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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The countdown is on: it's time to say so long to 2012 and welcome to 2013.

It's not New Year's Eve without parties and celebrations.

For a $140, you can get in the door at Old Ebbitt Grill for a night of oysters, crab cakes and drinks.

Michael Irving is a manager and says, "It's a very good night, champagne toast, balloons come down at midnight."

Monday, these tables will be replaced by game tables for a casino themed extravaganza. Hundreds buy tickets and of course, that means more staff will be called in. It's all hands on deck.

Restaurants, bars, and hotels say New Years is always a big night. The W Hotel says there New Years Eve bash is sold out.

In Old Town Alexandria, there is a different sort of celebration. Thousands come out for First Night Alexandria which is a family friendly event.

Ann Dorman is the Executive Director. She says, "There is plenty to do there are 20 different indoor venues and more than a 100 performances."

While there's no alcohol at First Night Alexandria but there will be plenty of alcohol flowing on New Years Eve. One local organization has a program called SoberRide offering free cab rides to make sure people get home safely. It's a busy night, with the program giving about 600 rides on this holiday alone.

The organization teams up with local cab companies to offer this service.

Kurt Erickson heads the Washington Regional Alcohol Program which runs SoberRide. He says the program works, keeping drunk drivers off the roads and saving lives. All someone has to do is pick up the phone.

Erickson says "some people say if I can for a cab, am I going to have to wait for 30 minutes, you wouldn't have to wait any longer than you do for any other cab because it comes up as a paid cab ride."

The program runs from 10 p.m. New Years Eve until 6 a.m. New Years Day. They pay for cab rides up to $30. All you have to do is call 1-800-200-TAXI.

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