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New Year's diversion, no matter the mood

Get swanky

Naughty New Year's Celebrate first at the posh Naughty New Year poolside bash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino ($75) with DJ Kidd Leow and lots of scantily dressed women. Then head to Floyd's for the 3 a.m. ball drop shown live from the West Coast ($50; $40 for Naughty ticket holders). See

Aqua Eve Partiers take over the Florida Aquarium starting at 9 p.m. for live entertainment, food and an open bar of beer and wine as they take in the underwater wonders. Plus there is the best view of the fireworks show adjacent to the Channelside district. Tickets are $100 at (813) 273-4568.

NYE LX Hosted by 95.7 The Beat's on-air personality Stu, the party will have wandering models, Tango from VH1's Flavor of Love, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Greg Spires and music by DJ Ekin, a popular club DJ in Orlando. Tickets start at $20 at for the party at the GLC Entertainment Complex, 1910 E Seventh Ave. in Ybor City.

Get casual

Sister Hazel New Year's Eve Bash The concert and party at Jannus Landing will have a champagne toast at midnight and a buffet from Harvey's 4th Street Grill. Doors open at 7 p.m., show is 8 p.m. at 16 Second St. N, downtown St. Petersburg, $39.99 in advance at Tickemaster.

Beak's Old Florida This Parrot Head bar has a free New Year's celebration packed with music from beach rocker Ricky Wilcox and the honky-tonk blues of Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues. There will be contests and prizes, noisemakers and a champagne toast at midnight, 2451 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 321-9100.

Sidesplitters Comedy Club in Tampa is offering a $60 ticket ($65 day of show) that gets you an open bar and a 10:30 p.m. show with Carl Labove, a veteran fave and a writing partner of the great Sam Kinison. After midnight, there will be dancing, music and a breakfast buffet. Labove will have a $15 show at 7:30 with a mock countdown.

Get outdoors

First Night St. Petersburg This is alcohol-free and family-friendly, so park the beer bong. The hardest part may be trying to catch up with the dizzying amount of activities at 25 downtown venues, including concerts, dance, storytelling, theater, puppetry, drumming circle, ice skating and more. It starts at 5 p.m. and fireworks are at midnight. $10 adults, $5 ages 6-12. (727) 823-8906.

Light up Tampa Bay Tampa's Channelside district will have live entertainment, a professional fireworks show and a Times Square-style ball drop. You watch it for free or you can watch from the deck of the Yacht StarShip. It's $100 but you get an open bar, food, live entertainment, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. The cruise begins boarding at 10 p.m. at 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Call (813) 223-7999,

— Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Get cozy

Check out what's on TV for New Year's Eve:

• There's the old standby, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2009, with Seacrest filling in for the aging Dick Clark. The Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, the Pussycat Dolls and are among the performers. Over on NBC, Katy Perry, T.I. and Ludacris will sidle up to Carson Daly.

• Daredevil Robbie Knievel, son of the late Clearwater icon Evel Knievel, will attempt a 200-foot jump over the Mirage Volcano in Las Vegas. It'll air on Fox, in a show co-hosted by Spike Fereston and featuring David Cook and Scott Weiland.

• After recovering from a deadly plane crash, DJ AM and drummer Travis Barker are reuniting for New Year's Nation's party in Los Angeles New Year's Eve party. The show will stream live on the Internet and air across the country at other New Year's Nation bashes.

New Year's diversion, no matter the mood 12/25/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 28, 2008 7:14am]
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