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Not a moment too soon

Embracing 2018, one party at a time

VamoLá Brazilian Music and Dance. Photo credit:

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It takes a special kind of year to make us nostalgic for 2016. So how do we bid 2017 a proper adieu, given it's impossible to set a trash fire on fire? On calendar milestones like these, it's vital to cut loose and greet the future with optimism and, face it, palpable relief.

We'll rely on Uber to shuttle our intoxicated heinies from hot spot to hotter spot, so let's break this down by city. In Olympia, festivities begin at the State Theater, where Harlequin stages its final performance of The Stardust Christmas Fandango at 7 p.m. (Note: That's an hour earlier than usual.) The Stardust series is the company's recurring tribute to popular music of the past, this year celebrating Latin-American pop-rock of the early 1960s. "We'll be celebrating New Year's at New York time," said actor-dancer Amy Shephard ("Rosalie"), with a "champagne toast and balloon drop."

Or you could skip the theatrics and go straight to one of several Oly bar shows. We recommend Pigs on the Wing, a Pink Floyd cover band at Rhythm & Rye. It's true, cover bands don't enjoy an exalted reputation among bloggers and critics, but we caught the Pigs at their performance of The Wall back in May and were knocked flat (conspicuous dazes, of course, being a notorious byproduct of the Pink Floyd experience). The Pigs' double set should wind up just in time for the champagne toast at midnight. And what better way to welcome 2018 than with a curtain call of "Fearless?"

If a family-style Italian feast sounds enticing -- and we do love an old-school rigatoni Bolognese -- visit Pellegrino's Event Center in Tumwater for their second annual New York New Year's Party, serving up not only a mound of pasta but live music from Tony La Stella & the Goombas. (We assume that's a reference to brown mushrooms from the Super Mario Koopa Troop, not the mild ethnic slur.) This saucy extravaganza gets underway with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. Should you overindulge, mention Pellegrino's at the Tumwater Best Western that night and it'll put you up for a measly 89 bucks.

Tacomans, your party options are equally diverse. Tacoma Comedy Club (933 Market St.) offers Orny Adams, best known for the shows he hosted on Discovery Channel and Travel Channel. The Swiss heralds '80s Invasion, a barrage of radio hits from your dad's high-school years; that's topped by a Fireball toast and, presumably, a round of Zimas at midnight. Gnarly! Or dig, if you will, the picture of Prince cover act Erotic City, strutting its purple stuff at Jazzbones (2803 6th Ave.) at 8:30 p.m. If current top-40's more your jam, head over to Emerald Queen Casino for the cleverly named Notorious 253. Julio, get the stretch!

Of course First Night Tacoma, this year enjoying its silver anniversary, dominates the proceedings around the Theater District. After the "World's Shortest Parade" at 6 p.m., keep an ear out for VamoLá Brazilian Music and Dance, roots revivalist Baby Gramps, Stephanie Anne Johnson & Birds, Seattle Rock Orchestra and over two dozen high-quality acts, all culminating in a dance by Pyrosutra. Hey, there's that fire we needed!

THE STARDUST CHRISTMAS FANDANGO, 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, $25-$49, 360.786.0151,

PIGS ON THE WING, 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia, $12-$15, 360.705.0760

NEW YORK NEW YEAR'S PARTY, 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, Pellegrino's Event Center, 5757 Littlerock Rd. SW, Tumwater, $55, 360.515.0449,

'80s INVASION, 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, $15-$20, 253.572.2821,

FIRST NIGHT TACOMA, 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, 900 Broadway, Tacoma, free - $15, 206.818.8136,

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