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New Year’s Eve party options abound in D.C. and beyond

Major events planned at the Yards, Town, Lucky Strike and more

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New Years Eve parties, gay news, Washington Blade, New Years Eve DC 2017

(Washington Blade file photo by Damien Salas)

The Yards (355 Water St., S.E.) presents a family-friendly countdown from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Kids can enjoy a trackless train ride through the Yards, face painting, balloon artistry, music and more. Admission is free. 

Xavier Entertainment hosts New Years Eve Time Square, a gay men’s New Year’s Eve party, at Karma DC (2221 Adams Pl., N.E.) from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. There will be two DJs, live entertainment and a complimentary champagne toast. General admission tickets are $20. VIP tickets are $40 and include VIP cutline entry all night, entry to the VIP section, a light buffet and coat check. 

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts a New Year’s Eve party at 9 p.m. Trixie Mattel, Tatianna, Banaka and Riley Knoxx will perform in the drag show at 9:30 p.m. Lena Lotts hosts the show. Tickets are $35. Guests not attending the party will be allowed into the club at 11 p.m. DJ Ed Bailey and DJ Joe Gauthreaux will play music upstairs. Admission for the after the show is $25. 

The Qrew and Tagg Magazine host Cosmic Q Year’s Eve, a ladies New Year’s Eve party, at Lucky Strike (701 7th St., N.W.) from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Jai Syncere and DJ Tezrah will spin tracks all night. There will be gift bags for the first 150 people, a complimentary champagne toast, free food, happy hour specials, free D.C. Brau Beer and games. General admission tickets are $25 and include a free buffet from 10-11 p.m. and champagne toast. VIP tables are $385 and include four tickets, buffet, one bottle or beer tower, bottomless spinach/salsa dip and tortilla chips and champagne toast. The Ultimate VIP Package includes the tickets, two reserved bowling lanes, an exclusive VIP lounge, complimentary bottle of red wine and everything else in the VIP table package. 

BKE hosts three New Year’s Eve parties this year. First is the New Year’s Eve Fashion Gala at the St. Gregory Hotel (2033 M St., N.W.) from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Festivities begin at 9 p.m. with a live band performing in the lobby. Guests will be greeted with a complimentary glass of Prosecco and the opportunity to take red carpet photos with fashion models wearing outfits featuring local designer brands. The ballroom opens at 10 p.m. for the party with music from DJ Vito Lee. Individual tickets are $54 and includes two complimentary glasses of Prosecco, one on the red carpet and one at midnight. The dinner package is $159 and includes a three-course dinner, a complimentary glass of Prosecco and a complimentary midnight toast. Couples dinner and VIP hotel suite package is $150 and offers a three-course dinner, luxury hotel suite, complimentary bottle of Prosecco in room, two glasses of complimentary sparkling wine with dinner and New Year’s Day brunch for two.

Black Tie New Year’s Eve Gala will be at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park (2660 Woodley Rd., N.W.) from 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Each ballroom will represent an international DJ with music entertainment including DJs, a jazz orchestra, Latin salsa band, Caribbean island band and an Irish band. There will be an open bar, two midnight balloon drops, karaoke and party favors. Presidential tickets are $249 and offer 7:30 p.m. admission, a cocktail reception and appetizers and a three-course sit-down dinner with dessert buffet. Ambassador Level tickets are $205 and offer the dinner and dessert buffet with 9 p.m. admission. Post-dinner admission is $110 and gives access to the party. Dinner not included.

New Year’s Eve at the Pandora Seafood House and Bar (36 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Md.) is from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Tickets are $128.74 for the three-course dinner and four-hour open bar. Tickets are $70.68 for just the open bar. Admission is $33.72 for entry with cash bar and a midnight toast. 

Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts its New Year’s Eve Ball at 7 p.m. Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra and Tony Anthony & His Malvivants will perform on the main stage. DJ Dredd will spin tracks on the backstage. Tickets are $30. 

Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St., N.E.) presents New Year’s Eve Blowout at 8 p.m. with an all night open bar, limited appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. DJs will play on the first and second floor. Tickets are $85 in advance and $100 day of show. 

Lindy Promotions hosts its New Year’s Eve party at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) at 9 p.m. EDM DJ Vice will perform. There will be a five-hour premium open bar, dinner buffet from 9-11 p.m., complimentary party favors, champagne toast and a balloon drop. General admission tickets are $99. Premiere VIP Access tickets are $119 and include an additional 30-minute open bar. VIP ticket packages range from $139-159 and offer reserved tables, early admission and an extra 30-minute open bar. 

Ziegfeld’s/Secrets (1824 Half Street, S.W.) has a New Year’s Eve party from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. featuring naked dancers, party favors, champagne and a cash balloon drop at midnight. 

Flash (645 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts a New Year’s Eve party at 10 p.m. featuring performances from Archie Hamilton, Chez Damier, Eddie C, M.A.N.D.Y., Matthew Dear, Punisher and more. Tickets range from $50-60. 

Decades (1219 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) presents “Back II the Future,” a retro gala, at 8 p.m. The party will feature ‘80s music and a complimentary bar from 8-9 p.m. Tickets are $40. 

Lighthouse D.C. hosts Gatsby Gala, a New Year’s Eve charity benefit, at Josephine Butler Parks Center (2437 15th St., N.W.) from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. All proceeds benefit homeless and low-income families transitioning to affordable housing. There will be an open bar, food, a live jazz band, swing lessons, dance and costume competitions and more. Tickets start at $121. 

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Bars & Parties

KINETIC: Pride DC launches with 3 major events

Weekend kicks off Friday with UNCUT XL at BLISS

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KINETIC: Pride DC will partner with Capital Pride Alliance to celebrate Pride month with three official events that will feature leading gay DJs: Abel, Ben Bakson, Joe Pacheco, Dan Slater and Alexis Tucci.

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 10 at 10 p.m. with UNCUT XL at BLISS Nightclub. Grammy-nominated DJ Abel will headline the city’s “most risqué circuit event of the year” at BLISS nightclub.

“Uncut is returning to DC Pride for the first time in four years so there will be lots of sweating, dancing, and men bumping and sliding into one another on the main floor as well as in the play zone,” said producer Jesus Quispe in a press release late May.

 KINETIC: Pride Galactic Edition will be on Saturday, June 11 at 10 p.m. at Echostage. DJs Dan Slater and Ben Bakson will perform back-to-back sets. DJ Joe Pacheco will open the night.

The series of events will wrap up on Sunday June 12 with DC Pride’s official closing party, “discoVERS” at 10 p.m. at SAX in Downtown D.C. Disco-diva Alexis Tucci will spin an open-to-close set with Disco, Nu-Disco, and Disco House music all night long. Special performances throughout the night will be integrated into her high-energy disco set as well.

To purchase tickets, visit KINETIC: Pride DC.

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Bars & Parties

Beyonce vs. Rihanna dance party

Music provided by DJ Just Different at Union Stage

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R² Productions LLC and Union Stage are teaming up to host  R² Productions’ inaugural “MEGA Dance Party” on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at Union Stage at The Wharf.

The event will be a night full of dancing to music by pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna. DJ Just Different will be performing at the event. 

General Admission tickets cost $25 and Premier Plus tickets cost $35. For more information about ticket purchases, visit Union Stage’s website.

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Bars & Parties

Kiki quickly becomes popular LGBTQ destination

New bar on U Street plans summer expansion, patio space

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Kiki, at 915 U St., is already drawing crowds. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

After a New Year’s Eve soft opening, Kiki has become one of the most popular LGBTQ destinations in Washington, D.C.

The two-floor bar takes over the space vacated by Velvet Lounge and Dodge City on the 900 block of U Street. Both closed during the pandemic. The locale is directly adjacent to another gay bar, Dirty Goose.

Owner and gay man Keaton Fedak, a general manager at Dirty Goose, noticed that these two next-door bars had gone dark during the pandemic, and met with the owners of the two buildings, who are cousins. Plans quickly developed to use both buildings to craft an expansive, interconnected, inclusive space to transform the city’s gay bar landscape.

Fedak called the bar “Kiki” both after himself (it’s a nickname) and for its connection with the LGBTQ community. “The word wasn’t invented by the Scissor Sisters song,” he explains. “It’s been an important concept in the community for decades.”

The first half of Fedak’s vision has already opened. The ground floor of the 915 U St. building is open-plan space with bar stools and a color-block wall of rainbow panels. A bar sits in the back up a short flight of stairs. This level will feature music, but quieter than the second-floor space. There, a DJ booth presides over a large dance floor. Disco lights flood this space; there is a bar on this level as well. The elevated dance floor is set to hold drag shows.

In the spring, a small patio will open, strung with fairy lights. It will have a “backyard aesthetic,” he says, to be green, bright, and relaxing. “It’s a good place to chill on a nice day outside.” It may even be reminiscent of Town Danceboutique’s popular patio.

The second half, at 917 U St., is still waiting for permits, and Fedak hopes to open this section in the summer.

It will connect to the current space via the outdoor patio. This section will have more of a sports bar feel, given Fedak’s connection to D.C.’s Gay Flag Football League (he is a former board member). The bar will welcome Stonewall Sports and other LGBTQ sports teams, and will be replete with plenty of mounted TVs to show various games.

After the closing of Cobalt and Town, Fedak wanted to ensure that Kiki was “an inclusive space, so that there’s vibes for everyone,” he says. “It should be a place where regulars would just show up and hang out.” He made sure that he recruited staff from different professional and personal backgrounds.

Fedak began working in food and hospitality at age 17 in his hometown in Pennsylvania. After moving to the D.C. area for work, he continued to moonlight as a bartender. Fedak joined Dirty Goose as general manager in 2019 before starting his Kiki journey.

To stock the bar, Fedak has plenty of spirits to go around. There is a focus on the vodka offerings, but he ensures that local distilleries take center stage: He carries District Made Vodka and Rye Whiskey, as well as Green Hat Gin. The beer game is also a winning strategy: there are more than 25 bottles and cans available, with three beers on tap. Local options are first-string, including selections from DC Brau, Right Proper, and Anxo Cider. Finally, the bar comes complete with a house margarita on tap (“ it’s a homemade recipe,” notes Fedak, using agave nectar syrup instead of sugar). The 16-ounce marg is always on special for $10.

While Kiki doesn’t serve food, Fedak is exploring options for a small truck or stand in the backyard.
Moving forward, Kiki will host weekly events. The bar already hosts drag shows during “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties. Fedak plans to begin a “Cobalt-style underwear contest” as well. Once COVID cases decline, he also wants to resurrect the Sunday funday parties that Cobalt would host with sports teams.

Fedak’s mantra for Kiki is evident in the mural that will take up the backyard patio – a quote from “Schitt’s Creek”: “I like the wine and not the label.”

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