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Take off on aircraft carrier USS Hornet on New Year's Eve

December 27, 2009


New Year's Eve on the USS Hornet

When, where: Dec. 31, USS Hornet

Highlights: Aboard this historic aircraft carrier, three dance floors come alive with big-band music as attendees get dance lessons, party favors and a panoramic view of San Francisco's skyline from the flight deck. There will also be a midnight countdown and a silent auction; the event is black-tie optional but period, swing and formal military attire are encouraged.

Cost: $48 in advance, $55 at the door, optional buffet dinner is $55; proceeds benefit the USS Hornet Museum


Ullr Fest

When, where: Jan. 10 to 16, throughout Breckenridge

Highlights: This 43rd annual celebration of the Norse snow god evokes all things Viking. During the "Ullympics," four-person teams compete in wacky sports; the Ullr Parade showcases silly floats and costumes. Other highlights include live entertainment, parties (including a skating shindig), a bonfire and a comedy night.

Cost: Most events are free

Info: (888) 251-2417,


Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival

When, where: Jan. 15 to 17, downtown Nevada City

Highlights: The eighth annual event presents award-winning films about nature and the environment while celebrities and activists speak in support of the green movement. The Nevada City event kicks off a nationwide tour that will hit some 100 venues.

Cost: Prices vary; evening passes start at $24 ($12 for children), workshops cost $29, the gala event is $75, the dance parties are $10 to $20, and a weekend pass goes for $95

Info: (530) 265-5961,


Palm Springs International Film Festival

When, where: Jan. 5 to 18, throughout Palm Springs

Highlights: Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Mariah Carey and Anna Kendrick will be honored at this annual event, founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono. More than 400 film screenings by filmmakers from about 60 nations will be presented, many of them making their U.S. debut.

Cost: Prices range from $50 for the closing-night gala to $400 and up for a Platinum Pass. $50 gets you into six screenings.

(800) 898-7256,


Cirque du Soleil's OVO

When, where: Through Jan. 24, AT&T Park

Highlights: The all-human circus' new big-top production is egg- and insect-themed with a cast of 54 performers from 13 countries. The show opens in San Jose on Feb. 4.

Cost: From $60; $42 for children ages 2 to 12; $54 for students and seniors 65 and older

Info: (800) 450-1480,

-- Avital Binshtock

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