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David Newkirk
A spectacular midnight fireworks show will again be part of the celebration for EVE 2012.

SALT LAKE CITY — Tens of thousands of partygoers are expected to ring in the New Year during the EVE 2012 celebration, in which “one ticket gets you three nights of revelry.”

And there are sure to be plenty of events for families.

“EVE is more than just a party; it’s an expression of optimism, creativity and community,” said Jason Mathis, executive director for the Downtown Alliance. “EVE is unique to Utah. It was created to build on our Olympic legacy, as we celebrate the dawning of a healthier and happier new year. It is designed to break down barriers, build relationships and celebrate our shared humanity. No matter who you are, you are welcomed at EVE.”

This is the third year for EVE, the evolution of First Night that ran for 16 years. Planning for EVE 2012 began immediately after EVE 2011, according to Danica Farley, who works in public relations and communications for the Downtown Alliance.

“EVE was created to expand the popular winter festival from one night to a multi-day event,” Farley said. “Our goal is to expand EVE every year and create a reason for destination skiers, as well as suburban families, to choose to stay in downtown Salt Lake City the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.”

Events during the three-day celebration will include music, films, ice sculptures, 30-foot-high inflated playgrounds and even inflated Olympic mascots. This year also features EVE’s new mascot, which can be seen on the EVE website and also on billboards throughout the city.

“StEVE, or Steve as we like to call him, represents Father Time and the spirit of winter,” Mathis said. “Some people have said he has sort of a ‘Cirque du Salt Lake’ vibe in his Venetian party mask and goggles. Other people think he looks like a Celtic warrior or Mayan deity with a nod to the Mayan 2012 calendar. We hope he represents creativity and spontaneity, building a sense of excitement for the coming new year."

EVE celebrations will take place Dec. 29-31 on West Temple between 100 and 200 South and in the Salt Palace Convention Center. Patrons can also enjoy a construction-free downtown and plenty of parking (free for two hours at meters).

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 at Harmon’s, Maverik or online. EVE passes can also be purchased for $15 at the door at the EVE box office. One ticket is good for all three days. Kids under 10 are free with a paid adult. Several downtown hotels are also offering special EVE pricing. For more information visit the website at www.eveslc.com.

Here's a closer look at the lineup of activities:

Family-friendly events

Bouncetown — About two dozen inflatable playgrounds for children

Ballroom — 2,012 beach balls with DJs, dancing and light shows

Clark Planetarium — cosmic star shows

Temple Square — multiple free concerts (from country to classics to pop) and family activities

Fireworks — Dec. 31

Temple Square events

Free entertainment and activities for all ages will be held on Temple Square, with no EVE pass required. Events include sing-alongs, scavenger hunts, art exhibits, a family history Jeopardy! game and an indexing competition. Performances at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Tabernacle offer a variety of performances, including cowboy poetry, classic rock n roll, the Nashville Tribute Band (joined by country trio Due West), and pianist Marvin Goldstein along with vocalists Vanessa Joy, Thurl Bailey and Billy Dean. For more events, visit the Temple Square Events Calendar.

New this year

Temple of Boom — electronic music installation featuring a 40-foot Mayan temple with fire that shoots 30 feet in the air

Reggae Snowsplash — island rhythms and live reggae bands

Salt Lake Film Society — short films from the University of Utah and BYU, plus other award-winning shorts, at Broadway Center Cinemas

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art — Utah Arts Festivals Fear No Film EVE — contains some adult content