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This Week in Buffalo: New Year's Eve special

Many Buffalonians have already decided how they'll celebrate the close to 2018 and the dawn of 2019. Perhaps more than ever, the event landscape is filled with everything from the traditional downtown ball drop - it's free and doesn't sell out! - to swanky gatherings in Statler City and the Terrace at Delaware Park.

But if you've dawdled or simply want to know what's happening, here are four major gatherings for which there's still space, plus a look at some of The News' stories on this year's New Year's festivities.

Downtown ball drop at Roosevelt Plaza by the Electric Tower, 10 p.m. at Main and Huron streets. Free to attend, and there's free parking in the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramp, the Fernbach Ramp and the Main Place Mall ramp.

It might take a little advanced planning, but enjoying Will Holton, Tommy Z and the All-Star Band, and then the dramatic ball drop and fireworks in front of the glowing Electric Tower at midnight can be fairly stress-free.

Consider the ramps above for parking, or plan an Uber for the evening (be wary of surge pricing during peak hours) or take the metro (above or below ground) to avoid the frustrations of closed-off streets and virtually zero street parking. Music begins at 10 p.m., and Channel 7 will be live on site.

[Photos: Smiles from a previous downtown ball drop | Weather update on potential fireworks cancellation]


First Night Buffalo, 5 to 10 p.m. at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $15 and available at the door; online sales have ended.

Buffalo's premier drug- and alcohol-free New Year's Eve event is open to everyone, with two shows by Jeff Musial: The Animal Guy, a black-light dance party, laser tag, ComedySportz performances and an obstacle course by Hybrid Fitness' Ninja Warrior Academy. That's a load of activity.

The News' Jeff Miers picked out five must-do activities at First Night, and also chronicled the musical history of the 30-year family-friendly event.


Statler City Ice Ball, 7 p.m. at 107 Delaware Ave. Prices vary, from $75 in the Niagara Room to $140 in the Golden Ballroom. Full details may be found here.

Limited tickets remain to any of the five rooms with slightly different New Year's Eve parties, but only the Oriental Room was sold out Monday afternoon.

A section of one table remains in the Golden Ballroom - the most expensive ticket - with additional space in the Terrace Room and the Georgian Ballroom, plus the dance-driven Niagara Room which, at $75, is the cheapest ticket at the Ice Ball. [Update: The Niagara Room has sold out as of 2 p.m. Dec. 31.]

The grandeur of the first two floors of the historic Statler is an elite environment to ring in a new year.


007 Affair in The Terrace at Delaware Park, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 199 Lincoln Parkway. Cost is $100 for an individual, $99 per person in a couple; tickets here.

This Buffalo Rising-presented New Year's Eve event promises action, with a mini casino on site, live music by Carina & the Six-String Preacher, two members of Lady Lush and the Vinyls, plus an open bar and food stations throughout the evening.

DJs Milk and V3rdgo will raise the tempo at 11:30 p.m. As you'd expect from the event theme, James Bond-related attire is encouraged. [Cue music]


Also consider:

Inaugural celebration in Buffalo Grand Hotel
New Year's Eve at the Wurlitzer Building
Transmission Dance Party in Mohawk Place
5 Below party at Poize
Nerds Gone Wild at Stir in Seneca Niagara Casino

Note: Aqueous, playing Town Ballroom for New Year's Eve, sold out well in advance. Read more about the Buffalo band, via Jeff Miers, below.

Aqueous: The biggest band to emerge from Buffalo in 20 years


Read more:

Helium Comedy Club, Angelica Tea Room and more appear in three low-key choices for New Year's Eve, by The News' Francesca Bond.

Buffalo's breweries have not been left out of the New Year's action, either. Brian Campbell rounds up the parties at those venues.


5 events to look forward to this weekend

Rock for the Cure at Tralf Music Hall
DJ Skate at the Ice at Canalside
Queen City Roller Girls begin season at RiverWorks
Westside Tilth Farm at Perks in Horsefeathers
Emo Philips at Helium Comedy Club

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