Santa Barbara isn’t presenting its usual ample array of performances, exhibits and special events this week.
But with New Year’s Eve around the corner, who has energy for anything else anyway?
To help ring in the new year:
* Folks will be waltzing, fox-trotting, and cha-chaing their way to 1991 as the Santa Barbara Recreation Center at 100 E. Carrillo St. holds its 20th annual New Year’s Eve dance, Monday 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. $10 per person. 965-3813.
Music will be performed by Special Delivery, a five-piece ballroom band led by Michael Mortilla of the University of California at Santa Barbara’s music department. The expected average age for the event is between 55 and 60, but people in their 30s and even 20s have attended in past years.
“The crowds are getting younger and younger each year,” said 66-year-old Mary Lou Houser, who has been going to the New Year’s dance since it began.
Houser said she likes to see the new faces but the young set does create a few problems: “You can be 50 and the man can be 60, and he’ll still be looking at the young girls with their young pretty faces and skinny legs and flashy bodies.”
And although the holiday spirit gets into everyone’s blood--a few of the elderly gentlemen have been known to try to imitate some of the more seductive moves from the film “Dirty Dancing"--the event is “good clean fun,” Houser added.
* The traditional New Year’s favorites of food, champagne, music and some good laughs will be provided at Carnaval restaurant/nightclub, 634 State St., 962-9991.
Stand-up comedians Jeff Wayne and Danny Harrigan will perform 8 to 10 p.m. Monday. Dancing to deejays spinning the tunes follows the show. Tickets, $20 in advance and $25 at the door, include comedy, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, party favors and a glass of champagne. Tennis shoes and jeans are discouraged. Average age is expected to be about 25.
* A down-home country-western New Year is in the works for The Graduate, 935 Embarcadero del Norte, in Goleta, close to UCSB. 685-3112.
For $15, Vernon Snow and Tulsa will provide the music and everyone gets a bottle of champagne plus party favors. Add $10 for a special steak dinner. No dress code.
* The Long Bar, 111 State St., will be offering a special menu plus the dance music of the Flashbacks.
The $17.95 charge includes dinner, party favors and a champagne toast. $5 admission after 10 p.m. (no dinner). Casual dress. 564-1215.
* See’s Coffee Co. is providing an alternative to the bar scene by offering toasts of sparkling apple cider.
A lineup of local musicians will provide the free entertainment. 1019 State St. 963-8060.
* Revelers will be beating in the new year at the Green Dragon Art Studio and Espresso Bar with Full Moon Drumming.
Bring your own drum, then dance and sing at 22 West Mission St. No admission charge, no age restrictions. 687-1902.
* A black-tie affair is planned for the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, 1260 Channel Drive, in Montecito.
Admission of $110 per person buys a buffet dinner, party favors and the sounds of a jazz trio plus the Bob Ledner Orchestra. 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. 969-2261 Ext. 1420. Average age is expected to be about 35.
* A few folks in Montecito’s Music Academy of the West are celebrating extra hard this year.
An anonymous Santa Barbara family recently donated $2 million to the institution to go toward construction of a state-of-the-art music studio building on campus. The money will also be used to renovate and expand the library, and for endowments and annual funds.