New Year's Eve Theme? Grand Center Wants Your Help


Above: The dance theme in Never Been Kissed was famous couples throughout history. Below: Want a Never Been Kissed-themed dance? Make it happen.
  • Above: The dance theme in Never Been Kissed was famous couples throughout history. Below: Want a Never Been Kissed-themed dance? Make it happen.

If you missed your chance, either on purpose or by accident, to be on your high school's prom committee, don't worry about it. You can be on the city's instead. Grand Center is offering the city's creative citizens and former Student Council officers the opportunity to relive bitter memories and create better ones by nominating the theme for the 20th First Night St. Louis New Year's Eve bash.

Interested? You can submit literally any topic of your choosing, but be aware that all submissions will go through the center's event staff before being thinned down to the final three candidates. This rules out any X-rated or X-Files-related entries that might have been your gut reaction, but leaves the field open for a pretty huge range of G-rated options. Off the top of our heads: Pujols in Paradise, High School Hall of Fame, Famous Couples in Political Candidate History. Off the bottom of our heads: dressing as your favorite neighborhood/cheese/beer/mythical creature/Arnold Schwarzenegger character, St. Louis Urban Legends, Babe the talking pig.

Thankfully, those of us at Daily RFT are not the only ones eligible. Nominate your own ideas below as practice, and we'll post our favorite later today.

The idea to select a theme through public polling began as a way to attract more local involvement for First Night, which already attracts about 17,000 attendees every year. Past ideas, chosen during a month-long process by the center's committee, have included "Rhythm of the Night," "Wonderland" and, most recently, "FantaSea." Puns, it appears, are fair game, as are allusions to cheesy '80s jams that include an overly generous amount of steel drum.

This year, the committee is continuing its search for relatable themes like FantaSea, with a focus on those that will easily translate to the event's decorations.

"Obviously, it should be fun and festive, as cheesy as that sounds," says Travis Howser, Grand Center Inc.'s director of events and theater operations. "It should be something that has a connection with the community, something people can relate to and something that will give us a lot of good inspiration for visual decorations down the street to promote the theme."

To submit your ideas to Grand Center, email a short summary (200 words max) of your theme to by 5 p.m. Aug. 26. The top three entries will take to Facebook for the public's final vote, and the winner will bring home a real-live iPad. In the meantime, give us a sneak peak of your ideas below. Can you one-up FantaSea?

We'd bet on yes.


Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.