Stumbling Toward 2006

The biggest, drunkest HOOPLA ever! Happy New Year! I LOVE you guys! FRIDAY, December 30 If you only watch the Rose Parade for the horses, then you won’t want to miss Equefest. Here you can get up close and personal with the riders and beautiful breeds as they rehearse for the big event. You’ll see (and smell) trick horses, trick ropers, the California State Firefighters, Arabians, miniature horses and Wild West Riders, along with lots more. Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 480 Riverside Dr., Burbank; Fri., Dec. 30, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; $8. (626) 795-4171. SATURDAY, December 31 Here we go — our countdown to 2006... The biggest New Year’s Eve bash in town is the six-block-buster known as Giant Village, which also provides an excellent opportunity to ditch your friends and duck into the VIP-heavy Pegasus Lounge. Rock-style bands the Flaming Lips and Death Cab for Cutie play the songs you know. The Black Eyed Peas, the Crystal Method, Christopher Lawrence, Z-Trip, John Digweed, Miguel Migs and Marques Wyatt move your feet and other body parts. Wilshire Blvd. between Grand Ave. and Flower St. (main entrance at Sixth and Hope sts.), downtown; Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-4 a.m.; $65-$80; a portion is donated to charity. If you travel in hipster San Francisco circles, you know the faboo “Sea of Dreams” events put on by Anon Salon. The group is coming to town to turn the already-stunning Los Angeles Theater into Cirk-O-Six, with such burlesque-y troupes as the Buxoticas of Lucha Va Voom, Lucent Dossier and Cirque Berzerk. Los Angeles Theater, 615 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-4 a.m.; $60 in advance. (213) 617-8743 or For that special manufactured Times Square feeling — you know, mobs of people you don’t know blowing noisemakers in your face — Universal CityWalk delivers the madness. If dinner at the Hard Rock Café followed by virtual NASCAR racing sounds good, this is your scene. For CityWalk’s 11th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash, there will be live music by Rocket Science, “an ingenious gathering of supercool science nerds fulfilling their life’s dream of being rock stars,” plus DJs, dancing and a broadcast of the famous Times Square ball drop on the giant AstroVision screen. Warning: Don’t drink and buy Pez dispensers. Universal CityWalk, Universal City; Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.; free (parking $5,000). (818) 622-4455.With eight rooms offering eight different versions of “Auld Lang Syne” — including big band, country, jazz, disco, Latin — surely you’ll find one to suit your style at the Queen Mary. A balloon drop and fireworks ring in 2006. And with so many rooms to explore, this is another good option if you decide to lose your date! Queen Mary, Long Beach, south end of the 710 freeway; Sat., Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m.; $119. (562) 435-3511.This year, Rio comes to Ocean Avenue at Viceroy Santa Monica’s big Carnivale Ball. For $175, you can dance to DJs Vikter Duplaix, Raul Campos and Lars Behrenroth, watch Brazilian dancers the Girls From Ipanema with singer Christiane Callil, drink from the open bar, and indulge in dessert and a champagne toast. For a few more bills, you can have a fancy dinner. And of course, you’ll want to spring for a cabana. Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave.; Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.; $175. (310) 434-2838.Jerry Rubin, L.A.’s peace activist laureate, tells us proudly that his Alliance for Survival has been awarded the “George W. Bush Seal of Disapproval.” Once again, the peaceniks will throw a New Year’s Eve Comedy Bush Bash and Dance Party for Peace. Comics Rick Overton, Charlie Hill and David Zasloff make fun along with Denise Munro Robb, and Playing in Traffic makes the music. Also appearing are performance poet Linda Albertano and “singer-songfighter” Ross Altman. Bring a Republican and get in free (not really). The Church in Ocean Park, 235 S. Hill St., Santa Monica; Sat., Dec. 31, 7 p.m.; $30, includes buffet dinner, champagne & parking (wow!). (310) 399-1000.We know it’s nearly the end of another year when we get our annual call from the charming and excellent annunciator Rick Recht. For 16 years he’s been leading the Welcome in the New Year Hike & Party. No reservations or tuxedo required (unless you really want); just show up with some food to share and maybe a musical instrument. It’s a short walk to the “celebration viewpoint.” There, you can gaze down on the twinkling city lights and decide that next year you’re going to CityWalk. Meet at Chastain Parkway East & Via Las Palmas, Palisades Highlands (north of Pacific Palisades); starts at 10 p.m.; $9. (310) 479-5717. Eat your way to the New Year at DASK Productions New Year’s Eve Ball. This Wolfgang Puck–catered affair boasts a huge array of passed hors d’oeuvres followed by four themed food stations. Your ticket also gets you casino games, burlesque shows, aerialists, fire dancers, fortunetellers, live music, DJs, dancing and tons more. Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, 6801 Hollywood Blvd.; Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; $125. (310) 281-8440. See Dance Clubs picks for louder, even more crowded New Year’s Eve options. SUNDAY, January 1 It’s 2006. Holy fucking shit. Here’s a hangover remedy that works pretty well: Take two to six teaspoonfuls of honey every 20 minutes after waking up. For those of you able to leave the couch today, it’s the first-annual New Year’s Day Resolution Festival. Take part in the 10,000 Steps Walk, Soft Sand Run and Polar Bear Swim. Afterward, there will be motivational speakers, demonstrations and booths brought to you by other people who didn’t drink last night. At 4 p.m., everybody writes their resolutions in the sand. And I think we all know what happens next. Santa Monica Pier; Sun., Jan. 1, 10 a.m.; entry fees $35-$65. (310) 474-4832 or MONDAY, January 2 True story: I camped out in 1982 on Colorado Boulevard to see the annual Rose Parade hosted by the Tournament of Roses. At some ungodly hour, I fell asleep for about 30 minutes, only to be awakened by some guy I didn’t know puking on my sleeping bag. I bolted up immediately to find that several hundred parade-goers had shown up during the previous half hour and had been watching the whole episode. That parade is happening again. This year’s theme is “It’s Magical.” Go to it if you must. Let me know how much fun you have. Colorado Blvd., from Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena; Mon., Jan. 2, 8 a.m. Grandstand tickets: (626) 795-4171. TUESDAY, January 3 Continuing its monopolization of all things New Year’s, Colorado Boulevard is the site of Pasadena Food Bowl. Live music plays while you nibble yummies from 35 Pasadena restaurants. Colorado Blvd., between Pasadena & Fair Oaks aves.; Tues., Jan. 3, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; free. (626) 356-9725. WEDNESDAY, January 4 AFI at ArcLight kicks off its “AFI’s 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes” series with a screening of Gone With the Wind. However, this does not mean you are invited to deliver your most dramatic readings of “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Thanks. ArcLight, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Jan. 4, 8 p.m.; $11. (323) 464-4226. Oh yeah, if you still haven’t had enough of Pasadena, we hear there’s some sort of football game happening. If you don’t have tickets yet, you’re not getting them. But you can tune in to the Rose Bowl on ABC starting at 5 p.m. and then try to figure out whom you hate more, Texas or USC. THURSDAY, January 5 Surely one of these two choices will suffice: There’s a hockey game with the Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Thurs., Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m.; $24.50-$92.50. (213) 480-3232.Or maybe you’d rather attend a reading and signing by celebrity divorce attorney to the stars Stacey D. Phillips, whose Divorce: It’s All About Control: How To Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars may prove enlightening. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thurs., Jan. 5, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110.

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