New Year's Eve in Florida

By: Stephen Kubiak

Ring in the New Year with a little Florida flair. Here’s a look at some of the New Year’s Eve celebrations around the Sunshine State.

New Year’s Eve Celebrate Twice

Mexico Beach welcomes visitors to stay at the beach and ring in the New Year -- twice.  Free shuttles will carry New Year's Eve patrons to area hot spots so you can celebrate being at the beach and the New Year.

Start in Port St. Joe, Eastern Time, to begin the celebrating then hop a shuttle and come back to Mexico Beach, Central Time, where you can do it all over again.  Fireworks will be shot off the Mexico Beach pier at midnight. Learn more here.

Amelia Island’s Black & White Masquerade Gala

Celebrate with luxurious food buffets, including seafood, sushi station, appetizers, charcuterie and pates. Visit cooking stations serving seared fish, lobster, roasted pork belly, prime rib and a scrumptious display of desserts. Dance the night away to music and enjoy open bar and fireworks with champagne toast. Masks provided or bring your own. Black & White attire is encouraged. Reservations required. Learn more here.

St. Augustine’s Beach Blast Off

This free event was named one of the best family New Year’s Eve events in the state. The party will have human hamster balls, a dunk tank, bounce houses, 30 food vendors, an artist showcase, and live entertainment. The party opens at 5 p.m., with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Beach Ball Drop on Panama City Beach

Say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016 with a family-friendly celebration at the New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop in Panama City Beach on Dec.31. The streets of Pier Park are closed off to traffic as thousands of revelers enjoy free live music, entertainment, and good cheer.

For youngsters, there's an 8 p.m. countdown, with more than 10,000 inflated beach balls dropped from nets stretched over the street, followed by fireworks.

On the way to midnight, bands perform for the gathering crowd, anticipating the countdown to 2016 as a huge, glowing beach ball is lowered to signal the start of the New Year, and another great fireworks display. Learn more here.

New Year’s Eve in Key West

Ball drop, schmall drop. Anybody can drop a glitter ball and call it a year. Not Key West – no way, no how. Nobody does New Year’s Eve like Key West.  This year’s highlights: Pirate Wench Drop, Giant Shoe Drop and the Conch Shell Drop. It’s all topped with a giant fireworks display. Learn more here.

Shrimp Drop on Amelia Island

It’s not a Waterford crystal apple, but Floridians do know how to ring in the New Year. Fernandina has a LED-lit shrimp -- totally appropriate for a city with shrimping as one of its top trades. But that’s not all; get there early for live music, food and drink vendors and a kids’ zone. Learn more here.

Tampa’s Rooftop Eve

Elegant and sexy, this upscale New Year’s Eve party in downtown Tampa is a ritzy celebration, with private cabanas, open bar, dinner, live entertainment and great views of Tampa’s fireworks. Learn more here.

Pensacola’s Pelican Drop

The Gulf Coast is counting down to 2016 with the Pensacola Pelican Drop. On Dec. 31 the streets of Downtown Pensacola will be filled with revelers counting down with a giant illuminated pelican. Learn more here.


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Looking for a hotel that is having a new years eve party in the central Florida area. Dancing music drinks

Be sure to check out the Tallahassee Downtown New Year's Eve celebration! The event will include live music by the Mary and Aaron Band, Wanderfoot, and the New 76ers on the main stage, food trucks, street performers, guest DJ's, the Fun 4 Tally Kids Family Zone, and a firework show at midnight to celebrate the new year.