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Eight great San Diego New Year’s Eve parties

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. It’s the start of a new year (and, in this case, a new decade), and a time to put all of the triumphs and tragedies of the past year to rest. It’s a night to celebrate friendships and first loves. It’s a night you disappear from a house party at 4 a.m., hike halfway down Sunset Cliffs with a bottle of wine and a tall drink of water, stir when the sun rises, and yet don’t quite make the walk of shame home until 5 p.m. New Year’s Day just in time to camp out with KFC and your bewildered conscience — hypothetically.

Ahh, New Year’s Eve; the night junior-varsity party-goers have at it, and veteran nightlifers retreat to house parties. It isn’t all bad, though. In fact, there’s quite a few good parties out there this year — and you’d be remiss to wait to get your tickets to any of them. Check out these eight great San Diego New Year’s Eve parties.

Big Night San Diego: Big Night San Diego is the city’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration, with 12 themed party rooms and six dance floors. Party Mardi-Gras style, go retro to 70s, 80s and 90s music, or dance to house and club music; there’s something for everyone at the blowout NYE party, hosted at the Hilton Bayfront. It’s all-inclusive, too, so food, drinks and entertainment are included in the $119.99 ticket price; VIP tickets ($179.99) are accompanied by upgrades in food and drink service. The Hilton Bayfront is located at 1 Park Blvd. For more information, visit www.bignightsandiego.com.

First Night Escondido: First Night Escondido is the county’s premier alcohol-free, family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. With dancing, food, a live art demonstration, entertainment, activities for kids, and two fireworks shows (one at 9 p.m. and one at midnight), First Night Escondido makes it fun and easy for kids and parents to ring in the new year together. Presale admission is $15, admission at the door is $20, and children 6 and younger are admitted free. The celebration is held at Grape Day Park, Escondido City Hall and the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. For more information, visit www.firstnightescondido.com.

Voyeur 2010 New Year’s Eve: Voyeur is one of the year’s bright spots. The nightclub re-energized the downtown nightlife scene, and New Year’s Eve will be no exception as the nightclub gears up for 2010 in true Voyeur style. It plans to do what it does best: deliver high-energy dance music. Wolfgang Gartner, Dave Aude, Deth Hertz, Rifat Ziadeh and Anthony Ross will be on hand to blow up the sound system and light up the club’s LED wall. Tickets are $50. Voyeur is located at 755 Fifth Ave. For more information, visit www.voyeursd.com.

New Year’s Eve 2010 at The Hard Rock Hotel: The Hard Rock’s NYE party — featuring parties on three floors in four venues with 11 DJs — is sold out. Unless you’re up to dropping the extra cash on bottle service or overnight accommodations; in which case, you’re in. Room/party packages start at $599, and include access to the parties where DJs Jack LaFleur, Paulie P & Till, Dave Dresden, Danny Love, Dadon, SKAM Artist, Scheony, Sid Viscious, Kurch and Card 1 will be spinning. If you have the cash to go big, The Hard Rock Hotel’s New Year’s Eve bash is where to do it. The Hard Rock Hotel is located at 207 Fifth Ave. For more information, visit www.hardrockhotelsd.com.

‘A Night in Tokyo’ New Year’s Eve 2010 at Sè Hotel: The Sè Hotel downtown will transform for a New Year’s Eve Party like no other. “A Night in Tokyo” will span the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, its restaurant Suite & Tender, and the poolside lounge, Siren. There will be DJs and live music at San Diego’s hottest new luxury hotel, spinning well into New Year’s Day. If you’re looking to stay overnight, Se has room and party packages available, too. Tickets to the Grand Ballroom party are $50, tickets to the Siren party are $75, dinner/party packages start at $280, and room/party packages start at $499. The Sè Hotel is located at 1047 Fifth Ave. For more information, visit www.sesandiego.com.

New Year’s Eve Beach Party with VAVi: For the fit and active set looking for a like-minded NYE kiss, VAVi’s New Year’s Eve Beach Party at The Catamaran Resort is a solid bet. Photos of the toned, tan, attractive VAVi-ers letting loose are incentive enough to shell out the $139 ticket price. The ticket includes shuttle service, a hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment by Chris Cutz and Fresh One of Sleeping Giants Music, DJ BDP, and Ayla Simone. Attendees will also have a ringside seat for the bayfront fireworks — not a shabby way to ring in 2010! The Catamaran Resort Hotel is located at 3999 Mission Blvd. For more information, visit www.newyearsevesandiegoparty.com.

New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2010: Bon voyage! Set sail on the Inspiration Hornblower, San Diego’s largest privately-owned yacht, and ring in the New Year on San Diego Bay. The all-inclusive, five-hour yacht party will feature a hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres, three levels of music and entertainment, and a top-deck lounge that will have a view of downtown San Diego. Tickets are $169, but they will increase as the event sells, so get yours now. For more information, visit www.newyearsevesandiegoparty.com.

New Year’s Eve 2010 at The Wonderhaus: The Wonderhaus building in the East Village is one of the most sought after private event locations in San Diego County. The large industrial space is ideal for a blowout celebration — and on New Year’s Eve, there won’t be an 18-and-older event that parallels this. DJs Klever, Le Castlevania, Nick Catchdubs, Turbo Teen, The Office Twins, Paul Najera, Rhythm, Baquai, and others will spin. Tickets are $40. The Wonderhaus building is located at 171 14th St. For more information, visit www.4thedj.net.

By Joseph Pena, SDNN.com. Peña is the lifestyle editor for San Diego News Network. He can be reached at joseph.pena@sdnn.com. Follow him on Twitter: @josephpena" For more information visit SDNN.com.