will be served starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for seniors, $45 for all others. The Jim Baker Orchestra and the Big Band Singers will churn out big band music all evening long. You must make advance reservations for admission.

Break out those bell-bottoms kids, the Red Lion City Center is ringing in 1997 with a ‘70s-style disco dance party/laser-light show. Disco and retro-funk band Modernaire Society will lay down the musical foundation. Dinner will be served beforehand. The cost for dinner and dancing is $139 per couple. For the dance party, it’s $75. For reservations, call 455-9600, ext. 4328.

Wonderland Games and Golf is getting into the spirit of it all, hosting a New Year’s Eve party from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door. The price of admission includes free miniature golf, $6 of tokens, prizes, karaoke and pizza for half-price.

For a 16th straight year, the Eastern Washington University Alumni Association will throw a New Year’s Eve Casino Night at the Ridpath Hotel. Just like a true casino, real money will be at stake. You must be 21 to gamble. The gambling will run from 7 p.m. to midnight. Dancing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. will coincide. There is no cover. Proceeds will benefit EWU Alumni Association activities.

The Northern Corner will be rocking out the old and funking in the new with Spokane’s Like Family and Seattle’s space-age funksters the Supersonic Soul Pimps. The champagne will flow around midnight. The cover is $8. Showtime’s at 9 p.m. This will sell out, so get there early.

An all-star lineup of local jazz stalwarts, Pamela McGuire and Jazzmania, will liven up the festivities at Hobart’s Lounge in Cavanaugh’s Fourth Avenue Inn. The band will take the audience on musical voyage, playing “Jazz Through the Decades,” from the roaring ‘20s to the electric ‘90s. The dinner/dancing package is $89.97 per couple. The evening is limited to 50 couples, so make reservations now. Call 838-6101.

The Fort Spokane Brewery has a case of the end-of-the-year blues. And they’re looking for some Spokanites who feel the same way. The brewery’s New Year’s Eve bash will include live music from Nothin’ Personal, an appetizer buffet and champagne. Tickets are $12 and are available at the Fort Spokane Brewery.

Safe Sax will ring in the new year high above Spokane in Ankeny’s, located atop the Ridpath Hotel. The cover is $20 per person. Party favors will be handed out and champagne will be served. The fun starts at 8:30 p.m. Reservations please. Call 838-2711.

Not Guilty, a Top-40 band, will anchor the Shilo Inn’s year-end celebration. The cover is $10, which includes party favors and a champagne toast.

Ugly Rumors in the Mars Hotel, always a hub for night-time fun, has lots in store Tuesday night. First, Mumbo Jumbo will kick out the jams from the elevated stage. The club will have appetizer specials. The blackjack tables will be open all night. And breakfast will be served between 12:30 and 3:30 a.m. Admission is $20.

Fifteen dollars per couple, $9 per single, is what it takes to get into the Ram, 908 N. Howard, New Year’s Eve. The restaurant/bar will likely be at capacity, so buy tickets in advance. Call 326-3745.

If you want to ring in the new year with 500 people or more, Swackhammer’s is your destination. Management recommends an early arrival, between 7 and 8 p.m. The cover is $10 at the door only. DJ Randy Lee will pump out the dance jams. Party favors, champagne and door prizes are also part of the celebration.

Winestein’z has blues musicians Tommy and Vance finishing out the year Tuesday night. There’s no cover. And the music starts at 8 p.m.

At Outback Jack’s, DJ Ryndog will spin the latest dance tunes as well as ones from the venerable ‘80s. The cover is $5. Partying starts at 9 p.m. The cover charge gets you chips, champagne and party favors.

There’s lots brewing at Thudpucker’s on New Year’s Eve. The downtown night-hop will feature live music from Spokane’s Legend, comedy by Bobby D, balloon drops, champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The cover is $10. Get there between 7 and 8 p.m. For reservations, call 747-5577.

Classic rocker Loose Endz will ring in the new year for yet another time at Ripples on the River at Cavanaugh’s River Inn. Festivities kick off at 8 p.m. The cover is $10.

In Idaho

The Wine Cellar has a quiet New Year’s Eve dinner and dance party in store for patrons on Tuesday. The subterranean restaurant will serve a four-course dinner for $50 per couple as well as some golden bubbly. Laffin’ Bones will play unplugged. For reservations, call (208) 664-9463.

If you’re in the Sandpoint area, stop by Eichardt’s Pub and Grill. Blues band Lukelbin is slated to entertain. The cover is $5. The pub’s Belgian-style ales will be on special. Eichardt’s will also be open for dinner.

Best Western Templin’s Resort in Post Falls has a party package for couples. The $65 package includes a salmon/baron of beef dinner in the conference center, dancing to Loose Change, party favors and champagne. Sawtell will be playing in the lounge as well. For reservations, call (208) 773-1611.

Capone’s in Coeur d’Alene promises “fun and frolic” come New Year’s Eve. They’ll be serving a chicken/steak dinner between 7 and 9 p.m. Following that, Last Call will entertain the dance floor, on which there will be a dance contest. The cost for the dinner and party (tax and gratuity included) is $30 per couple or $15 per person. The cover for the party only is $5 per person. Party favors and champagne are also included.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: File illustration by A. Heitner