A New Year's Eve celebration in the City of Light: Life is a cabaret, old friend


Q: I will be in Paris to ring in the New Year and am interested in finding out how Parisians celebrate the occasion and what entertainment options are available.

A: Many Parisians go away for the holiday, and a large number of those who don't go away celebrate the New Year with friends at their homes or at a restaurant.

One of the great New Year's Eve traditions, however, is to be on the Champs-Elysees: to meet there and walk down the avenue or drive through while honking the car horn and generally making as much noise as possible.

Following are some cabaret and restaurant choices (reserve at least a month ahead):

* Regine's International, 49-51 Rue de Ponthieu, eighth arrondissement, call Dinner and dancing with a fixed-price menu at $267 a person, calculated at 5.60 francs to the dollar.

* Folies Bergeres, 32 Rue Richer, ninth arrondissement; Show, plus fixed-price dinner and dancing. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. and dinner and dancing at 11 p.m. Orchestra seats, $257 a person; club seats, $282.

* Lido, 116 Champs-Elysees, eighth arrondissement; Show plus fixed-price dinner and dancing is $419 a person.

* Les Bains, 7 Rue du Bourg l'Abbe, third arrondissement; Dinner and dancing, $214 a person.

* La Coupole, 102 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 14th arrondissement; The restaurant will have its usual a la carte menu, and there is dancing in a separate club downstairs. About $60 a person.

* Moulin Rouge, 82 Boulevard de Clichy, Place Blanche, 18th arrondissement; Usual show plus dinner and dancing with orchestra, $357 a person.

* Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, seventh arrondissement. The Jules Verne Restaurant,, will have dinner, the usual piano music and perhaps two additional musicians for $250 a person, not including drinks.

Two other choices:

* Bateaux Vedettes de Paris, Port Suffren, seventh arrondissement; Louisiana will be the theme of the Seine boat trip. Buffet and dancing, jazz band and disco, for between $53 and $71 a person.

* New Morning Jazz Club, 5-9 Rue Petites Ecuries, 10th arrondissement; The club presents top-flight musicians.

Q: Are there any travel agencies that specialize in Kentucky Derby packages?

A: According to officials at Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby, there is no official agent handling ticket and hotel packages. But you might find what you want from Advantage Travel Services, 231 S. Fifth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202, (502) 589-6540, which has put together a number of packages covering the four days and three nights of Derby Week, from May 3-8.

Prices for the following five are for each person in double occupancy and include daily American breakfast.

* The Platinum Package, at $3,118, includes accommodations at the Galt House Hotel, reserved seats in a second- or third-floor Clubhouse box for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, and access on Friday and Saturday to a marquee tent with a buffet lunch and an open bar.

* The Executive Museum Package, at $2,572, includes Galt House accommodations and lunch at the Kentucky Derby Museum, next to the Grandstand, on Oaks and Derby days and third-floor reserved box seats in the Grandstand.

* The Third-Floor Package, at $2,174, includes Galt House accommodations, box lunch on Oaks and Derby days and reserved box seats on Friday and Saturday in the third-floor Grandstand.

* The Regular Museum Package, at $1,418, includes Quality Hotel accommodations, lunch at the Kentucky Derby Museum on Oaks and Derby Days and Grandstand seating on Friday and Saturday.

* The Economy Package, at $944, includes Quality House accommodations and seating in the infield bleachers for the Oaks and Derby.

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