Winter White Ball

Velvet does it again

FRI 12/31

"It is not white hair that engenders wisdom," quoth Greek dramatist Menander more than 2,000 New Year's Eves ago. But a white-themed party just may -- or at least it will engender a luxury that soars above the beer-stained proletarian hoedowns. Velvet knows this, so for the ninth straight year, the club (at 1301 Washington Avenue; 314-241-8178 or hosts its New Year's Eve White Ball. Wear white (preferably not that Duke cap or those painter's pants), enjoy two free drinks, raise a glass of Champagne at midnight, and pose along with the laser-light show to the rhythms of Los Angeleno DJ Dave Audé and local DJ Scott McMurray. The opulent ball runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., and tickets are $45 in advance (314-241-2997), $50 at the door and $20 after midnight -- but note that wisdom's price has yet to be named. -- Jason Toon

You're A Star
Harrah's says so

FRI 12/31

New legislation set to take effect in 2005 mandates that every American citizen is entitled to one (1) trip down the red carpet every calendar year. This red-carpet experience is to include at least three (3) celebrities in close proximity. Claim your legal rights now (before everyone else wears a path in the carpet) at Harrah's Casino (777 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights; 314-770-8100), but without the pesky Rivers mother-daughter tag-team. Between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., every partygoer at the Harrah's Goes Hollywood bash gets to enter via red carpet, with celebrity look-alikes Madonna, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe milling about as paparazzi snap your photo. And then begins the gambling, live music and midnight balloon drop (along with a $5.99 midnight buffet). Admission to the party is $10, which is peanuts to a star of your magnitude. -- Paul Friswold

Hairy Mary

SAT 1/1

Attention, all morning-after Technicolor yawners! Go ahead: Feel terrible all day. Sure, you can make yourself suffer less by consuming overly processed grease, taking naps and watching Lifetime movies, but even these activities won't make those aches and pains from drinking too many swigs out of the Champagne bottle go away. However, you of much experience know what will stop the hurt: the hair of the dog that bit you. It's 8 p.m., so get out of your jammies already, and go to Three-1-Three (313 East Main Street, Belleville, Illinois; 618-239-6885 or for their free Hair of the Dog Party -- 75-cent bloody marys await you. And so does relief. -- Alison Sieloff

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