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Oakland gets ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve with parties and balloon drops

on December 29, 2010

Where do you want to celebrate the New Year’s Eve this Friday? This year Oaklanders don’t have to travel to the other side of the bay to have fun. Take a look at some events highlighted below — maybe there’s one for you.

Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland
11 am, 1 pm and 4 pm

Chabot’s 11th annual Balloon Drop gives families the option to celebrate the New Year with their kids without having them stay up past their bedtimes. The three drop times are 11am, 1pm and 4pm Pacific Standard Time—all times when it’ll be midnight somewhere else on Earth. This year’s celebration will also has an “environmental twist,” said spokesperson Robert Ade. All of the natural latex balloons used will eventually be turned into soil for the center’s gardens. Ade said they’ve always used natural latex balloons but it’s the first time they’re composting them. Space is limited. Click here to check out the latest availability for the balloon drops.

The New Parish
579 18th Street, Oakland
Doors at 8:30 pm

Oakland based hip-hop group The Coup and San Francisco’s Rupa & the April Fishes will join together for New Year’s Eve at downtown Oakland club The New Parish. Boots Riley of The Coup, which released its debut album Kill My Landlord in 1992, is famous for his political views and community activism. Rupa & the April Fishes is known for its international musical styles and multi-lingual lyrics. The host and countdown deliverer of the night will be Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born. Click here to sample the bands’ music videos and learn more about tickets.

The Fox Theatre
1807 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
9 pm


Rock band Primus will continue a two-night stand at the Fox on Friday night. In addition to bass player and lead singer Les Claypool, the show also highlights the return of one of Primus’s original drummers, Jay Lane, who hasn’t played with the band since 1989 and rejoined the group in March 2010. Guests include Les Claypool’s Fancy Brigade and Dead Kenny G’s. Click here for information about tickets.

“HOTBOX: A Formal Affair” at Bench and Bar
510 17th Street, Oakland
9 pm

This special edition of HOTBOX (the club’s regular Friday night party) is thrown in conjunction with Movement Productions, an Oakland-based group specializing in producing events for women; promoters are calling the New Year’s Eve event a “destination party for women, queers, transfolx and our friends.” The event will include a midnight money balloon drop, a complimentary champagne toast, party favors and a chocolate fountain with strawberries. DJs include Al-Lo, Astro, Olga T, Rapture and Val G. Click here to find a pre-sale tickets link and numbers to call.

The USS Hornet Museum
707 W. Hornet Avenue, Pier 3, Alameda
7:30 pm – 1 am

The deck of an aircraft carrier may be a perfect place to dance on New Year’s Eve. A fundraiser party will be held at this national historic landmark, where dance instructor Jim Truesdale will give free lessons. 3 O’Clock Jump, a 16-man swing band, will perform, ringing in the new year for the third year in a row. (Vintage dancing outfits are welcome.) There will also be a silent auction featuring donated items to benefit the museum. Click here for ticket information.

New Year’s Eve Cruises
Berkeley Doubletree Guest Dock & Alameda Port
Times vary

Sipping champagne on a yacht while enjoying the midnight fireworks is another option to wind up your last night of 2010. You can either board a Hornblower yacht in Berkeley or the Cabernet Sauvignon Commodore yacht in the city of Alameda. Both cruises feature a three or four hour trip, food, live music and starry San Francisco Bay views. Two different types of cruises are available from Hornblower, click here to view your choices. For maps and tickets information of Commodore, click here.

Grand 2011 New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at The Marriott Oakland Convention Center
550 10th Street, Oakland
9:00pm – 2 am

The hotel near 10th Street and Broadway will bring you the Grand 2011 New Year’s Eve Extravaganza on Friday night. The party features a midnight champagne toast and balloon drop, but also an “exclusive red carpet entrance” and “special surprise celebrity guests,” in addition to music by deejays Mind Motion and Big Von, according to the promoter’s web site. Click here to find a video of last year’s event at Hilton San Francisco and how to purchase tickets.

Eyes Wide Shut 2010 NYE Masquerade at Mimosa Champagne Lounge
2355 Broadway, Oakland
9:30 pm

A masquerade with strict dress code requires men to suit up and women to wear “seductively sophisticated dresses and heels” on New Year’s Eve, according to the lounge’s website. “If in doubt, absolutely do not wear it…we reserve the right to be selective,” it proclaims. Masks will be provided at the party, which targets young professionals 21 or older, who are “not bound strictly by race, but are instead bound by the socialite lifestyle.” Music by DJ Positively Red. Click here for prices and VIP packages. Limit is 200 attendees.

Know of any other Oakland New Year’s Eve or Day events we missed? Please add them in the comments!

Photo: A previous New Year’s Eve balloon drop at Chabot Space & Science Center. Photo courtesy Chabot.


  1. Samantha on December 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I have been searching for days for something local and inexpensive to do on NYE. Here are some additions for your list that I found in my search:

    Era Art Bar – w/DJ D Sharp (

    The Layover – w/DJ Dennis Yadroff (

    Cafe van Kleef – w/The Lovelight Blues Band (

    The Uptown – w/Comedy, Circus and Variety Acts (

    p.s. That blurb about the event at Mimosa almost made me barf. This is Oakland, not 90210.

    • qtn on December 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

      Oh lord, sorry you barfed! I didn’t know there was a definition of what Oakland is! I must have not gotten that memo in the past 20 years of living by the MacArthur freeway.

      • Samantha on December 31, 2010 at 1:04 pm

        Good point, there is certainly not a definition of what Oakland is. My barfing was more a result of reading this statement, “not bound strictly by race, but are instead bound by the socialite lifestyle.” Which basically says they will not discriminate against race but they will discriminate against class. If you can’t afford to dress like a “socialite” then they won’t let you in. And they are essentially telling women to dress like classy sluts. I just can’t support a business like that, so I won’t 🙂

  2. Larissa on December 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm

  3. […] our listing of local New Year’s Eve celebrations with information about events at Chabot Space & Science Center, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, The […]

  4. Cristina Brightharp on August 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I like this web blog very much, Its a rattling nice spot to read and find information.

  5. Kay Gomez on November 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Hi, if you haven’t heard, Professionals Guild is hosting a New Year’s Eve Party in Oakland Marriott Hotel. We have a Think Different Multi-Cultural Theme Party that has something for everyone. Please visit for details. Thanks!

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