SALT LAKE CITY — Say goodbye to the EVE Winterfest in Salt Lake City and meet the latest New Year's party coming to downtown — Last Hurrah.
The one-night bash with live music, indoor games and a speakeasy lounge meets the changing needs of the community, Downtown Alliance Executive Director Jason Mathis said in an announcement released Friday.
"Downtown is evolving, and what we create is evolving with it," he said. "This is a natural progression and shows our city has grown up and will continue to do so in creative ways, that’s why Last Hurrah will be such an exciting part of that evolution."
Thousands of people turn out to celebrate the New Year, said Downtown Alliance communications manager Nick Como. The best part of Last Hurrah, he added, is that the entire celebration is free.
"This is a new event with new motivation and a new concept," he said. "You can do other things downtown with your family or with your friends, and you can make this a part of your night."
For 16 years, First Night was traditionally the downtown New Year's event. The EVE Winterfest took its place in 2009, a three-day celebration with bounce houses, music and admissions to various attractions in Salt Lake City.
But EVE suffered through an identity crisis, Como said.
"EVE always tried to be all things to all people, and it was always confusing," he explained, with community members unsure if the event was a countdown, a pass to different venues or an upgrade of First Night.
Many people only came for the last few hours of EVE, he added, but were charged the same entrance fee as those involved in the three-day event.
This year, the Downtown Alliance decided EVE had "run its course," Como said. "It did what it set out to do when it started."
Last Hurrah will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 at The Gateway at 400 W. 100 South. Alcoholic drinks and hot chocolate will be served throughout the night.
A 21-and-older indoor speakeasy lounge will offer full-strength craft beer, wine and champagne, as well as feature Sugar House Distillery spirits and specialty cocktails.
Guests can also play giant versions of Jenga and checkers, and interact with hands-on art installations at another indoor space.Comment on this story
"You can come to a free event, enjoy amazing music and be part of a community," said Edie Trott, marketing director at The Gateway.
Music acts will include American Fork-based singer/songwriter Joshua James, DJ Flash & Flare, Afro-Brazilian drum troupe Samba Fogo and psychedelic band Crook & The Bluff.
Last Hurrah is sponsored by NBC Comcast Universal.
"Let’s give the people what they want and what they’re actually going to use," Como said, "and make it free."