Is it just us, or does New Year's Eve sometimes feel a little like the definition of insanity -- the same thing year after year, over and over and over again? Get dressed up, get hopes up in anticipation, overpay for a ticket to some fancy shindig, then a big letdown when it turns out to be just like any other Friday night of the year. But we keep doing it because, well, maybe this year it'll be different. Break the cycle by trying something new at Grand Center's First Night Saint Louis 2011 celebration
(North Grand and Lindell boulevards; 314-533-1884 or www.firstnightstl.org
), St. Louis alcohol-free, all-ages street party. Performers this year include comic-magician Justin Kredible and the percussion-and-flashlight dancing/drumming of Buckets & Tap Shoes. Loads of other dancers, musicians and comedians perform inside and outside throughout Grand Center, which will be closed to traffic and decorated with an undersea theme. There are also two fireworks displays, one early for the younger, sleepier set (9 p.m.) and another big blast at midnight to ring in the new year. First Night 2011 begins at 6 p.m.; Admission buttons are $4 to $8 in advance, and $5 to $10 at the gate.
Fri., Dec. 31, 2010