For many, holiday purchases make a nice budgetary dent. So a New Year’s Eve celebration that’s easier on the wallet may be more palatable during this recession era. Keeping that in mind, we’ve culled together a host of events that are less than $100 per couple.
License to Chill at Sutra Lounge
The nightclub ushers ’09 out and rings in the new with a loose James Bond theme. Guests in cocktail attire saunter past the red and gold curtains and make the most of $5 shaken-not-stirred martinis. Others congregate on the outdoor patio. DJ Solomon kicks things off, and DJ Krillz eventually takes over the decks with a mash of Top 40, dance and hip-hop. Party favors abound, and the first 100 women become honorary new year princesses by scoring complimentary tiaras. An on-the-house champagne toast pours at midnight.
9 p.m. Dec. 31. $20 advance; $30 at the door. 1136 Crescent Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-607-1160, www.sutraloungeatl.com .
New Year’s Eve Bash at Alcove Contemporary Arts Gallery
Artist H.C. Warner helms this art depot and performance spot known for its music-laden openings, including a Snagglepuss performance earlier this month. He’s upping the ante for this end-of-year blowout. Live tunes begin in goth territory (Cinetrope) and adopts a twang (Uncle Daddy & the Kissing Cousins) before wrapping with the Shanghai Gesture’s contemporary take on garage. Award-winning barbecue maestros Smoker & the Bandit handle the food duties. Artful eye-candy provides the decor.
8 p.m. Dec. 31. $30. Alcove Contemporary Arts Gallery, 2852 E. College Ave., Decatur. 404-663-0159, www.alcovearts.com .
ASO New Year’s Eve at Atlanta Symphony Hall
Those looking for an elegant alternative may consider celebrating with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Grammy-winner Sylvia McNair lends her voice as she strolls through the Great American Songbook. “Summertime,” “Sparks and Smoke” and “Georgia on My Mind” are among those on her set list. Michael Krajewski conducts the ASO through a host of classics penned by the likes of Strauss, Rossini, Offenbach and others.
8 p.m. Dec. 31. $30-$68. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-4955, www.atlantasymphony.org .
The Black Lips at The EARL
Local heroes and punk garage rock kings The Black Lips headline this end-of-year bash where the crowd will likely be sweating out the champagne with fist-pumping abandon. The band, currently touring in support of its 2009 release, “200 Million Thousand,” are wrapping a sweet year. The Lips have been rocking international crowds to rousing album cuts such as “Drugs” and “Short Fuse.” The band even made an appearance on the movie soundtrack for “(500) Days of Summer.” Missing Monuments and King Louie One Man Band warm up the crowd. Pre-concert warmups take place in The EARL’s front room restaurant and bar.
9:30 p.m. Dec. 31. $20. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., East Atlanta. 404-522-3950, www.badearl.com .
Sheer Atlanta New Year’s Eve Party at Tavern 99
Indie restaurant consultant Jonathan Sheer hosts several bashes throughout the year, but everything culminates in his New Year’s Eve soiree. This year the playing field is the relatively new Tavern 99, which comes from the same folks behind CosmoLava and McCray’s Tavern. A splash of variety lives behind the bar, with 27 beers on tap. Revelers are likely to fill the place both inside and out, spilling onto the sprawling patio. DJ Madflip juggles wax for dancers. After the corks pop and the bottles are empty, guests can take advantage of the group room rate at the nearby Intercontinental Hotel.
7 p.m. Dec. 31. $20. Tavern 99, 128 East Andrews Drive, Atlanta. 404-835-8311, www.sheeratlanta.com .
New Year’s 2009 Countdown at Eclipse Di Luna Dunwoody
Have the urge to spike your celebration with a shot of international flavor? This event promises a live band dishing out merengue, mambo and salsa. A group of DJs, including DJ Alberto N & Fernando F, spin Latin and international sounds into the evening. Admission includes party favors, a balloon drop and a midnight champagne toast. Guests will be raising their glasses as the ball drops during the live TV simulcast from Manhattan’s Times Square. The best part is if you arrive before 9 p.m., organizers are waiving the cover charge. Folks hungry for dinner should make reservations in advance. Women 18 and older, and men 21 and older are invited.
2009 Jug Drop at Barrow County Museum
This free, family-friendly event takes the party to the street. Live music and dancing get the blood circulating. Food vendors hawk edibles and guests sip on hot chocolate, dubbed Nodoroc Mud, and an apple cider called Wog Nog. Others will be showcasing costumes in the Miss Jug Contest, which features local men in drag getting marks for looks and talent. The winner gets to lower the giant Jug from the hanging tower of the Barrow County Museum. The Jug, Winder’s answer to Atlanta’s Peach Drop, is a nod to Barrow County’s storied history of moonshine and bootleggers. The party’s purpose is to bring attention to the museum.
9 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Barrow County Museum, 74 W. Athens St., Winder. 770-307-1183.
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