Family festivities for New Year's Eve Extravaganza: City puts on an alcohol-free party at Convention Center and Inner Harbor, capped by fireworks.


Baltimore's New Year's Eve Extravaganza, the city's biggest such celebration, offers all the fun of New Year's but without the champagne. The nonalcoholic family event, which concludes Baltimore's Bicentennial festivities, will be held in two locations -- the Baltimore Convention Center, at Pratt and Howard Streets, and the Inner Harbor -- on Wednesday.

With eight different family-oriented, alcohol-free parties, all under one roof at the Convention Center, the event provides a little something for everyone. Kids can work out that holiday sugar at Kids' Place, where they're provided with drums to bang on, balls and rings to toss and music to sing and dance to, courtesy of TV's John "The Kinderman" Taylor. For teen-agers, there's the Arcade Zone, offering the latest in video game fun. Those who can't wait to see what the new year holds can ask a tarot card reader or astrologer. Music lovers can enjoy live bands specializing in everything from jazz to country to a cappella to rock and soul. For the ham in the family, there's Karaoke Theater, and those who want to dance can take the chance at Club 1998, in the Convention Center lobby. Strolling performers also will be present. Light snacks are included in the price of admission, and more food is available for purchase at the event.

The Inner Harbor also has its share of holiday festivities. At the Harborplace Amphitheatre, along the harbor's west promenade, partygoers can experience the sounds of the 1980s with a free concert by the band The Reagan Years. For an experience that is truly in the spirit of the season, there's New Year's Eve on Ice at the Inner Harbor Ice Rink on Rash Field. Participants can skate to music broadcast over the loudspeakers and enjoy a hot beverage and party favors.

All of the evening's revelers can come together at midnight for a fireworks display over the Inner Harbor, choreographed to 1980s tunes. The music can be heard at the Harborplace Amphitheatre and the Inner Harbor Ice Rink, and everyone is invited to bring radios and tune in to the simultaneous broadcast on MIX 106.5.

Tickets to the Convention Center celebration are available through TicketMaster by calling 410-481-SEAT, and also in the Convention Center lobby, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the day of the event. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the festivities begin at 8: 30 NTC and continue until 11: 30 p.m. The free Reagan Years concert begins at 9 p.m. and continues until midnight. New Year's Eve on Ice runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The price of admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 410-837-4636 or 800-282-6632.

Pub Date: 12/25/97

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