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Downtown Block Party on Dec. 29th Leads Into Fantastic NYE Options

by James J. Jefferies

After Christmas, all eyes look to the end of the year, and everyone is keen to blow off a little steam after a long holiday haul. Downtown Tucson has you covered once again if you are looking to have a big night out to usher in 2017, and it’s far from limited to traditional New Year’s Eve parties. Here’s a rundown of some of our biggest and brightest offerings, beginning first and foremost with the Downtown Block Party!

Downtown Block Party, presented by Barrio Brewing Company, on Toole Ave. between Pennington & Hotel Congress, from 3pm-8pm on Dec. 29th: Live music, food, beer, a Ferris Wheel, carnival games and more await you! This event precedes the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl game on Dec. 30th, and you will see performances from the pep squads and bands from the participating schools (Air Force and South Alabama). Our lovely Downtown merchants will be rolling out the welcome wagon in a variety of awesome ways, so come ready to eat, drink, shop, and have a great time!

Star Wars Night at Tucson Roadrunners VS. San Antonio Rampage, 7:05pm at Tucson Arena on Dec. 30th (+Dec. 31st at 6:05pm): If you haven’t been to a Tucson Roadrunners game yet, you’re missing out on some truly exciting ice hockey action! Our new team, in its inaugural season, exhibits a sense of NHL-level speed and skill, and is truly breathtaking to witness live. And if that wasn’t enough, it is Star Wars Night, so go dressed as your favorite hero or villain from that galaxy far, far away and may the Force be with you! And if Star Wars isn’t your bag, there’s another game, billed as their ‘New Year’s Hockey Eve’, on NYE with some fantastic concessions specials!

New Year’s Eve at Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails, 5:00pm on Dec. 31st: Most foodies in the Old Pueblo are well-acquainted with the culinary prowess of famed Chef Janos Wilder, but if you’re not, there’s no better time to get acquainted! The prix fixe menu is $55.00 for three courses, or $75.00 for four.

Retro Game Show Night: All-Star New Year’s Eve Five Year Anniversary Show at Club Congress, 6:00pm on Dec. 31st: Retro Game Show Night is turning five! Hosted by Tucson’s (and possibly Arizona’s) largest drag queen, RGSN is definitely NOT your grandmother’s game show. At RGSN, you play vintage television game shows with special “celebrity” guests and real contestants from the audience!

New Year’s Eve at Carriage House, 7:00pm on Dec. 31st: A complete five course meal featuring some of Janos’ greatest creations, replete with hors’d’oeuvres, cocktails, dessert, and a sparking wine toast with live music. $150 per person.

Two Steppin’ on Toole: A Country NYE at 191 Toole featuring Drew Cooper, Billy Shaw Jr., & Special Guests, 7:00pm on Dec. 31st: Alec Petford, Caiden Brewer, Jason Curtis, Hosted by Shannon Black of KIIM FM & Jessica Northey from

MANTRA: Glow In The Dark NYE Party with XIXA! At Rialto Theatre, 9:00pm on Dec. 31st: Four years ago, inspired by Peruvian Cumbia, Brian and Gabriel dedicated themselves to the exploration of the hard edge, guitar-driven trippy cumbia known as Chicha. After a few years of playing as Chicha Dust – and becoming one of Tucson’s most popular band – the group renamed itself XIXA and started writing all new material, mixing their rocking past and their passion for psychedelic cumbia – creating a sort of desert rock with a Latin edge and a strong taste for hallucinogenic experimentation.

New Year's Eve Dining & Celebration at Maynards Kitchen, 4:00pm on Dec. 31st: Includes champagne toast, Reserve your party at Maynards Kitchen or at

New Year’s Eve: Old Vegas at Club Congress, 9:00pm on Dec. 31st: Ring-a-ding-ding that New Year’s thing with casino games, swanky cocktails, fabulous showgirls, and live music, with a champagne toast for all! Check out the Hotel Congress website for more details! 

The Morning After: New Year's Day Vegas Buffet, 10:00am-2:00pm on Jan. 1st: The best way to start a New Year is to knock back a mimosa, and enjoy some Vegas-style brunch buffet favorites. Call (520) 622-8848 to make reservations. $45 adults, $18 kids 2 and under free. Check out the Hotel Congress website for more details!