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Should old acquaintance be forgot, it’s easy enough to spend New Year’s Eve with new friends instead.

Whether your goal is a low-key celebration set to the sounds of cool jazz, a sweating hot dance party, or a massive outdoor event with as much overstimulation as anyone could want, Richmond has plenty of ways to ring in 2023, which take place this year on a Saturday night.

And for those who consider New Year’s Eve “amateur night,” Richmond’s annual Kwanzaa Festival is Friday, Dec. 30 (see final entry) and offers a more cultural way to celebrate the year’s end.

But first, here are some Saturday, Dec. 31 events in Richmond:

Kick off 2023 costumed and/or masked at the Hof New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball. The multi-level building lends itself to multiple experiences, so check out DJ 2Hype MC in the Loft venue and DJ Trapp in the Taproom. Admission includes two drink tickets -you can always buy more if you’ve got a designated driver or plan to use Uber- the requisite midnight champagne toast, a masquerade mask should you need one, hors d’oeuvres by Grazing Crazy and a midnight balloon drop in the Hof Loft. Meanwhile, you can cheese it up in the 360 Photo Booth if you’re willing to have evidence of the evening.

The New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball is held from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Hof, 2818 W. Broad St. and tickets are available here.

Hardywood Richmond is serving up a Bubbly & Brews NYE Bash and yes, Virginia, the behemoth of RVA’s beer scene will be serving a midnight bubbly toast. You can count on DJ OlNuBi to entertain from 7 to 9:30 p.m., at which point J Tucker and The Krewe will move the crowd into dance mode with their repertoire of funk, Motown, pop, soul, classic rock, Go-Go and R&B. Your admission ticket gets you not only your choice of a drink, one of their beers, a non-alcoholic beverage, wine, cider, or a specialty cocktail, but also heavy hors d’oeuvres and select pizza offerings, with gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options available. The non-drinker ticket includes one non-alcoholic beverage and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The Bubbly & Brews NYE Bash is held from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2410 Ownby Lane. Tickets are available here.

Acolytes of Latin and disco, don your polyester and platform shoes for the NYE Fiesta at Havana ’59. You’ll be able to say good-bye to 2022 and welcome 2023, mojito in hand. This year’s theme is “Glam Disco,” so get ready to relive the ‘70s with the glitz and syncopated bass lines of disco. And because this is Havana ’59, the evening will be a Latin-based, disco dance party, so you can count on dancing to salsa, merengue, and bachata, along with Donna Summer and Barry White.

The NYE Fiesta is held from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Havana ’59, 16 N. 17th Street, and tickets are available here.

Party Liberation Front’s Decemberween NYE is a two-fer celebration since last year’s event had to be postponed due to Covid. Outdoors, you can count on close to 20 sound stage artists, art installations, fire spinners, aerialists, fusion dancers, burlesque, and live painting, while inside is the immersive Cat’baret Room with a variety of performances held every half hour. All attendees must bring ID and a mask to wear indoors. PLF recommends taking a test before the event, and staying home if you’re not well or there’s any chance you have COVID or any other infectious illness. All 2022 tickets will be honored.

The Decemberween New Year’s Eve party will be held from 8 p.m. – 4 a.m. (last call 1:30 a.m.) at Diversity Thrift, 1407 Sherwood Ave., and tickets are available here.

If you’re in a fancy mood, Quirk Hotel’s A Black-Tie New Year’s Eve is the way to go. Quirk’s Lobby Bar is the setting for an elegant evening with an array of culinary stations from hors d’oeuvres to desserts, along with wine and cocktail tasting stations and, just to keep it traditional, a balloon drop and midnight toast. For entertainment, there’s nothing quite like the ever-changing and colorful views of street theater along Broad and Jefferson Streets. Plus, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a New Year’s Eve soiree with plenty of beds upstairs, so if you’re planning to over-indulge, you may want to score a room along with an admission ticket.

A Black-Tie New Year’s Eve will be held from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Quirk Hotel, 201 W. Broad St. and tickets are available here.

Mellow merrymakers, take note of Gallery 5’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. You’ll ring in the New Year with an evening of jazz by the Ayinde Williams Trio, along with a special musical performance by Classical Revolution RVA featuring Ms. Jaylin Brown. With an art show on the walls, plenty of photo ops, drink specials – yes, you can count on a bubbly toast at midnight – and local snacks, it promises to be a solid celebration at one of RVA’s most iconic spaces for ushering in 2023. Best of all, you can pick how you want to party and buy your tickets accordingly: Four-top tables, two-top tables and general admission tickets are all available.

A New Year’s Eve Celebration at Gallery5 is held from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. at 200 W. Marshall St. and tickets are available here.

click to enlarge
Candle lighting at the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival.

  • Candle lighting at the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival.

On Friday, Dec. 30:

The 2022 Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, hosted by the Elegba Folklore Society since 1990, takes place Dec. 30. Kwanzaa, a Pan-African holiday of unity, strength, clarity, and solidarity based on reconnection with essential African value systems, is celebrated with music, dance and speakers seeking to strengthen families and galvanize community. The African Market offers food and shopping while the stage offers music and dancing. Children are invited to Watoto Kwanzaa, and the ongoing workshops called the Nia Sessions engage holiday reflections in this nationally recognized observance of the Kwanzaa holiday. This year, the festival welcomes Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa, as the Keynote Speaker to talk about Kwanzaa, culture, and the practice of freedom. The year-end Kwanzaa holiday is the largest of its kind in Virginia and represents a cultural affirmation of values, thanksgiving, and growth.

The 2022 Capital City Kwanzaa Festival will be held on Friday, Dec. 30 from 5 – 10 p.m. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. Third St.

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