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A guide to New Year's Eve 

It's that time of year again, when we adorn ourselves in our most festive, shimmering finery and our most humorously oversized glitter-encrusted novelty glasses and top hats so that we can get gouged on cover charges by industrious promoters who know it's likely their only shot all year at wringing a bit of filthy lucre from all of you 9-to-5 stiffs who only go out once every 365 days. But hey, there's probably a plastic flute full of tepid bubbly in it for you, and if you're lucky, a New Year's kiss from your sweetheart or failing that, a probably harmless stranger. Besides, who cares if the cover charges are a little higher? It's New Year's Eve fer Pete's sake, don't be such a cheapskate. Go out and have some fun and drink some drinks and get all covered in confetti, but just make sure to call a cab or have a designated driver to get you home again.

Here's a rundown of New Year's Eve parties:

If you're looking for a New Year's celebration filled with unbridled rock 'n' roll, Stickyz has your ticket, with Fayetteville's Benjamin del Shreve, Careworn and Belair. It's an 18-and-older show, 9 p.m., $15.

Conway Boyz Productions presents "The Arkansas New Year's Eve Party," including DirtyRob, DJs Aone, Flying Brian, Chucci Da Basegod Tarintino and more, going down at Michelangelo's Italian Ristorante in Conway, 10 p.m., $15.

Over at the White Water Tavern, you can greet 2012 with a big dose of Big Silver, 10 p.m., a very reasonable $5.

Porter's Jazz Cafe hosts a party with the On Call Band, 9 p.m., $35 per person or $65 per couple adv., $40 and $75, respectively, at the door, includes champagne toast, balloon drop and party favors. Or you can reserve a table, $100 for two, $190 for four or $280 for six, includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, appetizer sampler and party favors.

Revolution hosts Fireball 6: The '80s Party, with the final performance from Memphis party band The Venus Mission, 9 p.m., $15.

Flying DD — which bills itself as The Sports Bar with Balls — has a night of raging hard rawk featuring Four on the Floor, 9 p.m., $10, includes champagne toast.

In Hot Springs, Maxine's hosts a diverse musical lineup, with Blue Screen Skyline, From Which We Came, Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth and Stiff Necked Fools, 8 p.m., $10 adv., $12 door.

If you want to catch Nashville-based Cody Belew & The Mercers while they're still in town, get out to Cajun's Wharf. The cover charge includes party favors, an appetizer buffet from 7 p.m. to midnight and a midnight champagne toast, doors open at 7 p.m., $25.

The Afterthought will probably pack the place out with local rock 'n' roll favorites The Goodtime Ramblers, 9 p.m., $20.

At Juanita's, the classic rock- and blues-loving outfit Katmandu plays downstairs, while the upstairs hosts B-Level, doors at 9 p.m., $25 adv., $30 d.o.s.

The Tavern Sports Grill has that most elusive phenomenon: the New Year's Eve party with no cover charge. Includes music from After Eden and drink specials all night, 9 p.m.

Flying Saucer sends 2011 into deep space with Mayday by Midnight, 9 p.m., $25.

Sway hosts "Minutes to Midnight," which boasts a VIP package including complimentary hors d'oeuvres, express red carpet entry and ever-flowing champagne fountains. General admission includes a midnight toast, balloon and confetti drop, laser light show, live video recording, complimentary mix tape and party favors and more, 9 p.m. $15 general entry, $35 for VIP package.

At Cregeen's, greet 2012 with The Fragile Elite, 8 p.m., $10 with champagne toast.

Mojo Music Management presents a jam-tastic New Year's Eve Bash with performances from FreeVerse, Interstate Buffalo and Justin Bank & The Knights of Pulaski at Vino's, 8 p.m., $15-$25.

The Peabody has a giant New Year's Eve concert, with music from Tragikly White, Tyrannosaurus Chicken, Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers, Epiphany and Tomorrow Maybe, Tre' Day, plus DJs g-force and Brandon Peck, 9 p.m., $45 adv., $55 d.o.s. There's also a special Duck Master VIP package available, which includes a four-hour open bar and breakfast snacks for $150 and overnight room packages starting at $230 per couple.

Shooter's Sports Bar & Grill has Mr. Happy, 7 p.m., $10 including a champagne toast.

Reel in 2012 at Denton's Trotline with local country stalwart Ryan Couron, 9 p.m., $25 including a champagne toast.

Discovery Nightclub hosts "Under the Bigtop," featuring DJs Ewell, Jared, Crawley, JMZ Dean, and Mistery, with performers Dominique and others, 9 p.m., $15, includes champagne or well drink of your choice. The club is also giving away a pair of Cotton Bowl tickets.

If you happen to be up in Boone County, you can party like it's 1929 at the Harrison New Year's Eve celebration. The event includes music from The Cate Brothers, food from several area restaurants, dancing, and, for the first time, alcoholic beverages. It's going down at the 1929 Hotel Seville, 9 p.m., $20 single, $30 couple, with hotel packages starting at $235.

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