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Arts and Entertainment

Here are the best spots to ring in the new year in Anchorage

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: December 28, 2018
  • Published December 27, 2018

Whether you’ve had a great 2018 or can’t wait for the year to end, there will be reason to celebrate on New Year’s Eve. Anchorage has a number of options, from family events like the classic Town Square celebration to a number of venues featuring some of the state’s top musical artists.

Some events are even celebrating Alaskans' sturdy and resilient nature in the wake of last month’s 7.0 earthquake that shook much of Southcentral. We’ve compiled a list for partiers and revelers, whether you’re looking to celebrate 2018 or kiss it goodbye.

Fireworks fill the sky over downtown Anchorage to cap off the New Year's Eve celebration in 2016. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)


Town Square Celebration — Anchorage’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration is a free, family-friendly event in Town Square. The gathering will feature musicians, street performers, food vendors and 3-D light projections. 5-8 p.m. with fireworks scheduled for 8 p.m. Produced by Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. Town Square, Fifth Avenue and E Street.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Eagle River — ACF Church is hosting a free fireworks show for Eagle River at Lions Park. There will be music, food trucks onsite and plenty of warm fire pits to gather around. 6-8 p.m., 18344 Eagle River Road.

Noon Year’s Eve Party — DJ Spencer Lee will turn the Loussac Library into a family-friendly dance club. Attendees can ring in the new year 12 hours early with dancing, snacks, a craft and a balloon drop. 11 a.m., Loussac Library, 3600 Denali St.

Girdwood torchlight parade — Watch skiers and snowboarders at Alyeska Resort carry torches in a procession down the mountain, followed by a fireworks show. Free. The best viewing is at the Daylodge base area. Parade starts at 9 p.m. and fireworks are at 9:30 p.m.

Wasilla fireworks display —This big, bright celebration will be launched from Wonderland Park inside Iditapark in downtown Wasilla. Organizers ask attendees to not bring their pets. 8 p.m.

I Like Robots band members Robb Rood and Greger Wright, in back, and Lisa Ballard, J. J. Tranquilla and Christian “Rick James” Woods, in front, pose for photographs at Williwaw in downtown Anchorage on Jan. 13, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)

Adult options

Neon ’80s New Year’s Eve at Williwaw — I Like Robots, Anchorage’s favorite ’80s band, will help ring in the new year with a dance party that promises to deliver the fun. Show includes free neon bracelets while supplies last, a balloon drop at midnight with a special VIP package available. 21 and over. $15 in advance, $20 day of, $75 VIP. 7 p.m., Williwaw Social, 609 F St.

H3 at Hard Rock Cafe — H3 Hawaii Reggae Band provides the beats to dance to. Cover charge includes complimentary Champagne toast at midnight and party favors. $10. 9 p.m., Hard Rock Cafe, 415 E St.

New Year’s Eve on the rooftop at 49th State Brewing Co. — Party-goers can take in the fireworks at 49th State while enjoying craft beers. There will be beer releases, hot cocoa and cider, cozy blankets, fire pits and a complimentary beer toast at midnight. No cover. Fireworks at 8 p.m. This rooftop party has limited space, so registration is required. 49th State Brewing, 717 W. Third Ave.

“We’re All Shook Up” at Hotel Captain Cook — Billed as Anchorage’s longest-running New Year’s Eve party, the hotel chose the earthquake-related theme to celebrate resilient Alaskans. DJLefty will spin tunes and admission includes a buffet dinner, games, door prizes and a Champagne toast. $75. 8 p.m., Hotel Captain Cook, 939 W. Fifth Ave.

Chill Factor at Humpy’s — Formed in 2003, Chill Factor gained early renown with an all-star lineup of musicians and a local celebrity. Fifteen years later, a new lineup features theater star Regina MacDonald and singer-songwriter Will Johnson. 9:30 p.m., Humpy’s, 610 W. Sixth Ave.

Isaac London of the Blackwater Railroad Company performs at Live After Five in Town Square Park. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)

Blackwater Railroad’s New Year’s Eve benefit concert — Salmonfest Music Series in partnership with Blackwater Railroad Company, the Native Heritage Center and Out North will present a concert to benefit the “Off the Highway Project.” $20 advance/$25 door, VIP $75 or $125 per pair. 8 p.m., Alaska Native Heritage Center, 8800 Heritage Center Drive.

Drag, Dance, Dine at Mad Myrna’s — Music with DJ Lloyds Noize, Texas barbecue from The Back Porch Food Truck and the Friday Night Divas perform the last drag show of the year. $5 cover. 8 p.m., Mad Myrna’s, 530 E. Fifth Ave.

It’s the End of the World Masquerade 2018 7.0 at Koot’s — If you survived the earthquake, Koot’s is offering $400 in cash prizes and music featuring The Stack, DJ Covy, DJ Joe Brady, DJ JoJo. 10 p.m., Chilkoot Charlie’s, 2345 Spenard Road.

Danger Money Band

Danger Money at The Carousel — Danger Money will provide the music and there will be plenty of door prizes, including a signed electric guitar. 9 p.m., The Carousel, 3206 Spenard Road.

Dave & Buster’s — This New Year’s package includes a buffet with Maker’s Mark glazed ribs, rosemary garlic chicken breast and other items. Other perks include two premium drink tickets, $20 power card per guest and unlimited video game play. $75.36 per person. 9 p.m., Dave & Buster’s 800 E Dimond Blvd, Suite 240.

American Legion Spenard Post 28 — Live music from Area 907, door prizes, finger foods, fun and friendship highlight this celebration. Free rides home for those who need it after midnight. American Legion Spenard Post 28, 7001 Brayton Drive.

Electro-Formal NYE — Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the best bass house, breaks and electro-swing music. Concessions available, 17+ alcohol-free event. $15 advance, $20 day of. 10 p.m., Alaska Experience Theatre, 333 W. Fourth Ave.

NYE Dinner and a show with Pamyua at La Potato — Award-winning tribal funk group Pamyua will play a live show at Spenard pop-up restaurant and concert venue La Potato. $80 will get you a coursed meal with drink pairings and a ticket to the show. If you’re interested in the food but want to skip the show, you can dine for $70. Tickets to the show itself are $20. See Facebook for ticket and menu details. 7 p.m., La Potato, 3300 Spenard Road.