From Detroit to Auburn Hills, bars, clubs and restaurants alike are gearing up for one of the biggest party days of the year.
Whether you spend New Year's Eve in a tiny neighborhood bar or in the ballroom of an upscale hotel, there are several things you're bound to find in common -- champagne will be flowing, music will be playing, and come midnight, couples will be locked in embraces as they ring in the new year.
Below are party options to suit those who like to keep things small and intimate, celebrate in the great outdoors or dance until the ball drops. We're highlighting six top events, broken down by venue size.
The Bang! With Skrillex and Boys Noize at the Palace of Auburn Hills
Los Angeles may be three hours behind the mitten state, but when midnight nears, L.A. electronic music artist Skrillex will be counting down toward the new year along with the Michiganders at the Bang! New Year's Eve party at the Palace.
Grammy Award-winner Skrillex (Sonny Moore) and Berlin's Boys Noize (Alex Ridha) will give the Palace's main stage a club-like feel as they perform at what is being billed as the first-ever all-night party at the Palace.
Skrillex, 24, has become one of the biggest names in the dance-music world over the past two years, with the dubstep artist earning a reputation for frenetic live shows and nabbing three Grammys in 2011.
The Auburn Hills concert venue and home to the Detroit Pistons won't look much different for the show, which public relations director Naomi Patton says is a first for the Palace.
Adam Schneider, senior vice president of booking at the Palace, says the venue's management was looking to do something special for New Year's Eve when it was approached by event producer Paxahau, best known for running the annual Movement festival at Hart Plaza.
"We've been talking about doing something big this year and many ideas were thrown around. Then, out of nowhere, I got a text from Skrillex's agent asking me if we wanted to book Sonny for New Year's Eve," says Chuck Flask, Paxahau's talent buyer. "It was the perfect fit for what we were looking to do. Soon after, we got Boys Noize, Flosstradamus, D.I.M., Alvin Risk, Destructo and a pool of talented Detroit DJs to get on board and make this all-night party marathon complete."
K@Dog, Sandoz, Ryan Richards, Jesse James, Ataxia, T. Linder, DJ Seoul, Calico, Matt Clarke and Ronin Selecta are some of the local talent that will continue the party at the Palace's Club West. An afterparty in the Pistons VIP Club with Dog Blood (the collaboration between Skrillex and Boys Noize) will follow main-stage performances.
"The energy that Skrillex, Boyz Noize and the other great acts in this show bring will undoubtedly be like no other," says Jason Huvaere, cofounder of Paxahau. "This particular night of the year brings out a unique, celebratory sense of excitement from everyone."
Schneider adds that he doesn't want people to think of the Skrillex show as "just a concert. It's an event. It's a party. We encourage people to come early and stay late."
There will be a New Year's Eve countdown and "there will be some New Year's moments that Skrillex is cooking up," Schneider says.
6 p.m.-4 a.m. The Palace of Auburn Hills, I-75 at exit 81. 248-377-0100. www.bangnye.com. $29.50-$129.50. Ages 16 and up.
The oversized "D" that has descended from a structure near Campus Martius Park has been one of the major draws to the Drop since it was introduced in 2010. Changing things up this year are the Nordin brothers, owners of the Detroit Design Center.
The brothers (Erik and Israel) will design an object for the midnight drop that they say will not be a "D." They aren't giving many clues as to what the object is, but Jerrid Mooney, one of the creators of the Detroit event, says, "They are producing something that is very Detroit-centric. We gave them artistic freedom."
"We're just trying to make it as glitzy as we can and have a lot of presence," says Israel Nordin. "It's going to have a front and some sides, but not a back. It's pretty amazing that we're able to create something that is going to be a moment in so many people's lives."
Last year, the Drop drew close to 10,000 people, Mooney says. This year, "I could see us easily hitting 12,000."
The streets are closed down and "there's a perimeter that separates the paid gala and the general public," Mooney explains, "but anyone is welcome to bring in the new year around Campus Martius Park. We're here to celebrate Detroit."
The Drop will be hosted by Anqunette Jamison of WJBK-TV (Fox 2). Music will be provided by DJs Tom T, Bruce Bailey and Vin. There will be a champagne toast, party favors and hors d'oeuvres. Drinks are included in the cover price until 1:30 a.m., when the cash bar begins.
This year's event will be broadcast by WJR-AM (760).
9 p.m.-4 a.m. Compuware Atrium and Hard Rock Café., One Campus Martius, Detroit. 313-355-0413. www.motorcitynye.com.
98.7 Amp Radio NYE
Spending New Year's Eve at Pontiac's Elektricity could make it feel like Christmas all over again.
WDZH-FM (98.7 Amp Radio) will be giving away tickets to the Spring Awakening Festival, a two-day electronic music festival that began this year at Soldier Field in Chicago, and Northcoast Festival, a 3-year-old Labor Day weekend concert at Union Park in Chicago, Pistons tickets, round-trip tickets to Miami and London and more during its NYE party. There also will be a live broadcast from the station with host DJ Ryan Richards, who spins music ranging from top 40 to rock to house.
Since opening last November, Elektricity, a 10,000 square-foot electronic music club, has hosted a number of world-class electronic music powerhouses, including Paul Oakenfold, Nervo and ATB.
"Knowing that people have chosen to spend their New Year's Eve at Elektricity and be entertained by me is the best feeling in the world," says Richards, who will also be playing a one-hour set at the Palace before beginning his duties at Elektricity. "Industry (now Elektricity) was my first big club I went to when I turned 18. To be able to be on this stage entertaining people is a dream come true for me."
Guests at Elektricity will witness the debut of the Ryan Richards Remix Project. "Not only will I be playing music, I will be remixing the songs live," Richards says. "I've been working on this project at my house for the last couple of months, and I'm ready to show it off on New Year's Eve."
8:30 p.m.-4 a.m., Elektricity, 15 S. Saginaw, Pontiac, 248-599-2212. $15 at www.elektricitymusic.com .
New Year's Eve at the Avenue
Since opening in 2010, the Avenue Sports Grille in Wayne has shown that it has more to offer than just food and TVs. The 150-seat bar boasts a 500-square-foot heated, covered patio that has proved ideal for club-like parties and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Marketing and event manager Mike Londeau says extra decorations and lighting will turn the restaurant into "an upbeat club" that looks "sleek and sexy."
This will be the third year the Avenue has hosted a New Year's Eve party, and Londeau says each year, attendance has grown. To accommodate the growing crowds, there will be a 4,000-square-foot heated tent with an attached VIP area. Event company TJ Monte Productions will provide sound and light systems to help transform the tent into an outdoor lounge.
The Avenue will serve its usual dinner menu until 10:30 p.m. DJs Ramz and Rickey T will be on hand with the beats. The Times Square ball drop will be broadcast on HD projection TVs and there will be a champagne toast at midnight. Formal attire is suggested.
VIP guests will have access to hookahs, private dancers, an open bar, champagne fountain and private security.
8 p.m.-4 a.m., 3632 Elizabeth St., Wayne, 734-985-7300. $10 in advance at www.neptix.com, $20 day of. VIP $75 in advance, $100 day of.
Small bar party
New Year's Eve bash
Champagne may be king of most New Year's Eve celebrations, but at the Sugar House Detroit, specialty cocktails are expected to steal the show.
The 56-person craft cocktail bar will be serving up items from a one-night-only experimental cocktail menu that will consist of eight new drinks created by general manager Dave Kwiatkowski.
"This year, we're getting a little weirder with our menu, which is going to be really fun," says Kwiatkowski, who regularly serves up specialty classic and contemporary drinks at the year-old Sugar House bar.
One of the eight drinks will be a barrel-aged cocktail that will stay in an oak container until New Year's Eve, when it is strained and served. Another drink will include green chartreuse and gelatin, and a third drink will be hot-tea based.
"We want to do something that will be a little more different and a little more exciting for our customers," Kwiatkowski says.
There will be hors d'oeuvres and pastries, and entertainment for the evening comes courtesy of the Creole Jazz band. The cover price includes a glass of punch, food and champagne. The special menu will be "heavily discounted."
10 p.m.-2 a.m., Sugar House Detroit, 2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit, 313-962-0123. $45. E-mail email@example.com to reserve your spot.
New Year's Eve at the Met Hotel
The Social Connection, one of the hosts of this three-year-old New Year's Eve party, has rented out all three floors of the 191-room Troy hotel, but the focus of the evening will be in the ballrooms.
About 2,000 people are expected to ring in the new year in the 15,000 square-foot space, up from about 1,500 in 2011, says promoter Fadi Yousif aka DJ Chrome, who has been one of the event's DJs for the past three years.
Chrome, Surab Deb, Dana and Brandon Kejbou are expected to spin a variety of music throughout the evening. "We don't do a lot of club-type music early in the event so people mingle and get to know each other while the hors d'oeuvres are out," Yousif says. "During New Year's Eve, you feel like you're friends with everybody there cause you're bringing in New Year's Eve together."
A variety of hors d'oeuvres, including California rolls, mini lobster and salmon cakes, and mushroom puff pastry pinwheels, will be provided by Petruzzello's of Troy.
For those who want to make their own music, the small ballroom will be dedicated to karaoke. The evening will include confetti cannons and a midnight buffet of pizza, Coney dogs and sliders. Cover includes 12 drink tickets good for beer, wine, champagne and martinis.
To book a hotel room, call 248-879-2100. Rooms are $179 a night and available only to those who have purchased a ticket to the party.
9 p.m.-4 a.m., the Met Hotel, 5500 Crooks Rd., Troy, 248-879-2100. www.nyedetroit.com. $100.