Having a great time aboard

    Having a great time aboard

    11 Ideas to Celebrate 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.

    Pitbull’s New Year’s Eve Revolution 2015


    Start 2016 with Mr. 305 himself, when Pitbull’s New Year’s Eve Revolution returns to Bayfront Park for a live FOX television broadcast.

    This is the place for what is billed as the largest free New Year’s Eve party in South Florida 

    Get ready for a night filled with food, fireworks and a lineup of performers you won’t want to miss Join the countdown to midnight with Pitbull --- as tens of thousands dance their way into 2016. 

     

    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. 

    Looking for the VIP experience at the event? Check out the World Wide Food & Wine Party.

     

    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. 

     

    St. Augustine’s Beach Blast Off

    This free event was named one of the best family New Year’s Eve events in Florida. 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.

     

    St. Petersburg’s Starlite New Year’s Eve Cruise


    Cruise into 2016 on a four-hour holiday cruise with a sit-down dinner, cabaret-style seating, a champagne toast at midnight and open bar. Ages 10 and older only. 

     

    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. 

     

     

    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 music by international tour groupPapa Soland open bar and fireworks with a champagne toast are featured. Masks provided or bring your own. Black & White attire is encouraged. Reservations required.

     

    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. 

     

    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. 

     

    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.

     

    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.

     

    Light Up Tampa Bay New Year’s Eve Celebration

    Count down to 2016 with waterfront access, entertainment, food and beverage specials and Tampa Bay’s largest fireworks show.

    For this and other Florida travel ideas, go to VISIT FLORIDA's official travelers guide.

     

     

     

     

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