The end of 2011 is drawing near, and with it, apparently, our last full year on this Earth. But worry not, friends. Though the end is nigh, we've got innumerable New Year's Eve festivities to cushion ourselves against impending doom — and whatever it is the Maya predicted will consume us all.
We at the Flyer wish to see all our readers through the fiery apocalypse as safely (or at least as comfortably) as we can, so we've compiled this list of nine survival tips to ensure that you'll be prepared.
Tip #1: Don't forget to stretch.
Only the strong will survive, so stay limber and make sure you're fit to escape whatever chaos the apocalypse has tucked up its sleeve.
And what better way to make sure you're in the fittest of conditions than by running in the 4th Annual DAC Fitness Collierville 10K Relay, which begins in Cox Park at 9 a.m. on New Year's Eve? Runners will have the option to take on the full 10K or split it with a partner. Registration is still open at $25 in advance and $30 the day of the race. All proceeds go to Page Robbins Adult Day Care Center. Call 861-2110 for more information, and visit racesonline.com to register.
For those who would rather be simple spectators to feats of athleticism, check out the AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores. The afternoon begins with a pre-game buffet from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds' Creative Arts Building. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. Visit libertybowl.org for details.
Tip #2: Don't panic on an empty stomach.
Trust me on this one. When the heavens are doing everything in their power to destroy all signs of humanity, the last thing you want to worry about is finding a good steak. So fuel up now while you've got the chance.
Capriccio Grill will host a three-course New Year's Eve dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. The meal costs $70 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and includes admission to the Grand Lobby party. Diners will also have the option to purchase a Peabody New Year's Eve Party Pass for an additional $25 per person. Call 529-4199 for reservations and more information.
In another part of the Peabody ... the New Year's Eve Dinner at Chez Philippe, from 6 to 11 p.m., features a five-course dinner and admission to the Grand Lobby for $135 per person plus tax and gratuity. Diners will also have the option to purchase a New Year's Eve Party Pass. For more information, call 529-4188.
South of Beale is offering a three-course prix fixe meal at $40 a person, champagne included in price. A few of the options include filet mignon, SOB Bar Pie, seared scallops, butterscotch mousse, and chocolate crème brûlée. Call 526-0388 for details.
For a more eccentric take on New Year's Eve dinner, drop into the Spaghetti Warehouse for the Death Du Jour Mystery Theater. Something of a tradition for the downtown eatery, this year's theme is "Putting on the Blitz!" The dinner and show begins at 7:30 p.m. For reservations or more information, call 210-0545.
In Harbor Town, Paulette's has a special four-course New Year's Eve menu. It begins at 5:30 p.m. Call 260-3300 for details and reservations.
Jack Binion's Steakhouse in Horseshoe Casino Tunica will be offering a four-course meal with both wine and champagne for $100 per person. Diners can add a lobster tail to any entrée for an additional $35. For more information, visit horseshoetunica.com and call 800-303-SHOE (7463) for reservations.
Celtic Crossing will host a New Year's Eve Midnight Masquerade. It's $45 per person for champagne and a three-course dinner, which includes a donation to the Memphis Humane Society. They're also offering a sans-dinner "champagne package" for two for $40, which includes a bottle of champagne, appetizer, and donation to the Humane Society. The evening will include party favors, champagne toast, and a balloon drop at midnight. Entertainment provided by DJ Tree starting at 10 p.m. Call 274-5151 to make reservations and for more information.
Tip #3: Stay classy.
We'd like to believe that last impressions are just as important as first, so here are a few elegant options to spend your last hours in decadence.
The Great Hall and Conference Center in Germantown will play host to the Great New Year's Eve Dance, from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and features the Memphis Knights Big Band, hors d'oeuvres, coffee, dessert, and plenty of champagne. Cost is $50 per person. For details, call 751-7661.
The New Year's Eve party in the Grand Ballroom at The Peabody has live music from FreeSol, the Bo-Keys, and DJ Mark Anderson, as well as party favors and a balloon drop at midnight. The party runs from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m., and tickets (for admission and a glass of champagne) are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. They also offer a limited number of VIP Party Passes for $100, which include entry into the New Year's Eve Party's private VIP Lounge, an appetizer buffet, and a split of champagne and a gift from Budweiser of Memphis. For more information, call 529-4000 or visit peabodymemphis.com.
Tip #4: Stock up.
Those of you staying home (and by that, we mean those staying well below the Earth's surface in a jury-rigged underground bunker) should remember to bring plenty of supplies. We're talking bare necessities. Here's a list of some beer and bubbly from the survival experts at Buster's that will see you through the night with the right bottled fortitude.
Five beers worthy of your end-of-the-world celebration:
1) La Fin du Monde by Unibroue. From Quebec, among the highest-rated Belgian-style Tripels with a name that couldn't be more appropriate (French for "The End of the World"), $8.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
2) Hennepin by Ommegang, a Belgian-style Saison from Cooperstown, New York, $11.99 a four-pack.
3) Chimay Grande Reserve, a Trappist-brewed Belgian strong dark ale, $12.99 for a 750 ml bottle or $29.99 for 1.5 L bottle.
4) SteenBrugge Tripel by Brouwerij Palm, $9.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
5) Rodenbach 2009 Vintage Oak Age Ale by Brouwerij Rodenbach, a Flanders Red Ale with a crisp sourness and notes of cherries, $18.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
And the top-five champagnes and sparkling wines:
1) Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, a Spanish Cava, $8.99.
2) Lamberti Prosecco, Italian Prosecco, crisp and elegant, $15.99.
3) Chandon Blanc de Noirs, a California sparkler from the makers of Dom Pérignon, $19.99.
4) Scharffenberger Brut Rosé, from California with hints of strawberry, $19.99.
5) Stella Rosa Imperial Moscato White, sweet bubbly Moscato that's all the rage, $19.99.
Tip #5: Don't forget the children.
For parents who are planning to join in on the inevitable mass hysteria the night will bring, these kid-centric events are perfect for giving the younger generation a fun and safe evening off the streets.
Children's Museum of Memphis will be hosting their ¡Fiesta de Año Nuevo! from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event, with a Latin American twist, will feature a dance party, crafts, door prizes, face painting, and balloon art. For more information, call 458-2678.
For an overnight experience, check out the New Year's Eve Snooze at the Memphis Zoo from 7 p.m. until 9 a.m. Includes a sleepover in the zoo, a moonlight safari, chances to meet some of the more cuddly animals up close, and plenty of fun games and crafts. Cost includes pizza dinner, an evening snack, breakfast, a Zoo Snooze T-shirt, and admission to the zoo the next morning. For more information, call 333-6765.
Tip #6: Rock on!
Turn up the volume, and go out with a bang:
Young Avenue Deli: Minivan Blues Band and Copper Possum, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 278-0034.
Buccaneer Lounge: Subteens, 11 p.m. Call 278-0909.
Hadley's Pub: New Year's Eve Party with Jonez'n, 9 p.m. Call 266-5006.
Kudzu's: The Sin City Scoundrels, Los Psychosis, and Chinese Connection Dub Embassy. $5 cover includes a "Champagne of Beer" toast at midnight. Doors open at 7 p.m. Call 525-4924 for details.
Hi-Tone: Jack O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers with River City Tanlines and Limes for $7. Show begins at 9 p.m. Call 278-8663.
Blues City Cafe: Greg Hardy and the Memphis 2 at noon, Brad Birkendahl and the Burnin' Love Band at 5:30 p.m., Stunning Cunning Band at 9:30 p.m., and DJ G'REG at 1:30 am. Call 526-3637.
The Cove: Hope Clayburn's Soul Scrimmage at 10 p.m. Call 730-0719.
Old Whitten Tavern: singer/songwriter duo Susie and Bob Salley, 9 p.m. Call 379-1965.
Huey's will be hosting a number of events to celebrate New Year's. The Ghost Town Blues Band will be playing at the Cordova location (754-3885), the Mud Flaps will be playing the Midtown location (726-4372), Beat Generation will play the Poplar location (682-7729), and Nite Life will play the Southwind location (624-8911). All bands will play from 9 p.m. through 12:30 a.m.
Tip #7: There's safety in numbers.
When nature finally turns against us, your best bet for survival when out in the open is large groups. Beale Street, then, should be just the place to be when things gets real.
New Year's Eve on Beale will include free live music in Handy Park and the traditional midnight guitar drop at the Hard Rock Cafe. On top of that, there are a number of shows to be seen along Beale throughout the evening:
Rum Boogie Cafe: Patrick Dodd Trio from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and James Govan & the Boogie Blues Band from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 528-0150 for details.
Blues Hall: Juke Joint All Stars play from 3 to 7 p.m., and The Memphis Bluesmasters from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Call 528-0150.
King's Palace Cafe: Eric Hughes Band, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call 521-1851.
Beale St. Tap Room: Plantation All Stars, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 527-4392.
If you happen to venture out from Beale, make your way to one of these designated shelters:
Southland Park will be hosting their Big Top Bash 4 with entertainment by DJ Crumbz. This free circus-esque New Year's Eve bash will include enough carnival rides, games, and numerous champagne stations to see you through the new year. Festivities begin at 8 p.m. and run until 1 a.m. For more information, call 800-467-6182 or visit southlandpark.com.
For a Memphis-Canadian take on the New Year's Eve bash, check out Kooky Canuck. The party begins at 9 p.m. with $2 glasses of champagne and $3 34-ounce Bud Lights throughout the evening. And best of all, there's no cover. Call 578-9800 for details.
Flying Saucer Downtown will feature music from Cover Shot, $10 for UFO members, $15 for nonmembers. Includes free party favors and a toast at midnight. Call 523-7468. At the Cordova location, stop by to see some live music featuring Impeccable Miscreants and join in on the champagne toast at midnight for a $5 cover. Call 755-5530.
Tip #8: Throw caution to the wind.
While preparing for the worst, it can't hurt in these, our last hours on Earth, to really enjoy ourselves. Life has never been shorter, so why not indulge in these all-inclusive New Year's Eve celebrations?
At Horseshoe Tunica, there will be live music Terry Mike Jeffrey, Rob & the Rage, and the Soul Shockers and Las Vegas Showgirls on the casino floor throughout the night. Includes complimentary party favors. Call 800-303-7463 or visit horseshoetunica.com.
Tunica Roadhouse will feature live music from Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers. For more information, call 800-391-3777 or visit tunica-roadhouse.com.
At Harrah's Tunica, it's CIROC du Night with video DJ Ben Cohen and acrobats, aerial artists, and fire performers. The party's from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a free champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $20 through Ticketmaster and $35 at the door. For details, call 800-949-4949 or visit harrahstunica.com.
Sam's Town's New Year's bash will include live music from Brian McComas and Bobby Marquez as well as complimentary party favors, a champagne toast, and a balloon drop at midnight. Call 800-456-0711 for more details.
Gold Strike will end the year with a champagne toast. Almost Famous and Gabby Johnson will provide the entertainment. Call 888-245-7529 for more information.
Tip #9: Survive.
Wake up on New Year's Day 2012 remembering that the end of the world isn't actually scheduled until some time next December, and besides, it's all pretty absurd anyway.
So sit back and sigh your sigh of relief while celebrating the new year and renewed life with some brunch.
Majestic New Year's Day Brunch at The Majestic Grille is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 522-8555.
New Year's Day Brunch at the Beauty Shop is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information or to make your reservations, call 272-7111.