Tip off area New Year's celebrations with the Globetrotters


The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their blend of comedy, basketball, and athleticism back to Toledo to kick off various high-profile local New Year's Eve weekend activities.

Today, the 'Trotters will turn the game over to fans who will decide the rules. Six-point shots, double basketballs, three-on-five -- anything goes during the You Write the Rules World Tour.

Guests can go online to harlemglobetrotters.com to vote for the game-breaking rule they want to see implemented in the games.

In addition, guests can take part in a pre-game experience, spending time with the players on the court, trying out tricks, shooting baskets, and taking photographs. A special pass is required.

The tour will also feature stops at U.S. military bases overseas. For the first time, the Globetrotters will play in Afghanistan, marking 121 countries and territories in which the they have performed over their long history.

In 2013 the team will celebrate 87 consecutive years of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and family entertainment.

The Harlem Globetrotters will hit the hardwood today at Huntington Center to take on the Washington Generals at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets range from $24 to $100.

The Globetrotters' performance ushers in a weekend's worth of activities that culminates in New Year's Eve celebrations, including music from the Johnny Knorr Orchestra and Alexander Zonjic.

A 27-year northwest Ohio New Year's tradition, the Johnny Knorr Orchestra is holding its New Year's Eve Ball on Monday at the Stranahan Theater. The event will feature a gourmet dinner prepared by executive chef Michael Armstrong of Michael's Gourmet Catering.

Radio personalities Ragtime Rick and Dennis Williams will serve as emcees and there will be a champagne toast, mini-breaksfast pastries, and hours of dancing.

The orchestra will be under the direction of the late Johnny Knorr's son, Jerry.

Doors open at 6:30 and tickets are $60 and are available by calling 419-694-7612 or visiting the Web site JohnnyKnorr.com.

Jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic and his band will host a New Year's Eve dinner, show, and party at Zonjic's new listening room, Studio Z, in downtown Monroe on Monday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The event will include gourmet dinner, party favors, champagne toast at midnight, and a cash bar. The cost is $75 per person.

Studio Z is at 29 S. Monroe St. in downtown Monroe.

Seating for the evening is limited and reservations are recommended by calling 734-244-5930 or going to zonjic.com.