A Few of Our Favorite Things

With so many options, how do you know where to go? Use our quick-pick guide.

1. Downtown Denver New Year's Eve Fireworks: No matter what you do with the rest of your evening, be sure you're in the vicinity of the 16th Street Mall at either 10 p.m. or the stroke of midnight, when Denver's nippy skies will be bursting with fabulous displays of pyro power choreographed to festive music. Organizers are expecting more than 100,000 people to crowd the mall from Wynkoop Street to Broadway, making downtown the place to be this New Year¹s Eve. And its absolutely free. 16th Street Mall, 303-478-7878, www.downtowndenver.com.

2. Sinncity 2003: If you're hoping for a different kind of fireworks on December 31, Club Pure's Sinncity 2003 has got your number. With a slogan like ³Ring in the New Year With an Orgasm,² you know the night will be be naughty...and nice. The celebration includes foot and body worship, ³Euro bondage,² fashion shows, DJs, contests, edible boys and girls (you have to see them), and a midnight champagne toast -- complete with strawberries and whipped cream, of course. Club Pure, 2637 Welton Street, $22.50 in advance/$30 at the door, www.afterdarkkmedia.com. Purchase advance tickets at FashioNation, 613 East 13th Street.

3. Mercury Cafe's Erotic Poetry Festival: Looking for something sexy, but not quite as, say, interactive as Sinncity 2003? Then get your mojo on with the spoken word. Starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Merc, twenty poets will read for two hours, covering all things erotic. The readings will be accompanied by tribal belly dancing, but don't expect any glizty Vegas gals: These ladies are the earthy, sensual type. Afterward, you can lindy-hop or jitterbug the new year in with the David Booker Swingtet or the Dinnermints, then tango with Extasis at 1 a.m. The fabulous Mercury kitchen will be serving until 12:30 a.m. Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, $5 for the poets/$25 for the evening, 303-294-9281, www.mercurycafe.com.

4. Vince Morris at the Comedy Works: Comedian Vince Morris, fresh from BET's Comic View, is sure to have the bubbly coming out of your nose before the evening's through. Morris will pack ¹em in for three New Year's Eve shows (6, 8 and 10 p.m.) at the Comedy Works. Hit the last performance for party favors, midnight buffet and complimentary champagne toast. Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street, $20 to $60, 303-595-3637 for reservations.

5. Fadó: Maybe you have an early skydiving trip or yoga class, or maybe you¹re trying to start out the new year with some (relatively) clean living. Or maybe you're just old. Whatever your reasons for planning an early celebration this New Year' Eve, head to Fadó, a pub that takes its Irish roots seriously. There¹ll be a champagne toast at 5 p.m., which is midnight in Ireland, and then again at 12 for those still tying one on (oh, so that's why you wanted to get an early start). Irish rockers the Indulgers hit the stage at 8:30. Fadó, 1735 19th Street, 303-297-0066.

6. Soiled Dove: If you're lookin' for a little hip-hop, the Dove has your Yo, Flaco!, with DJ Minezai spinning between sets. What could be better than rockin¹ your New Year's Eve away in a former house of ill repute? Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 9, with complimentary party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Soiled Dove, 1949 Market Street, $20, 303-299-0100.

7. Paramount Theatre: For a truly down-home celebration, get thee to the Paramount for the Yonder Mountain String Band New Year¹s Eve Extravaganza. Catch Colorado's favorite jam-grass band and Nederland sons starting at 8 p.m. The quartet will pick in the new year along with Cosmic Bowling League. Tie-dye and dreadlocks are optional at this all-ages show. Paramount Theatre, 1631 Glenarm Place, $29.50, 303-830-TIXS.

8. Fox Theatre: Okay, so it' not downtown Denver -- but it's definitely a can't-miss. The North Mississippi Allstars, who've been known to play tub bass, washboard guitar and kazoo, will entertain revelers at Boulder's Fox Theatre. As teenagers, these Southern alternative boys recorded with Mojo Nixon, and Nick Tosches says their records are like a ³water moccasin going down the spine.² Is there any higher praise? If you're lucky, the 'stars may even whip out their infamous moonshine whiskey and goat sandwiches. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street, Boulder, $30, 303-443-3399, www.foxtheater.com.

 
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