Where to celebrate New Year's Eve 2021

Find a fun way to ring in 2022 with these greater Spokane area events

click to enlarge Ring in the New Year with fireworks over Lake Coeur d'Alene. - COEUR D'ALENE RESORT PHOTO
Coeur d'Alene Resort photo
Ring in the New Year with fireworks over Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Let’s be frank: 2020 was the worst New Year’s Eve ever. Sure, it was nice to have 2020 in the rearview, but it still wasn’t a time of joyous gathering as much a solitary reflection. With COVID variants still lingering, we're not totally in the clear this rotation around the sun, but if you feel like risking it, there are plenty of options to celebrate turning our calendars over to 2022.

Here are some of the entertaining options for New Year's Eve 2021 in Spokane and the surrounding area.

EVENTS

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Riverfront
Bundle up for a chilly Northwest night outdoors, or find a good, out-of-the-way parking spot and sip a hot drink in the heated comfort of the car while taking in some of the region’s New Year’s Eve fireworks displays. Riverfront Park’s sparkly transition into 2022 happens early, at 9 pm, making it ideal for families who prefer to get home to beat the midnight rush and even get to bed early. Riverfront Park, 9pm, Free

Lake Coeur d'Alene Fireworks
The Coeur d'Alene Golf & Spa Resort's Midnight Masquerade might be sold out, but that doesn't mean you can't mooch off their signature NYE fireworks display. There is an early fireworks show at 9 pm as well as a traditional midnight display. A ticketed, formal masquerade for adults at the resort kicks off at 6 pm, but fireworks are viewable to all from many vantage points across the Lake City. Just find yourself a good spot along the shore and set your eyes to the lake's north end for the resort's two shows. Lake Coeur d'Alene, 9pm & Midnight, Free


Coeur d'Alene on Ice: New Year’s Skate Session
If you’re looking for an exciting way to ring in the new year, step onto the ice and skate your way into 2022 at CDA On Ice this New Year’s Eve. Along with this special two-hour skate session, guests will also have an incredible view of the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s two fireworks shows at 9 pm and midnight. This NYE celebration includes a live DJ, two fire pits for warmth, family-friendly games throughout the night and furnished igloos that are available to reserve during the skate session. Weather permitting, a balloon drop over the ice happens when the clock strikes midnight, with complimentary sparkling apple cider for all guests to toast in the new year. McEuen Park, 10:15pm, $25

JOYA-E New Year’s Eve Buddhist Service
If you're looking for a spiritual way to literally ring in the new year, the Spokane Buddhist Temple has you covered. Their New Year's Eve services feature “Joya no Kane” (“bell of the last night”) where attendees will join in to ring the Kansho bell a total of 108 times, to symbolically ring away the 108 passions which inflict people. Spokane Buddhist Temple, 5:30pm & 6:30pm, Free (reservation required)

CONCERTS

Spokane Symphony New Year's Eve: Beethoven's Ninth
In Spokane, performing Beethoven’s Ninth as one year yields to the next is a tradition that dates back to the arrival of Spokane Symphony Music Director James Lowe’s predecessor, Eckart Preu, who himself imported the tradition from his native Germany. There, as well as in Japan, New Year’s Eve performances of the Ninth Symphony have been common since around the time of World War I, largely because of the work’s sense of uplift and renewal rather than its ease of execution. “It’s a wonderful choice of music to perform at this time of year because it ends with this astonishing message of hope and unity,” Lowe reflects. “It’s not just about this hope for a great future. It’s also a piece that talks about when we all unite together, we can really experience joy and move humanity forward.” Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 7:30pm, $18-$62

Kadabra, The Smokes, Twin Void
Rocking around the clock always makes the most sense at a New Year’s Eve concert, as our eyes are already glued to midnight’s approach. With that in mind, the Big Dipper is the place to be this 31st to take in a great local rock lineup. Kadabra caps a big 2021 — which saw the trio put out its debut LP, Ultra — with a set of heavy, fuzz stoner rock that’s sure to get headbanger hair flowing. The Smokes, who have a new album in the works for 2022, always blend bitingly sarcastic social commentary with their brand of garage punk. Rounding out the bill, Twin Void mixes crunchy metal riffs with psychedelic vocal howls. The Big Dipper, 7:30pm, $10-$15

Lucky You's New Year's Eve Party: Blake Braley, The Desperate 8's, Storme
Blake Braley believes it’s gonna get better, and we believe him, too. Listening to his soulful, body-swaying sound is just what the doctor ordered to end a tumultuous 2021. Blending the vocal style of legendary R&B singer Sam Cooke and some of Curtis Mayfield’s funkified groove, Braley is bringin’ music from the heart. Join him and Zola’s Friday night house band, the Desperate 8s (for whom Braley also plays piano), on New Year’s Eve at Lucky You. Order some eats, have some drinks, snap a few keepsake photos at Electric Photoland’s fun little booth, and sit back (or stand) as you usher in a (hopefully) groovy new year. Lucky You Lounge, 9pm, $20


New Year's Eve MASKuerade Bash with MasterClass Big Band
Put a sophisticated swing into the last night of 2021 at the Knitting Factory by hitting the dance floor to the big band sounds of MasterClass. There will also be prizes for attendees with the best-decorated masquerade masks. Blues-rock band Bobby Patterson and the Two Tones kick off the evening's festivities. Knitting Factory, 9pm, $35-$100

Stagecoast West
For an all-in-one night of music and food, the Spokane Valley Eagles Club brings in local five-piece Stagecoast West to play a mix of country, pop, and rock. Spokane Valley Eagles Club, 8pm, $50

Theresa Edwards Band
The north Spokane Fraternal Order of Eagles HQ hosts a night of dancing to the classic rock covers of Theresa Edwards Band. A $55 ticket also includes a dinner of prime rib or chicken and a glass of champagne for toasting. Spokane Eagles Aerie 2, 6pm, $35-$55

Got '90s?
If you're more interested in looking back than looking forward when a new year comes around, then check out the nostalgic pop tunes of cover band Got '90s?. Coeur d’Alene Casino NightHawk Lounge, 9pm, Free

Desert Highway Band
If you find yourself on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille on Friday night, hop over to JD's Pub & Grill in Bayview to take in the dusty '70s rock sound of Desert Highway Band. JD's Pub & Grill, 9pm, Free


Dirty Betty
Just north of Coeur d'Alene in Hayden, Razzle's Bar and Grill hosts Dirty Betty, who'll give 'em the old razzle dazzle via an array of classic rock favorites. Razzle's Bar and Grill, 9pm, Free

Pastiche
Zola's New Year's Eve bash features the funky grooves of local cover band Pastiche playing hits spanning from the '70s to now. Zola, 7pm, $15

Party in the Pavilion: Soul Proprietor, The Sara Brown Band
If you're feeling lucky on NYE, why not swing by the Northern Quest Casino and Resort to put a little money on 22 on the roulette table. Make sure to save at least $20, because you'll need it to attend the evening's "Party in the Pavilion" concert featuring brassy 10-piece urban soul act Soul Proprietor and the retro stylings of Idaho's The Sara Brown Band. Northern Quest Casino and Resort, 7:30pm, $20


3 WayStreet
If you happen to trek up north for some reason on the 31st, swing by Cahoots in Coville to listen to 3 WayStreet play some rock and country covers. Cahoots, 8:15pm, Free

Ridler's Dueling Pianos, Just Plain Darin
There's always a festive environment on Friday nights at The Ridler Piano Bar thanks to their dueling piano entertainment, but the excitement is sure to be kicked up a level for NYE. The ever-busy local troubadour Just Plain Darin will warm up the live crowd. The Ridler Piano Bar, 7pm

PARTIES

Hub City Entertainment's New Year's Eve
If you're looking for a party with a hip-hop flavor, Hub City Entertainment has you covered. The organization's bash at The Roxie features music from RJmrLA, free food and non-alcoholic beverages, and a twerk contest with a $400 prize. The Roxie, 8pm, $45-$75

North Idaho BATAA Masquerade Ball
Right across the Idaho border, the BATAA Masquerade Ball offers a one-stop party. The night's festivities include live music from Rich's Rhythms, an action of eligible bachelors, prizes for best dressed, brisket and appetizers, a photobooth, and more. Cruisers Bar & Grill, 8pm, $20-$90

Schweitzer's New Year's Eve
While the top priority for skiers and snowboarders on Friday will be hitting the slopes, they'll still need something to do after the lifts stop running. Schweitzer gives said snow-dwellers an option with their NYE party at Taps Bar. In addition to snacks, party favors, and the obligatory toasting champagne, the event also includes live music from Royale. Taps Bar, 8pm, $75

The Draft Zone's New Year's Eve Party
The Draft Zone in Post Falls offers a one-stop NYE bash for an incredibly affordable price. A $15 ticket (or $25 for a couples ticket) gets you a glass of champagne at midnight, a drink ticket, a buffet ticket, and includes a lineup of stand-up comedy and tunes from the hard rock/metal cover band Live Wire. The Draft Zone, 8pm, $15

COMEDY

Chris Porter
Kansas City native Chris Porter doesn't suffer fools gladly. The stand-up comedian excels at frustratedly ranting about people's idiocy, as audiences found out during his stint on Last Comic Standing in 2006 and with his specials Man From Kansas and Ugly and AngrySpokane Comedy Club, 7:30pm & 10:30pm, $12-$24

THEATER

Anastasia
The Broadway adaptation of the '90s animated musical takes a lot of liberties with the material - the magical villain Rasputin is out, conniving communists are in - but the unchanged inclusion of fantastic songs from the original ("Once Upon a December," "Journey to the Past"), still makes this production about a young woman finding love and a forgotten royal family worth exploring. First Interstate Center for the Arts, 7:30pm, $52-$115

Video

Fiddler on the Roof @ First Interstate Center for the Arts

Sun., Jan. 16, 1 & 6:30 p.m.
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About The Author

Seth Sommerfeld

Seth Sommerfeld is the Music Editor for The Inlander, and an alumnus of Gonzaga University and Syracuse University. He has written for The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Fox Sports, SPIN, Collider, and many other outlets. He also hosts the podcast, Everyone is Wrong...