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“10! 9! 8! 7! 6! …”

Every year, the countdown starts like clockwork. Ten seconds until midnight, people around the world prepare to ring in the new year — whether it be with champagne and kisses or sitting at home watching the big ball drop in Times Square.

Just after screaming “1!” is when the magic happens. It’s a new year. Thoughts of a better 365 days are muffled by refrains of “Auld Lang Syne” and noisemakers.

Just in case folks in the area decide they’d like to celebrate outside of their homes this year, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the last moments of 2013.

Those venturing to Fairfax County will be able to listen to some great music leading into 2014.

The folks at Jammin Java in Vienna are bringing Rocknoceros back for the seventh annual New Year’s celebration. The award-winning group, popular with youngsters in the area, will put on two shows at the venue — at 2 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. — so the whole family can enjoy the final day of the year. Tickets for either show are $10 and the lobby bar will remain open after the show. For more information, visit jamminjava.com or call 703-255-1566.

Nick’s Night Club in Alexandria will host its annual New Year’s Eve Party, featuring a special performance by Boot Rooster. A karaoke party with DJ Heather and friends begins at 9 p.m. in the back room. Advanced dinner seating, by reservation only, is available. Dinner packages, at $50, include a four-course meal, party favors and a champaign toast at midnight. The bar is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., with walk-ins welcome. Admission is $20 at the door. For more information, visit www.nicksnightclub.com.

Legendary bluegrass band The Seldom Scene will perform with The Stray Birds and Donna Ulisse at the Birchmere in Alexandria. Tickets for the show, which starts at 8 p.m., are $39.50. For more information, visit birchmere.com or call 703-549-7500.

In Prince George’s County, Md., if you can’t find something to do, you’re not looking hard enough.

The folks at the Gaylord National Resort are putting on a show. The Big Night DC New Year’s Eve Extravaganza will take place starting at 9 p.m. There are 15 themed areas — including Mardi Gras, Vegas Casino and hip-hop, as well as open bars, food, dancing and music. The Redskin cheerleaders will also be in attendance. Tickets vary in price from $129.99 to $299.99, but the prices will go up the closer it gets to New Year’s Eve. For more information, visit bignightdc.com.

One of many “official” New Year’s Eve balls will take place at La Fontaine Bleue in Lanham. The party kicks off at 8 p.m., featuring music by The X-Factor Band and a guest DJ. The event will be hosted by Courtney Hicks with Majic 102.3 Radio. Tickets are $50 plus tax per person, which includes a buffet dinner and champagne at midnight. There also is an open bar. For more information, call 301-731-4333.

The Cocktail & Cufflinks New Year’s Eve Ball is set to start at 8 p.m. at the Hampton Conference Center in Capitol Heights. Presented by All African Promotion, the night promises elegance, glitz, glamour and style. Light refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and more are followed by a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets for the event vary from $30 to $60. For more information, call 240-424-8800.

In Montgomery County, music and dancing await New Year’s Eve revelers.

The party starts at 10 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring. Reggae and fusion bands Slightly Stoopid and Passafire are set to perform in the standing-room-only event. A ticket, which costs $49.50, will get you in for a killer concert, as well as New Year’s Eve party favors. The show is suitable for all ages, but for those 21 and older, a complimentary champagne toast will help you ring in 2014. For more information, visit fillmoresilverspring.com or call 301-960-9999.

Over in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park, dancers can quite literally swing in the new year. The New Year’s Eve Swing Dance starts at 8 p.m. and goes on until 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $25 and the evening is suitable for the whole family. Swing bands Lady Luck and the Suicide Kings will perform throughout the night. Light refreshments will be served, but guests are encouraged to eat dinner beforehand. Of course, party favors also will be distributed. For more information, visit americanswing.org or dc.gottaswing.com.

If a little jazz is something you’re craving, look no further than the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. The New Year’s Eve Party with Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes is an all-inclusive evening filled with good music, good food and good spirits. For $150, patrons will receive, along with the night of music, a four-course dinner with dessert, two complimentary glasses of wine, beer or mixed drinks, a champagne toast at midnight and several party favors. As for attire, black tie is optional. For more information, visit bethesdabluesjazz.com or call 240-330-4500.

Whether you choose to celebrate with friends or stay at home, here’s hoping 2014 brings us all health and happiness.



wfranklin@gazette.net