SALT LAKE CITY — The Beehive State will celebrate a new beginning — and nod to the closing year — with Last Hurrah, a free one-day event that replaces the multi-day EVE WinterFest. Last Hurrah will be Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-midnight, at The Gateway.
“There is something nice about new beginnings,” said Joshua James, a singer/songwriter from American Fork. James and his band, including Evan Coulombe, Isaac Russell and Ronnie Strauss, will grace the outside stage of the New Year’s Eve party.
“We are excited to be part of the festivities,” James said. “I think it is going to be a good night.”
While Last Hurrah will take place one night, for almost a decade EVE WinterFest included multiple events throughout the downtown area. Nick Como, senior director of communication and marketing for the Downtown Alliance, said the festival had run its course and it was time to make a drastic change.
“At that time, the Gateway had really come on as being the place for events and entertainment in Salt Lake City,” Como said. “There was a natural synergy of where an event like this should be held. The Gateway was a logical choice.”
Edie Trott is the marketing director for The Gateway. When the Downtown Alliance approached The Gateway about hosting Last Hurrah, she said they were excited about the opportunity.
“It was really important for us, coming in to an urban development, that we were going to become part of the community and host community events,” Trott said.
The Gateway recently hosted Illuminate, Crucialfest, local school choirs and a pet adoption in partnership with Best Friends. Its goal is to continue that spirit of community with Last Hurrah.
“With it being a Sunday night, we want it to be someplace where people go and hang out and have a great time,” Trott said. “It is a place for the community to come together.”
Last Hurrah, presented by Comcast NBC Universal, will bring back the indoor game room where guests of all ages can play giant versions of Jenga, checkers, cornhole and a light bright art installation.
“We took the best part of (EVE), which was the countdown and the live music and community celebration,” Como said. “The goal is to have a place where families can go.”
Families can enjoy hot chocolate throughout the evening and live music on outdoor stages. Opening acts include DJ Flash and Flare, Afro-Brazilian drum and fire troupe Samba Fogo and rockers Crook and The Bluff. James along with fireworks will ring in the new year.
Last Hurrah will also include a speakeasy lounge where drinks will be served to those ages 21 and older. Salt Lake Swing and DJ Jessica Glines will perform at the indoor lounge.
Food trucks at the event will include Yoshi’s Japanese Grill, Fry Me To The Moon SLC, Smokin’ Star BBQ and Facil Taqueria. Cash and credit will be accepted at most food trucks, but the lounge will be cash only.
Como encouraged event attendees to dress warm and use public transportation. According to rideuta.com, the Utah Transit Authority will run extended late night rail service on New Year’s Eve. For those who drive to the celebration, parking at the Gateway is free on Sundays.
“New Year’s Eve and a community celebration is one of the few times where an entire community gets together,” Como said. “It is a really moving experience to count down to New Year’s with 10,000 of your favorite Salt Lakers and fellow Utahns. It is a really cool experience to do and a great annual tradition.”
For more information and a schedule of events, visit lasthurrahslc.com.
If you go
What: Last Hurrah! 2017
Where: The Gateway, 400 S. 100 South, Salt Lake City
When: Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-midnight
How much: free
Note: The Planetarium stop along the Blue Line is the closest TRAX station to the event. According to rideuta.com, UTA will run extended late night rail service on New Year’s Eve. For those traveling south out of Salt Lake after the celebrations, the last Blue Line will leave the Planetarium at 12:40 a.m., the last Green Line will leave Vivint Arena at 12:47 a.m. and the last Red Line that night will leave the courthouse at 1 a.m. There will be no FrontRunner service. Visit rideuta.com for a full schedule.