Happy 2012, Knoxville!

Every year is a mixed bag for most of us. Some of us had a great year and some of us had a pretty rotten year. Most of us had a little bit of both and I’d fall into that category this year. It was pretty messy on the extended family front, though pretty great for my wife and myself. We’re blessed to have good jobs, and our health held up pretty well this year, so no complaints, here.

All that’s left to do is party like it’s 2011 and hope that 2012 is better for all of us who need it to be better and the good times keep rolling for those of us on a roll. So, how to celebrate in the city this weekend? Let me list a few for you. Leave a comment if you have something to plug I overlooked.

The V-Roys are bringing in the New Year in the Tennessee Theater. It is a rare opportunity to see Scott Miller, Mic Harrison and the guys all together. They were the stuff in Knoxville back in the day when some of my younger readers were in elementary school and they were the first band to play Sundown in the City. You won’t be disappointed if you go this route.

The big push in the city is First Night Knoxville which is slated to be bigger and better than ever. You have to purchase a pass for $15 advance, $20 day of the show (free for under six-years-old) and that gets you into all the paid portions of the event, which include an absolutely stunning set of choices that will have you running all around downtown. Music will pour out of venues you might expect like the Square Room and the East Tennessee Visitor’s Center, but the YWCA, Miller’s Atrium and the TVA Auditorium get into the act.

Carrie Rodriguez, one of my favorites, will play sets at the East Tennessee History Center and the Square Room. Other performing artists with national followings include Josh Leming, Louise Mosrie and Kelly McRae. Local favorites Jodie Manross, Robinella, Black Cadillacs, Cruz Contreras, Hudson K and Black Atticus will get into the act and nine different venues will be rocking.

If you like comedy, jazz, slam poetry, Americana or just good old rock and roll you are in good shape. If none of that grabs you, I’m a little concerned. But wait, there’s more . . . Children’s activities and the circus is in town! At the YWCA you’ll get the Dragonfly Aerial Arts, One World Circus and Biz Cirque with the Wing Project. I haven’t even mentioned the fire-eaters wandering about!

Around 11:30 everyone gathers on Market Square for a big countdown led from the stage and including lasers and fireworks as we welcome in a new year. I’ve got my tickets and I’m working on my game-plan. I hope to see you there. Whether you decide to join the madness or share a quiet kiss at home with the one you love, Urban Guy wishes you a very very Happy New Year.

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