Prizm News / December 24, 2018 / By Bob Vitale
DJs, drag queens and more highlight New Year’s Eve at gay bars across Ohio.
By Bob Vitale
Ohio’s gay bars and LGBTQ groups have big plans for New Year’s Eve.
From Akron’s first-ever Rainbow Ball to benefit the local Pride festival, to drag headliners Shangela and Alyssa Edwards performing in Columbus, to shows and dances and other special events in other cities, there’s plenty to choose from to fill the holiday.
Happy 2019! Here’s a rundown of New Year’s Eve events we’ve found across the state. If we’ve missed anything, let us know.
New Year’s Eve Rainbow Ball
The historic Akron Civic Theatre is home to this first-of-its-kind celebration—billed as “the most glittering, colorful, inclusive New Year’s Eve party ever”—to benefit the Akron Pride festival.
The night includes party food by Moe’s Restaurant, a five-hour open bar, dancing, music by Dorianne Denard & Friends, appearances by Cherry Veneer and Alejandra J-Love, and more.
Monday, Dec. 31, 7:30 pm.-12:30 a.m.
Akron Civic Theatre
182 S. Main St., Akron, 44308
Tickets are $100 and available here. Tickets at the door will be $125.
New Year’s Eve Salvation
Shangela, Alyssa Edwards and Nina West
Ring in the new year with a Halleloo and a <<pop>>. Axis will host Shangela, Alyssa Edwards and Columbus’ own Nina West for what the nightclub is billing as its longest party of the year.
DJ Alan Saunders will spin the year’s best music.
Monday, Dec 31, 8 p.m.-4 a.m.
VIP Meet & Greet at 8 p.m.; Meet & Greet at 8:30 p.m.; show at 10 p.m.; ball drop at midnight
775 N. High St., Columbus, 43215
Tickets are available here and run $20 for general admission, $50 for the Meet & Greet, $75 for the VIP Meet & Greet. Tables are sold out.
New Year’s Eve at Masque
Carrie J. Summers hosts entertainment byAmaya Sexton, Nichelle Kartier, Arione Decardeza, Sky Black, Alexandria Bellterra, Mocha Lisa, Emilie Viktoria and Olivia Diamond.
Monday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-4 a.m.
Show at 10:30 p.m.; Level 2 opens at 10 p.m.
34 N. Jefferson Ave., Dayton, 45402
Individual tickets are $40; tables for four are $135; VIP and group packages start at $450. Buy tickets here.
True Colors New Year’s Eve Bash
Dress in your brightest, most colorful best for what they’re calling one of the hottest New Year’s Eve parties in Cleveland.
DJ Mike Filly will spin all night long, and drag shows will be by Malibu Peruu, Kardi Redd Diamond and Monica Lexin.
Monday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-midnight
Twist Social Club
11633 Clifton Ave., Cleveland, 44102
$50 silver VIP includes Landmark smokehouse appetizer buffet; an open bar for beer, wine and well liquor; champagne at midnight. $75 Gold VIP includes all that plus an open bar for all liquor. Buy tickets here.
New Year’s Eve at the Birdcage
Cincinnati’s newest LGBTQ bar hosts its first New Year’s Eve. The night features Mirelle Jane Divine and Akasha O’Hara Lords, dance music from DJ Patrick B, light bites and hors d’oeuvres, drink specials from Absolut and Jameson, party favors, a champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight.
Monday, Dec. 31, 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
927 Race St., Cincinnati, 45202
Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door, if available.
New Year’s Eve Variety Show
Drag artists Deja D. Dellataro and Sugar Vermonte, burlesque entertainer Violet Sass and male entertainer Wade Mercury perform, with a balloon drop, complimentary appetizers and champagne toast at midnight.
Monday Dec. 31. Happy hour hors d’oeuvres from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; shows at 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
1205 Adams St., Toledo, 43604
First Annual New Year’s Extravaganza
The Southeastern Ohio Rainbow Alliance will host this new event as a benefit for its work in 2019: assessing the needs of the region’s LGBTQ residents with the goal of creating a physical community center.
The night will feature tunes from DJ Logan Savage, the art of LGBTQ artist Luke Boyd and a ball drop by Passion Works studios.
Monday, Dec. 31 from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
132 W. State St., Athens, 45701
Tickets are $25 and include a champagne or nonalcoholic toast and desserts. Beer, wine and mixed drinks will be $5. Contact the alliance via Facebook for tickets.
More New Year’s Eve Options
Interbelt, 70 N. Howard St., 44308. Hip Hop New Year’s Eve includes a free champagne toast and midnight balloon drop. 18+. 8 p.m.
Square Nightclub, 820 W. Market St., 44303. New Year’s Dance Party features DJ JP and a free champagne toast. No cover. 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Below Zero Lounge, 1120 Walnut St., 45202. Pop! New Year’s Eve Party. DJ Jules spins, with party favors, champagne specials and a balloon drop at midnight. No cover. 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Cabaret, 1122 Walnut St., 45202. The Cabaret cast welcomes special guest Bionka Simone from San Francisco. Tickets are $10 individual admission, tables are $40 and $60. Two shows are scheduled: at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The party lasts from 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Main Event, 835 Main St., 45202. Nine queens perform in shows at 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., and there’s a champagne toast at midnight. 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
Old Street Saloon, 13 Old St., Monroe, 45050. Munchies, party favors, champagne toast and a show featuring Freeda Bangkok, Alana Reign, Hope Sexton and National Holiday. $15 in advance from bartenders or $18 at the door. 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Tilllie’s Lounge, 4042 Hamilton Ave., 45223. DJ Bjorg/Perpetual Ritual provide the music. Champagne specials, party favors, and tarot readings to see what 2019 has in store for you. No cover. 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Bear Cave at Cocktails, 9208 Detroit Ave., 44102. DJ Freeze spins. 9 p.m.
Cocktails, 9208 Detroit Ave., 44102. Midnight money drop and champagne toast; performances by Kaleigha, Karma, Serpentina and Sasha.
Leather Stallion Saloon, 2205 St. Clair Ave., 44114. Complimentary New Year’s feast and a champagne toast at midnight. Amanda Reconwith hosts, and DJ Doug handles the music. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Vibe Bar and Patio, 11633 Lorain Ave., 44111. DJ Michael spins. 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
A.W.O.L., 49 Parsons Ave., 43215. DJ Michelle Chaney and DJ Barry Harris spin. 9 p.m.
Boscoe’s, 1224 S. High St., 43206. Selena T. West and Paige Passion host, and performers include Sonya Ross, Trey, Jigz, Trouble, Redd, Too Sweet, Bad Bunny and Corbin.
Cavan Irish Pub, 1409 S. High St., 43207. Black and Gold New Year’s Eve hosted by Mary Nolan and Ava Aurora Foxx. 10 p.m.
The Highball, 1071 Parsons Ave., 43206. Karaoke. 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
O’Connor’s Club 20, 20 E. Duncan St., 43202. Performances start at 7 p.m. with Abortia Clinique, Tyler Devereaux, Joey Lewis, Zeus and Sterling. There also will be karaoke at 10 p.m. and a champagne toast at midnight. 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
Slammers, 202 E. Long St., 43215. Dinner buffet, party favors and champagne toast at midnight. Dancing with DJ Faye. $10 cover. 7 p.m.
Southbend Tavern, 126 E. Moler St., 43207. New Year’s Eve Bash, with shows starting at 10 p.m.
The Toolbox Saloon, 744 Frebis Ave., 43206. Misty Phoenix hosts performances by Cherry Poppins, Sabrina Heartt, Jada Fenix-Lorez and Karina Phoenix. 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m.
Tremont Lounge, 708 S. High St., 43215. New Year’s Eve gala featuring DJ Jeff, Georgia Jackson, Vee Love and Joey Wynters. Shows start at 9 p.m.
Union Café, 782 N. High St., 43215. Executive Chef Ben’s annual three-course New Year’s Eve dinner has two seatings, at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The night includes a show by Amanda Sue and Friends, with special guest Laila McQueen. Dinners are $25-$30 and can be reserved here for the first seating and here for the second. Bar guests aren’t required to pay for entry or standing room for the shows.
Argos Bar, 301 Mabel Ave., 45403. Leather New Year’s Eve promises “hot leatherpigs,” Jell-O shots and a midnight champagne toast.
MJ’s on Jefferson, 20 N. Jefferson St., 45402. Each reservation includes a table in the show room with a bottle of bubbly. Tables start at $55 and can be reserved here. 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Somewhere, 804 North St., 45801. Hors d’ouevres, champagne toast and a DJ. $10 for 21+, $15 for $18-20. 8 p.m.
Sami’s, 178 Wayne St., 44902. Free party favors and champagne toast, and performances by Brionna Brooks, Valerie and Tim. DJ MJ spins. 8 p.m.
Legend’s Show Club, 117 N. Erie St., 43604. Happy New Year Party with Willow Skyhart, Justyce Sinclaire, Brook Lockhart, Porsha Armani, Sassy Stonehart and Victoria Hunter. Champagne toast at midnight. Showtimes at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
McCune’s Other Side Bistro, 5028 Lewis Ave., 43612. New Year’s Eve Bash, featuring music by DJ Weez, performances by Ericka Sanchez, Mahogany Love Reign, Trina Dior Valentino and Sylvia Austin. Party favors and a champagne toast are included, with an appetizer buffet from 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $15 individual, or $25 for couples.
Mojo’s, 115 N. Erie St., 43604. Happy New Year Party with DJ Savanna spinning electro, dance and Top 40, as well as a champagne toast and drag performances.
R House, 5534 Secor Road, 43623. New Year’s Masquerade Ball. 21+, no cover. 10 p.m.
Club Awesome, 441 E. Market St., 44481. New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, with a buffet and giveaways and performances by Wilamenia Josefina, Danyel Vasquez, Jessica Love and Anita D. Diamond. Showtime at 11:15 p.m.