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Christmas is shrinking fast in the rear-view, which means it's time to start looking for the next stop on the holiday whirlwind: New Year's Eve. You get the entire month of December to prep for Christmas and only six days for New Year's, so it's ...


Christmas is shrinking fast in the rear-view, which means it's time to start looking for the next stop on the holiday whirlwind: New Year's Eve.

You get the entire month of December to prep for Christmas and only six days for New Year's, so it's understandable if you're feeling a little rushed and panicky.

Don't sweat it. We've got some suggestions on where to go to forget old acquaintances (or not forget them ... who knows what that dang song is about).

If you're looking for some sort of grand romantic plan, well, you're probably starting a little late for that, pal. But really, all you need is a nice dinner and some entertainment.

It's not a comprehensive list, but it's a good place to start. Here's where to look for the New Year's Eve staples:



- Basie's in Ramada Plaza Suites is holding a dinner special for two from 5 to 7 p.m.: a 20-ounce Australian lobster, a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye, two sides, a dessert and a bottle of wine for $130 per couple. Reservations needed. (701) 277-9000

- Hotel Donaldson is offering a five-course meal at $75 per person. Entrée choices include roasted vegetable bouillabaisse, smoked chicken breast with bacon and gruyere bread pudding, herb-roasted beef tenderloin with truffle mashed potatoes or mahi mahi with Chinese black rice. Reservations recommended. (701) 478-1000

- Prime Steakhouse at The Hub will feature a five-course meal for two for $89.95. Entrees include three different cuts of beef, bison ribs and baked salmon. Bananas Foster served table-side and champagne are included. Reservations required. (701) 232-6767

- If you like the fixed-price idea but not the gourmet cuisine, check out the deal at Hooligan's. For $70 per person, you get free steak and chicken dinners (and most other menu items) as well as all-you-can-drink with no limitations (they put that in bold in the release). The band 24 Seven will provide the entertainment and there are plenty of door prizes. Party starts at 7:30 p.m. Reservations required. (701) 0770

Dancing and shows

- The American Legion is holding a dance sponsored by Red River Singles Club. DJ Rick Roberts will spin tunes from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. It's $6 for club members and $9 for nonmembers.

- At Courtney's Comedy Club, you can lock in for a night of laughing in the new year. Six comics - Jason James, Dave Kious, Dave Ing, Ken Schultz, Dave Free and Conrad Courtney - are performing nonstop in three different rooms. Tickets are $22.50 and $40 for VIP treatment which includes prime seats and a gift. The jokes start flying at two shows at 7 and 10 p.m.


- Courtyard by Marriott is holding a party in its convention center. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and Past Due starts playing at 9. There are heavy appetizers all night, a champagne toast at midnight and a cash bar. Tickets are $25.

- Kelly Inn is throwing a Buddy Holly review, with performances by The Shadows, a Holly impersonator and a string quartet playing numbers by Holly and Bobby Vee. Drinks at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 8 and the show's at 9. It's $39.50 with dinner or $15 without.


This is bound to be the busiest Monday of the year hands down. Here's what bands are playing where:

- Carmen the Cactus plays the Holiday Inn at 9 p.m.

- Patents Pending plays the American Legion at 9 p.m.

- WBPN and Sovereign Sect play The Nestor Tavern at 10 p.m. There is a $3 cover.

- The Blue Wailers are doing a free show at the HoDo Lounge starting at 9 p.m.


- Sons of Poseidon will rock Rick's Bar starting at 9 p.m.

- Speck's Bar has Blues Tonic playing at 9 p.m.

- The Roosters are at The Windbreak Saloon at 9 p.m.

- Starship Reducer, Love At Bombsite and the New Instructions will ring it in at The Aquarium for a 9 p.m., $5 show.

- Boomtown will perform at the West Fargo VFW at 8:30 p.m.

- Gordy Christianson is at the lounge at Ramada Plaza Suites for a free show starting at 10 p.m.

- Radisson Hotel has live piano and string bass tunes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Quiet Jazz starting at 9.

- Head out to The Hub to see Hairball at The Venue at 10 p.m. The $5 cover also gets you into the country and rock bars, where DJs will spin.

- If you want to get out of town, The Shakers are playing at Hagge's Bar & Grill in Mapleton, N.D., starting at 9 p.m.

- The Legionnaires are playing the VFW starting at 9:30 p.m.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535 Party places Dave Roepke 20071227

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