An eclectic mix of parties and other ways to ring in 2006 is planned by local establishments and entertainers, diminishing the need to travel any distance in search of New Year’s fun.
MARINA FIREWORKS — The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors’ annual New Year’s tradition is to shoot off fireworks over the main channel, off the south jetty, in Marina del Rey.
It’s the second fireworks display this month in the Marina, just weeks after the fireworks show at the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. The annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display will start at the 30-second countdown to midnight on Saturday, December 31st.
The display will be viewable throughout the Marina area, but prime viewing locations are at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way; and Fisherman’s Village, at the end of Fiji Way in Marina del Rey, county officials say. There is no charge to view the fireworks from these locations.
Fireworks this year are presented by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, a company that originated in Italy more than 100 years ago.
Information, (310) 305-9548.
SING SHOLOM ALEICHEM — A New Year’s Eve cabaret featuring the most requested songs from Santa Monica Playhouse’s repertoire of Jewish musicals based on the writings of authors Sholom Aleichem, Israel Zangwill and Sholom Asch, is scheduled to be performed at 6 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, December 31st, at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. The cabaret will include a buffet supper, champagne and New Year’s accouterments.
The program will be performed by the Actors’ Repertory Theatre and will feature songs with words and music by Playhouse co-artistic director Evelyn Rudie, multiple gold album composer Ben Weisman, Emery Bernauer and Matt Wrather.
Tickets are $39.50 for the 6 p.m. show and $49.50 for the 9:30 p.m. performance.
Reservations, (310) 394-9779 ext. 1.
NEW YEAR’S BUSH BASH — Activists and others who want their dissatisfaction with the Bush administration to seep into their New Year’s Eve party plans can join longtime Santa Monica peace activist Jerry Rubin as he hosts “The New Year’s Eve Comedy Bush Bash and Dance Party for Peace.”
The New Year’s Eve party, which is a yearly fundraiser for Rubin’s Alliance for Survival peace and environmental group, starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 31st, at The Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica.
The entertainment lineup includes comedians Rick Overton, Charlie Hill, Denise Munro-Robb and David Zasloff; live rock with activist band Playing in Traffic; acoustic folk music with “singer-songfighter” Ross Altman; and performance poetry by Linda Albertano.
The event includes a midnight peace ceremony, a buffet dinner and champagne.
Admission is $30, or $20 for low-income individuals.
Information, (310) 399-1000.
PRE-NEW YEAR’S EVE JAZZ — For those looking to rush into 2006 two nights early, the Billy Mitchell Trio has just the solution. The group will perform at a pre-New Year’s Eve jazz party complete with party hats, streamers and champagne and even culminates with a mock countdown at 10 p.m.
The jazz show starts at 6 p.m.Thursday, December 29th, at The Crowne Plaza, 5985 Century Blvd., Westchester. Tickets are $10.
Information, (310) 642-7500.
MOR BAR DJ/DANCE PARTY — A New Year’s Eve dance party with DJ Stardom spinning hip-hop, funk, house, ’80s pop, rock and R&B, is planned for Saturday, December 31st, at the Mor Bar, 2941 Main St., Santa Monica. A full dinner menu is available until 11 p.m., and then the party turns to the dance floor until 2 a.m.
Tickets are $50 at the door or $35 in advance.
Information, (310) 455-6720.
BREAKESTRA NEW YEAR’S — Hip-hop funk group Breakestra was created by bassist/guitarist/upright cellist/producer Miles Tackett based on the his love of the dusty drum breaks and funky samples he heard in the late 1980s coming from producers such as Paul C., Pete Rock, Large Professor and DJ Premiere. Tackett and Breakestra will lead Santa Monica fans into 2006 with a New Year’s Eve performance on Saturday, December 31st, at the Temple Bar, 1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
Breakestra seeks to bring its listeners those “fantastic breakdowns and classic funk grooves that you can only find while getting your fingers dirty from searching through record bins.”
DJ J-Rocc will also be on board for the Temple Bar New Year’s Eve show.
Information, (310) 393-6611.
RESOLUTION FESTIVAL — Resolution Festival will include a string of fitness and motivational events planned throughout New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, on the Santa Monica Pier, ocean end of Colorado Avenue, and the surrounding area in Santa Monica.
The festival will include a 10,000 Steps Walk, Soft Sand Run and Polar Bear Swim leading up the the New Year/New You Expo, which will feature lectures, demonstrations and product information booths.
Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a ceremony on the Pier’s main stage recognizing athletes from the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Lectures and demonstration will take place on the stage throughout the remainder of the day.
Johnny G, noted for his contributions to the exercise activity “spinning” and named one of the top ten fitness icons by Men’s Fitness, will be a featured motivational speaker. Johnny G is expected to speak about his cardiac rehabilitation following surgery after a virus had taken root in his heart.
At 10 a.m., the 5k soft sand run, led by John Ball on behalf of Team Parkinson, will begin. Ball became a marathon runner after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Running on the beach sand increases the difficulty of the run.
At 10:30 a.m., the 10,000 Steps Walk will begin on Santa Monica Beach south of the pier. The walk is meant to be a family-friendly non-competitive event. It will be led by 92-year-old Ernie Van Leeuwen, who for the past ten years has been the oldest participant in the 26.2 mile Los Angeles Marathon.
The Polar Bear Swim begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be led by the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
At the close of the day participants will write their New Year’s Resolution in the sand.
Entry fees are $35 for the 10,000 Steps Walk; $45 for the Soft Sand Run; and $65 for the Polar Bear Swim; or $85 for the swim and run or walk.
Information, (310) 474-4832.