Last Hurrah: How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in THE BLOCKS

Yes, there’s plenty to love about Christmas—the food and drink, gift-giving, good cheer, etc. But the holiday that we look forward to even more—the one that’s full of out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new promise—is, of course, New Year’s Eve. And nowhere in Utah will you find a more raucous, inclusive, festive and just plain fun New Year’s Eve celebration than at The Gateway’s Last Hurrah.

The Gateway wanted to provide a space for a New Year’s Eve event that is open to everyone to enjoy. Something that would become a city tradition, that people would look forward to every year,” said Jacklyn Briggs, marketing director for The Gateway’s management entity, Vestar.  “As we’ve grown into a premier entertainment destination, we thought what better place than here?” 

Last Hurrah checks all those boxes and much more. This gotta-be-there New Year’s Eve party—which includes live music, craft cocktails and plenty of kid-friendly activities—get started at The Gateway’s Olympic Plaza (Rio Grande St) at 8 p.m. Last Hurrah Main Stage performers include The Backseat Lovers and Provo-based American folk superstars, The National Parks. Salt Lake City native and blues juggernaut, Talia Keys, is the headliner over on THE BLOCKS stage, preceded by Horrible Penny and Carlos Emjay.

Most of the Last Hurrah events are held outdoors, and attendees should definitely plan to dress for frigid temps. But Last Hurrah does include indoor celebration spaces (Located from 100 South to 50 North) where attendees can come in out of the cold to get warm. Inside the Game Room, you can try your hand at cornhole, a giant game of checkers, glow-in-the-dark artboards and more. Or fulfill your rock star fantasies in the Karaoke Lounge. Multigenerational revelers can go VIP at Dave & Buster’s where, for just $15 per person, they can enjoy the hot coffee/hot chocolate bar, two small appetizers, unlimited video gameplay and New Year’s Eve party favors. Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum will offer a free NYE noisemaker-making activity from 7 to 9 p.m., while supplies last. And Clark Planetarium will be staying open late with $5 movie tickets until 10 p.m. and free access to first floor exhibits.  

Those age 21 and older can warm up with a craft cocktail, beer or glass of wine inside the Pop-Up Bar where DJ Bo York will be spinning tunes until midnight. The newly opened Punch Bowl Social will stay open until 1 a.m. with no cover during the Last Hurrah, offering specialty cocktails, gaming and a special New Year’s Eve menu.

When you get hungry, many of the restaurants at The Gateway (including California Pizza Kitchen, Chedda Burger, Sweet Rolled Tacos and many more) will be operating later hours for Last Hurrah. If you’re looking for something a little more formal, Flemings Steakhouse at The Gateway is offering a special New Year’s Eve preset menu. Or grab a bite at one of the many food trucks scheduled to be on-site throughout this event. HallPass, a new 11,000-square-foot food hall located at The Gateway, is slated to open the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and will be open late during Last Hurrah, offering food and drink from SkinnyFATS and Beer Zombie. 

The evening concludes with a countdown to midnight and fantastic fireworks show, bidding adieu to 2019 and welcoming 2020 with a bang.

Here’s the quick-and-dirty Last Hurrah beta:

WHAT: Last Hurrah, THE BLOCKS signature, all-ages New Year’s Eve celebration
WHEN: one-night-only, Tuesday, December 31, 8 p.m. to midnight
WHERE: The Gateway Mall’s (400 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City) outdoor Olympic Plaza and surrounding indoor spaces
HOW MUCH: Admission is FREE, but be sure to bring some cash or a credit card to buy food and drinks. (A limited number of 21-and-over, VIP tickets can be purchased in advance at
GETTING THERE: Several parking garages are located throughout The Gateway. Or avoid the hassle and take TRAX (UTA will be running post-midnight service on New Year’s Eve; check for details.) or a ride-sharing service like Lyft or Uber to Last Hurrah.

So, now you know what to say when someone asks you, “What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”