For the EVE celebration to usher in 2014 in Salt Lake City, the beach-balls at the Salt Palace Convention Center will return, the Utah Jazz will participate with free admission and geeks can enter a costume contest sponsored by Salt Lake Comic Con, organizers announced Monday.
The two musical groups headlining the event, which runs Sunday-Tuesday, Dec. 29-31, are Smallpools, a Los Angles-based indie/pop alternative band, and Beyond 5, an all-male group from Utah County.
In all, nine downtown venues will offer “a thousand ways to celebrate,” said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, which sponsors the event themed “Light. Art. Sound.”
An all-access wristband is $15 for adults and $5 for youth 3-9. Children 2 and younger are free.
Mathis said if winter temperatures cooperate, about 40,000 people are expected to attend.
The Downtown Alliance is working with eight Salt Lake Hotels to offer special EVE packages. He said last year 800 hotel/ticket packages were sold, with about 10 percent coming from out of state. Those number move EVE closer to the goal of being “a national festival that attracts people from all over the country,” he said.
This year’s edition has been dubbed EVE 5.0, as it’s “the fifth year we’ve produced a three-day New Years event,” Mathis said. “And we’re bringing some of the fan favorites from the past five years back.”
Topping the list is the BounceTown and ball room — with more than 2,000 beach balls of all sizes — at the Salt Place, which took a hiatus last year, said Mathis.
The Salt Place also will have indoor and outdoor stages with live music and DJs as well as a Native American celebration.
“After the kids have been cooped up inside during Christmas break, this will be a great way for them to spend some energy,” he said
Attend the Utah Jazz basketball game with the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday, Dec. 30, and get free access to Eve activities. And vice-versa, show an original EVE proof of purchase (Groupon, email confirmation) and get a ticket to the game. Tickets are limited.
Also on Dec. 30, fans of Salt Lake Comic Con can enter the new costume contest.
“Our fans are always looking for an excuse to do what they do,” said Dan Farr, Salt Lake Comic Con producer. The contest “will bring people together and allow people to let their geek flag fly.”
Other venues offering EVE activities include The Clark Planetarium, Discovery Gateway, The Leonardo, The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), Temple Square, Off Broadway Theatre and Broadway Cinemas.
UMOCA will once again holds its “Secret EVE” scavenger hunt, where participants must search for more than a dozen pieces of hidden art work located between The Gateway and the Salt Palace and then share their photos on Instagram, said marketing director Sarina Ehrgott.
UMOCA also will offer karaoke with artist-made videos. “Last year, people were fighting over the microphones,” Ehrgott said of the popular event.
Silent movies, performances by local arts troupes and comedy shows round out the offerings.
For more information and a detailed schedule, visit eveslc.com.