Rock This Dick Clark!
Sometimes, Rhode Island, you really surprise me.
I'm a die hard fan. Obviously. I've stuck around, while so many of my nearest and dearest have bolted for seemingly greener pastures. My secret? Appreciating your quirks, while keeping your faults in perspective. Sort of like any good relationship. (Plus I've seen what a thousand dollars will get you for a rental in New York City, and there's no way--no way--I can do that.)
But New Year's Eve in Rhode Island. You've continued to be a problem.
I've always thought that for any new year to unfold properly, you need to bring it in on the dance floor. This undoubtedly goes way back to my childhood, as I partied in my pj's with the glamorous peeps of Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve. This became my goal--until I discovered it was a cast, taped production and no one over age 35 was welcome. All my dreams? Crushed.
Locally, our choices were sad and predictable: Stay home. (Loser.) House party. (I'd rather be asleep.) Pay an overinflated cover charge at a club. (And try not to spend the rest of the evening calculating how much money you'd save if you came back manana.) Head out of town. (Yeah, I think I can see the ball drop. See, Andre. Can't you see the reflection off of that skyscraper?)
Believe me, we've done it all, while still holding out hope that someone, anyone, would host a festive celebration to do Dick Clark proud. Enter World Party Entertainment. This year, the promoters held the 2nd Annual New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball at the Convention Center.
And with a half price Groupon, we were in.
Admittedly, initially, I was a bit skeptical, even with the promise of free cupcakes. Will we be the only ones there? Will we be the only ones dressed up? Will we be the only ones dancing?
Granted, the congregation of bodies provided a perfect opportunity for a whole lot of marketing. Personally, I thought it was a small price to pay. (Or maybe a big price. I'm now jonesin' for an Alex and Ani bangle bracelet. Or two. Or three.)
Our night on the whole? Fabulous. Even with Andre's sinus infection. Because while it may have elevated him to designated driver, it didn't prevent us from salsa-ing to Rhode Island's own Santa Mamba. Or his execution of a left turn. In public. (Huge. We've been practicing for months.)
We had the pleasure of hearing the extreme talent of local teen guitarist Noah Andrade. (Watch out for this cat!) We felt the groove of the Colour of London, fronted by Jimmie Allen formerly of American Idol. And we counted down to 2012 with spokesmodel Claudia Jordan, model number 1 on Deal or No Deal, who, of course, is my best friend's cousin. It is Rhode Island after all.
And at midnight? We were on the dance floor getting down to Pitbull and Ne-Yo's Give Me Everything, as balloons dropped around us.
So welcome 2012. I've got a good feeling about you.
(Photo by Al B Photography)