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New Year’s shindigs 

Weekend means many more places to party.

click to enlarge VENUS: (Not in jeans) at Peabody.
  • VENUS: (Not in jeans) at Peabody.

It’s party time, and whether you’re an amateur or not, Little Rock and North Little Rock are planning some big blowouts celebrating the arrival of 2006. Also, with New Year’s Eve on a Saturday, it appears that far more parties have been lined up for Central Arkansas than in past years. Though most clubs, bars and taverns will be holding some sort of party, here’s a list of notable ones:



n The Afterthought jazzes up the New Year with the Smokey Lane Trio as its live entertainment, and a fine-dining buffet. Tickets are $75 per person and include a reserved seat within a more intimate setting. For more information, call 663-1196.



Cajun’s Wharf, 2400 Cantrell Road, will be holding a party with Fayetteville’s Taylor Made as well as modern pop and house party tunes spun by DJ Max. An appetizer buffet, champagne toast and more are offered for $20 a person. For reservations, call 375-5351.



Juanita’s musical entertainment will be Heber Springs pop princes Grand Serenade starting at 9:30 p.m. with champagne toast and party favors. Admission is $10, call 374-3271.



Rock the new year in at Sticky Fingerz with Fayetteville’s B Side, starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $15 (includes favors and champagne toast). Call 372-7707 for reservations.



The White Water Tavern and Vino’s Brewpub will offer the least expensive way to bring in the New Year. The White Water will feature arguably the hardest working jam band in Central Arkansas: Free Verse. Admission is the same as always, $5, and music will start around 9:30 p.m.

Vino’s will have an all-ages “Mad Trucker’s” CD release party featuring Truckenstein-9, Ncahootz, OT from the FYP, Ron Mac and Lil Mac, Dirtbag, DJ G-Force and DJ Counteract. It starts at 8 p.m., and cover is $5.



Nu Cuisine Lounge opens up its VIP lounge for the swells with a pre-party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with special cocktails and the New Year’s party proper from 9 p.m. until the new year. Reserved seating, music by DJs, specialty drinks, desserts and more are included in the price of $150 per person. Rates for reserved tables are also available. For more information, call 378-7500.



Spectators in North Little Rock has music by the Paperboys, champagne, favors, black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year’s for $13 per person/$25 couple. For more information, call 791-0990.



Celebrating the year 2006 with a theme from more than a century ago, the Downtown Dames will hold their 2nd annual Victorian New Year’s Eve Ball at the Women’s City Club. The party, complete with period costumes and musicians, begins at 8 p.m., with instructions to the partygoers on Victorian dance. A celebrity special guest will lead the Grande Marche at 9 p.m. Dance cards, finger food and champagne toast with commemorative crystal flutes are included in the ticket price of $82.50 per person ($165 couple). The best and most authentic Victorian attire will be honored with the titles “King and Queen of the Ball” and will preside at next year’s New Year’s Eve Ball.

For tickets, call 374-7966.



Hotels are offering party and room packages for those who want to get as merry as they want and simply take the elevator home. Here are a few overnight packages:



In West Little Rock, the Embassy Suites parties with the much-favored cover band the Rockets in a party co-sponsored by KKPT-FM, 94.1 “The Point.” A package of heavy hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, morning-after breakfast and hotel stay runs $275 per couple. Party only is $60 per person. For more information call 312-9000.



The Peabody Hotel downtown will have a trio of parties within its walls, with a little bit for everyone, starting at 7 p.m.; ’80s cover band Venus Mission will be upstairs; cool jazz will be offered by Wine and Roses at the lobby bar; DJ Ugly Ed will provide music for those who want to dance in the new year.

Tickets are $40 per person. To reserve, 399-8062.



The Holiday Inn Select on Shackleford plans festivities centered around musical trio Tom, Dick and Larry, with all the New Year’s requisites, room stay and morning breakfast for $130 per couple. For reservations, call 223-3000.



The Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock will host various Clear Channel radio station parties. Packages start at $199 per couple (and go up to $499), and include a guest room, champagne, snacks, T-shirt, and access to two parties: the Rock ’n’ Roll Party hosted by Magic 105 and the Edge and Mix, and the Country Party hosted by KSSN and 106.7 Classic Country. For more information, call 371-9000.

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