Dances, parties, bands abound for all ages to get in a 2012 groove

A preview of area New Year's Eve celebrations

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Options abound for ringing in the new year. And if 2012 is really going to bring the end of the world, as the Mayan calendar and the disaster movie say, we might as well go out with a bang, a band and a pop of the cork or balloon.

You don’t have to go to New York to have a rockin’ eve, although we’re sure plenty of Iowa State fans will flock to Times Square, since they’ll be in town anyway for the Pinstripe Bowl.

Closer to home, you can put on your pinstripe suits and fancy dresses for a free glam dance at the Riverside Casino Event Center, dancing like a star to Orchestra 33.

Blue Band groupies can follow Bob Dorr and the gang to Des Moines for the annual Happy Blue Year bash. What better cure for the holiday blahs than some soul, rockabilly, reggae, Creole and rhythm band blues?

Hypnotist Jim Wand gives you two chances to legally go under the influence or watch your friends fall under his spell, in a Penguins special event at the Clarion Hotel in Cedar Rapids. Shows start at 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Not all the fun happens in the evening, however.

Kids of all ages can revel in several Noon Year’s Eve celebrations, featuring lots of noisemakers, crafts and other fun to burn off those holiday sugar highs.

Check out our lists of events and live music, grab your hat and party like it’s 2012. Because it will be very, very soon.



1400 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids,

The Do’s & The Don’ts: 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., oldies rock ’n’ roll, $20 per person or $160 tables of eight, party favors, champagne at midnight, breakfast; doors open at 7 p.m., public welcome. Reservations by Dec. 27: (319) 395-0109.


801 33rd Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids,

New Year’s Eve Party: Open to public, $19.95 per person, 6 p.m. drinks, 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. dance to the Past Masters, ’60s and ’70s hits. Reservations by Dec. 26: (319) 363-0291.


Hilton Garden Hotel, 8600 Northpark Dr., Johnston,

Bob Dorr & The Blue Band’s annual bash: 7 p.m., $50, seven bands on two stages. Tickets and hotel reservations: (515) 270-8890.


120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City,

Celtic New Year’s Celebration: Wylde Nept, 4 p.m., $10, all ages.

The Diplomats of Solid Sound and Ben Driscoll of The East Side Motors: 8 p.m., jazz, funk, soul, $10, all ages until 10 p.m., then just 21 and older.


Diamond Jo Casino, 301 Bell St., Dubuque,

Dueling Pianos: 8 p.m., featuring a guitarist and drummer, $10 advance, $15 day of show, ages 21 and over; party favors, champagne toast at midnight.


Special event at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, 525 33rd Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Hypnotist Jim Wand: 7:30 p.m., $20; 10 p.m., $25; ages 21 and over. Tickets: (319) 366-8671 or


195 First St. S., Walford,

Dale Thomas Band: 8 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., western swing and dance music, $25 per person, balloon drop at midnight, horns and hats, breakfast buffet at 12:15 a.m. Reservations: (319) 396-4347.


3184 Highway 22, Riverside,

Event Center: The Orchestra 33, 9 p.m. to midnight, swing and funk to Motown and rock, free admission, midnight champagne toast.

Show Lounge Stage: Morning After, 5:30 p.m., ’60s, ’70s and ’80s dance music; Hold On, 9:30 p.m., ’70s and ’80s dance music, free admission

Robert’s New Year’s Eve Buffet: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., $20.11.


First Baptist Church, 1260 29th St., Marion

New Year’s Dance: 9 p.m. to midnight. Rapid Eights Square and Round Dance Club event, open to public.



35 N. Booth St., Dubuque,

New Year’s Eve Family Celebration: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., $20 per family in advance or $25 at the door, includes inflatables, swimming, carnival games, Laser Tag, toddler play land, shuttles to Reflections in the Park, raffle, balloon drop, concessions and more. Registration: (563) 556-3371.


Inside Coral Ridge Mall, Coralville,

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., included with museum admission, $7 ages 1 to 59, $6 ages 60 and older; activities all day, countdown and balloon drop at noon, share your stories of the best thing that happened in 2011 and what you dream for in 2012, make hats and noisemakers.


200 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids

KDAT’s Annual Noon Year’s Eve Party: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (facility open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), $6.50 children, adults free; party favors, DJ dance, crafts, games and contests, door prizes, $1.04 pizza and hot dog special, balloon drop at noon;


Lindale Mall, Lower Level Education Center, Cedar Rapids,

Noon Year’s Eve: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $8 per family, make noisemakers, masks, party hats; also coloring pages, word finds, trivia, demonstrations, face painting, snacks, noon celebration and “Take Flight” traveling exhibit. Reservations required: (319) 363-4629 or

Rockin’ the year away

Your New Year’s Eve guide to live music

McPhisto, Scooters, Highway 151, Anamosa

Slap ’n’ Tickle, Bushwood, 350 Edgewood Rd. NW, CR

Super Size 7, Cedar River Landing, 301 F. Ave. NW, CR

Well Lit, Chrome Horse Saloon, 1202 Third St. SE, CR

Lipstick Slick, Gilligan’s, 912 First Ave. NW, CR

Caustic Vision, Just Jules Pub & Cafe, 835 Center Point Rd. NE, CR

Maas & Faurot, The Londoner, 3225 Center Point Rd. NE, CR

Dogs on Skis, Longbranch, 90 Twixt Town Rd. NE, CR

KantiRocks, Longbranch, 90 Twixt Town Rd. NE, CR

Pat Smith & Richard Wagor Duo, Marriott, 1200 Collins Rd. NE, CR

Black the Sun, Otis’ Tailgators, 3969 Center Point Rd. NE, CR

DJ Rich Rok, Von Marxen, Blue Moose, 211 Iowa Ave., IC

The Fez and OSG, Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St., IC

Eben, Gilbert Street Piano Lounge, 347 S. Gilbert. St., IC

Wylde Nept, The Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., IC

Ben Driscoll, The Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., IC

Diplomats of Solid Sound, The Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., IC

Rumley Brothers, Wildwood, 4919 Walleye Dr. SE, IC

Dead Larry, Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., IC

5 In A Hand, Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., IC

Item 9, Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., IC

Crazy Delicious, Cocktails & Co., 1625 Blairs Ferry Rd., Marion

Flamin’ Cameros, Shuey’s, 1158 Club RD. NE, Shueyville

Terry McCauley, Shooters on Second, 72 Second St. SE, Swisher

Kodiak Flats, General Store Pub, 12612 Stone City Rd., Stone City

The Quarrymen, General Store Pub, 12612 Stone City Rd., Stone City

For more New Year’s Eve entertainment options: 


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