Scottsdale rings in year with fun, food - East Valley Tribune: News

Scottsdale rings in year with fun, food

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Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2006 12:50 am | Updated: 3:12 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Happy New Year, Scottsdale. The Scottsdale New Year’s Eve Block party went off nearly without a hitch Saturday, as revelers danced to cover tunes and watched themselves on big screen TVs.

View Scottsdale Champagne and Chefs slideshow.

Connie McCoy came from New Mexico to attend the block party, and said it was more than she expected.

“There’s not much of a night life throughout the year in Albuquerque,” she said.

The organizers did receive several complaints from partygoers who were charged more than the advertised $35 general admission fee and some people who realized too late that only those with the $100 VIP ticket received free goodies. A VIP ticket featured free alcohol, a free gourmet dinner and private musical performances.

Those who did opt for the VIP ticket said the experience was worth the extra cash.

“Sixty-five dollars is about 10 drinks, and I could drink that in about two hours,” said Jimmy Mack, 26, of Las Vegas. “In a little while I’ll go out among the lower class.”

A complaint also came from Clark Johnson, who owns the 5th Avenue Gourmet Wine Cafe Bistro. His restaurant is in the middle of the VIP area, and he spent the evening turning away people who were carrying their free food and drinks inside.

Johnson said he lodged a complaint and even tried to strike a deal with the organizers to be a part of the party but was turned down. His tables sat empty most of the night.

One aspect that was thoroughly enjoyed, though, was the cooking stage, which featured internationally renowned cooks and celebrity chefs, such as Angie and Ruth McCartney.

Scottsdale resident Anne Sweet, 40, was the first to raise her hand when chef Brad Petersen of Mesa offered samples of his freshly made salad. She said she loved the cooking feature of the party.

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