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New Year's EVE spreads 3 nights of holiday cheer

By Ladd Brubaker | Posted - Dec. 29, 2011 at 4:52 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — New Year's EVE started Thursday night and will continue for two more days.

The annual downtown Salt Lake City celebration features live music, interactive ice sculptures, laser light shows, karaoke, bounce houses, a Mayan "Temple of Boom" that shoots bursts of flames up to 50 feet into the air, hands- on art, garbage can drumming, a ballroom filled with 2,012 beach balls, a projection show reflecting off the sides of nearby buildings.

New Year's EVE events:
Buy EVE pass for $15
Children under 10 are free

Temple of Boom
W. Temple Music Stage

Dec. 29
  • 6:00 pm - Decay
  • 7:00 pm - Illoom
  • 8:30 pm - EOTO

Dec. 30
  • 6:00 pm - Russ Liquid
  • 7:00 pm - Gladkill
  • 8:00 pm - Sugarpill
  • 9:00 pm - Stephan Jacobs

Dec. 31
  • 6:00 pm - The Map
  • 7:00 pm - Ethics
  • 8:00 pm - Diggabeatz
  • 9:30 pm - Life+
  • 11:00 pm - Muscle Hawk

Reggae Snowsplash
Salt Palace

Dec. 29
  • 6:00 pm - CubWorld & Dook (Indie, Reggae, Pop)
  • 7:00 pm - Smiling Souls (Roots, Rock, Reggae)
  • 8:00 pm - Afro Omega (Roots Reggae, Lovers Rock)
  • 9:00 pm - Two and a Half White Guys (Rockstedy, Ska)
  • 10:00 pm - Sarah B Band (Roots Reggae, Soul)
  • 11:00 pm - Natural Roots (Roots Reggae)

Dec. 30
  • 6:00 pm - Radiata
  • 7:00 pm - Ryan Innes
  • 8:00 pm - Desert Noises
  • 9:00 pm - Burnell Washburn
  • 10:00 pm - Uprok After Party

Dec. 31
  • 6:00 pm - Honest Soul Roots
  • 7:00 pm - Dustin Christensen
  • 8:00 pm - The Last Look
  • 9:00 pm - The Terks
  • 10:00 pm - The Anser
  • 11:00 pm - King Niko

Clark Planetarium
Hansen Dome Theatre Screenings

Dec. 29
  • 5:30 pm - Starry Nights
  • 6:45 pm - Night Vision
Cosmic Light Shows
  • 8:00 pm - U2
  • 9:00 pm - Rock on Demand
  • 10:00 pm - Led Zeppelin

Dec. 30
  • 5:30 pm - Starry Nights
  • 6:45 pm - Starry Nights
Cosmic Light Shows
  • 8:00 pm - U2
  • 9:00 pm - Rock on Demand
  • 10:00 pm - Led Zeppelin
  • 11:00 pm - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

Dec. 31
  • 5:30 pm - Starry Nights
  • 6:45 pm - Night Vision
Cosmic Light Shows
  • 8:00 pm - U2
  • 9:00 pm - Rock on Demand
  • 10:00 pm - Led Zeppelin
  • 11:00 pm - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

And, of course, fireworks just past 11:59:59, on Saturday, Dec. 31.

Organizers of EVE 2012, now in its third year, hope the event has a lot of something for everyone.

"It's a way for people to connect in a very unique way that doesn't happen anywhere else," said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance that organizes the year-end celebration.

The big party could bring 25,000 or more partygoers downtown, he says, up from the 20,000 who attended the past two years, which both faced winter storm warnings.

This year, EVE plays off a couple of themes. One centers on the Mayan calendar-inspired prediction that 2012 brings the end of the world. EVE cheerfully dismisses any impending apocalypse with its slogan: "The End is Just the Beginning."

An outdoor stage plunked down on West Temple is wrapped in canvas, painted with what production manager Eric Leaptrot termed "urban/Mayan fusion graffiti." Five steel barrel fire pots, cut with Mayan-like faces, crown the stage, which will occasionally shoot flames up to 50 feet high.

For three nights, DJ-driven, electronic music will blast from the stage onto a plaza filled with eight giant "interactive" ice sculptures, as well as body-warming fire pits.

Some of the sculptures have facial cutouts, so people can peer out and get their photos snapped as a frozen figure.

From the past two years, organizers learned that in the winter "people like to be inside," Mathis said. So, much of the action unfolds down the first level hall of the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Three giant beavers, the mascots of EVE, overlook the Palace's south lobby. The 25-foot high inflatable figures acquired from the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics emphasize EVE's other focus: community spirit.

"We have sort of this collective memory of the 2002 Olympics and what seemed like a magical time," Mathis said. "We all look back on the Olympics and the feeling people felt walking down the street."

Thursday in the Grand Ballroom, workers with air compressors were filling some 2,012 beach balls. A few of them stand 7-feet high, taking some 45 minutes to fill, one ball-filler said.

Tossing the oversized balls about with complete strangers can bring out community spirit, Mathis said. "This was a huge hit for us last year."

Down the hall in what organizers call the "Crash Box," dozens of steel garbage cans — drumsticks attached — get partygoers into a noisy, end-of-year mood.

"Bouncetown" has dozens of inflatable slides and bounce houses, but not just for kids, organizers say. It's sponsored by Intermountain LiVe, which encourages health and fitness in the new year: "It doesn't matter how you're active, just be active."

An indoor stage, "Bandemonium," serves up everything from reggae to folk, hip-hop, soul, blues, indie rock, classic rock — all starting at 6 p.m.

Also in the mix are light shows at Clark Planetarium; comedy improv at Off Broadway Theater; art shows, free hugs, karaoke and hands-on art at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; music and sing-alongs at Temple Square; as well as films at the museum, planetarium and Broadway Centre Cinemas.

For access to all three nights' events, tickets are $15. Children under 10 are free. Organizers say the event receives half its funding from sponsors, including $33,000 from ZAP, the zoo, arts and parks tax, and the other half from ticket sales.

Email: lbrubaker@desnews.com

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Ladd Brubaker

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