San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 2013 has entertainment to satisfy celebrants of all types and moods, such as DJ and dance extravaganzas, live music, comedy, cruises, shows suitable for both children and adults, and of course the city's free midnight fireworks show along the Embarcadero. Here are some of the highlights. Keep in mind that major hotels like the W San Francisco, Palace, Westin St. Francis, Mark Hopkins, Hyatt Regency and JW Marriott are each hosting parties, too.
But first: The day before, get some luck and soul-cleansing at the annual New Year bell ringing ceremony at the Asian Art Museum, starting at 11 am on Sunday, December 30 (free with museum admission). Visitors take turns striking the museum’s 16th-century Japanese bronze bell with a log, 108 times in all, which is meant to erase the wrongs and ills of the past year and greet 2013.
Then, on to the December 31 evening events, which are listed below in chronological order. If you'll be drinking, you don't have to drive--see our article on how to get around on New Year's Eve safely and for free.
- Frisco Fred's Holiday Magic and More! Frisco Fred, who does jokes, magic and juggling, hosts a kid-friendly variety show that includes stunts, storytelling and slapstick. Alcove Theater, 414 Mason St., San Francisco 94102, at 7-8:20 pm.
- Not Your Normal New Year’s Eve Comedians Emo Philips and Brent Weinbach, “chamber pop" group Foxtails Brigade and a big balloon drop. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., at 7-10 pm.
- Furthur Features Grateful Dead original members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St., San Francisco, at 7:30 pm.
- John Oliver Oliver, from The Daily Show, performs. Ages 18+. Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., at 7:30 & 10 pm.
- Greg Proops Proops is the creator of "The Smartest Man in the World" podcast. Ages 18+. Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., at 7:30 & 10 pm.
- Kim Nalley The jazz and blues vocalist and her band do two shows; the late show includes a champagne toast, party favors and a post-show buffet. The Rrazz Room, 222 Mason St., San Francisco 94102, at 7:30 & 10:30 pm.
- New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball with the San Francisco Symphony Tunes to mingle by, a concert of Strauss and other waltzes and then more music to dance to, masks, bubbly and dessert. Davies Symphony Hall, Grove Street between Van Ness and Franklin, San Francisco, at 8 pm.
- New Year's Eve Hike Get some great views off of San Francisco's beaten paths, and then watch the midnight fireworks along the waterfront. Organized by Sierra Club's singles group. Meet in front of the Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, at 8 pm.
- Maceo Parker's Funky New Year's Party Funk from a talented saxophonist (who's played with James Brown and Ray Charles) and his band. Yoshi's San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore St., at 8 & 10 pm.
- Cafe Cocomo New Year's Eve Gala Orquesta Borinquen and two DJs keep the dance beat going. Plus party favors, a bubbly toast and balloon drop with cash prizes. Cafe Cocomo, 650 Indiana St., at 8 pm-2 am.
- NYE City Hall Urfriends, White Noize, performers, DJs and painted models take over SF government headquarters for the night. At San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlet Place, San Francisco, at 8 pm-2 am.
- Sea of Dreams NYE: Lunasea A party of music, art and performance that includes Gogol Bordello, Diego's Umbrella, Realistic Orchestra, Vau de Vire Society, DJ Anders Trentemoller, a face paint and air-brush body art station, circus performers and art installations. Ages 18+. SF Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th St., San Francisco 94103, at 8 pm-4 am.
- The Fresh & Onlys The hot San Francisco band and Sonny & The Sunsets, Kelley Stoltz and Extra Classic perform. All ages. The Chapel, 777 Valencia St., San Francisco 94110, at 8:30 pm.
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