The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission takes the "peace" part of its name quite seriously. Each year, it raises funds for Peace Scholarships, distributed to deserving, college-bound high school seniors. Starting at 5:30, at tonight's Holiday Peace Bash (there's that word again), a $10 donation (or $25 per family) will reward you with a tasty pasta dinner at the new Carter Payne event center (320 S. Weber St., ppjpc.org), and a warm fuzzy feeling inside, knowing you're helping build a new generation of activists. — Kirsten Akens
As we rocket toward the maybe-transformative/maybe-asteroid-ridden phenom that is 2012, it seems the optimum time to take on some transcendental folk from Elephant Revival. At 8 tonight, the fresh-faced neo-acoustic fivesome from Nederland will fire up all manner of strings — and the occasional washboard — at Stargazers Theatre & Event Center (10 S. Parkside Drive, stargazerstheatre.com). Save a few bucks by buying your tickets online at amusiccompanyinc.com, or purchase them for $25 at the door. — Mary Jo Meade
New Year's Eve
To quote a Death Cab for Cutie song, "So this is the new year. And I don't feel any different ... and I have no resolutions."
If that pretty much sums up your feelings at present, enliven your turn of the calendar with one of the more prominent New Year's Eve events of which we've been informed. (Note: This does not include what is surely a plethora of special menus available at local restaurants; call your favorite spot to explore that option.)
• The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St., csfineartscenter.org) presents Cruising the Nightlife, a cruise-ship-themed party touring New York City, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Vienna between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Enjoy dining, dancing, gallery tours, karaoke and more; tickets range from $49 to $119.
• The ever-eccentric Major Mandolin will host his 2012 Gala New Year's Eve Ball from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Colorado Springs Marriott (5580 Tech Center Drive, majormandolin.tv), featuring Tron the Band and Faint Hearts and big-screen TVs set to Times Square and Las Vegas. Tickets run $18 to $70.
• Catch Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors at A Sterling & Sapphire Gala at the DoubleTree by Hilton (1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., hilton.com) between 7:30 and 1. Tickets ($75) include a buffet dinner and Champagne toast at a midnight balloon drop.
• The Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents New Year's Eve: Three Rocky Mountain Tenors at 8 at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., csphilharmonic.org), with Thomas Wilson conducting vocalists Matt McMahan, Joseph Mikolaj and Max Ferguson on recognized Broadway tunes. Seats run $19 to $57.
• The Pueblo Convention Center's New Year's Eve Party (320 Central Main St., Pueblo, puebloconventioncenter.com), from 6:30 to 12:30, gets you cocktails, dinner, dueling pianos and a live feed of Times Square, among other highlights, for $50.
• The Business of Art Center (515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, thebac.org) will host the BAC New Year's Eve Party from 9 to 12:30 with $32-to-$35 tickets earning appetizers, drinks and live music by Redraw the Farm.
• Dancers may do no better than Springs Salsa and Dance Fitness' (1220 Valley St., springssalsa.com) Glow and Rave Party from 10 to 1. Tickets to dance, dine and drink are $15 to $25.
• And for the contrarians who'd rather think than drink, for free: a World Peace Meditation Service from 5 to 5:45 a.m. (yes, in the morning on the 31st) at the Center for Spiritual Living Chapel (3685 Jeannine Drive, cslcs.org) ... or a mauna (silent meditation) followed by chanting at Pranava Yoga Center (718 N. Weber St., pranavayogacenter.com) from 9:30 to around 12:30. — Matthew Schniper
You probably already know that the best way to sweat out all the alcohol from last night is to head outdoors and get active. What you might not know is that the government wants to help you out, with First Day Hikes. At least 10 parks across the state (and more across the nation) are offering free guided hikes today; the closest at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, just south of the Springs. Some hikes begin at 8 a.m. (Yes, seriously.) Others get rolling around 2 p.m. Whichever you pick, unless you already have an annual state parks pass, you'll need to pay a $3 to $9 per vehicle entry fee. Check parks.state.co.us for all the details. And don't forget your sunglasses. — Kirsten Akens
New Year's parties were a major drag, as far as my 9-year-old self was concerned. You wait for years to be allowed to stay up till midnight, and for what? Drinking Champagne, which doesn't taste nearly as good as it looks, and doing that shuffle-twitch-bump thing adults call dancing? Puh-leeze. A New Year's party ought to be noisy, messy, dramatic and over by 4 p.m. And people at the Millibo Art Theater (1367 Pecan St., themat.org) think the same thing. They're welcoming 2012 with a week of $10 matinees of Art Guffaw. Celebrate with giant soap bubbles, clowning and art-studio silliness today through Saturday at 2, or Sunday at 1 and 3. — Claire Swinford
Pikes Peak Community College has a successful art program, thanks to faculty members with serious expertise and students eager to learn from them. See for yourself at the free Winter Student Art Show in the PPCC Downtown Studio Gallery (100 W. Pikes Peak Ave., ppcc.edu), tucked just west of Penrose Library. You'll find examples of art from all media in the PPCC repertoire, today and every weekday and Saturday through Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a reception planned for Jan. 27. But why wait for that? — Ralph Routon
When Cross Canadian Ragweed called it quits last year, two-thirds of the original band went home to Yukon, Okla. Guitarist Grady Cross now owns and operates the bar where the group first started playing, while drummer Randy Ragsdale started his own landscaping business. But frontman Cody Canada is apparently a more restless soul. His current band, Cody Canada & the Departed, continues to spread the gospel of Oklahoma "Red Dirt" music, which can be thought of as an indie-flavored update on classic outlaw country. Their all-ages show at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com) kicks off at 8 p.m. with Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights opening. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. — Bill Forman
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