Where to Ring in the New Year in South Florida
December 19, 2016
If South Florida knows how to do one thing right, it’s how to have a good time. And there is certainly no lack of happenings and celebrations occurring this New Year’s Eve to help ensure you ring in 2017 in an unforgettable way. From beachfront parties where you can dance ‘til dawn to family-friendly ice skating with live music, South Florida will be home to every kind of fun imaginable come December 31.
Please see below for a collection of festive events to choose from in Brightline’s three future cities—Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Big Orange “Ball Drop”, Pitbull’s New Year Revolution and Fireworks at Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park will be the place to ring in the New Year with Pitbull and friends for the largest free party in South Florida! Fireworks will light up the sky and partygoers will watch “The Big Orange,” Miami’s New Year’s Eve icon, ascend the wall of the Hotel Intercontinental, Miami’s version of New York’s ball drop. Tens of thousands will dance their way into 2017 as they join in for the countdown to midnight with Pitbull and the rest of the star-studded lineup. This party was named as one of the top 10 places in the world to ring in the New Year by USA TODAY and MSN. Saturday, Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; no ticket required.
Billy Joel’s New Year’s Eve Concert at the BB&T Center
Billy Joel had such a good time spending New Year’s Eve on stage at Sunrise’s BB&T Center to ring in 2016, the star is set to do it again this year. Saturday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.; BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; tickets start at $53.75 via https://www.ticketmaster.com/.
Fontainebleau & LIV
When it comes to NYE lineups, Fontainebleau never disappoints. This year, pop sensation Justin Bieber will kick off the night with an electric poolside performance. The celebration continues all night long with Grammy Award winning producer Skrillex at world famous LIV Nightclub inside Fontainebleau and Story Nightclub presents Marshmello New Year’s celebration right down the street. Saturday, Dec. 31 at 9:00 p.m.; Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; tickets start at $300 at fontainebleau.com/nye.
Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown
The City of Fort Lauderdale is gearing up for their annual premier New Year’s Eve celebration, the Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown. Touted as one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in Florida, this year’s free street festival is full of fun and excitement for both children and adults. Like New York City’s Times Square Ball Drop and Miami’s Orange Ball Drop, this festival features the drop of a giant anchor at midnight.
Downtown Countdown will feature a variety of activities for the whole family from 3:30-8:30 p.m. including bounce houses, slides, face painting, games, contests, line dancing with DJ William Pennhouse, and free caricatures drawn by a team of talented sketch artists. The Kids Countdown takes place at 7 p.m. on the main stage (S.W. 2 St. and S.W. 5 Ave.), and will feature the lighting of the anchor. Once the anchor is illuminated, it will remain on, showcasing a variety of colors and effects until the countdown at midnight.
At 8 p.m., live music kicks off on the main stage with Crystal Dreams of Fleetwood Mac. Just when you thought you’ve danced until you dropped, get ready for South Florida’s Funk Top 40 party band, Pocket Change, who take over the main stage from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 31 from 3:30 p.m.-1 a.m. along S.W. 2nd St. between S.W. 2nd and S.W. 5th Aves.; free admission. For more information, visit https://www.fortlauderdale.gov/.
West Palm Beach:
New Year’s Eve Celebration at City Place
CityPlace is West Palm Beach’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Each holiday season, this outdoor mall transforms into a tropical winter wonderland, and the nightly “snowfalls” on the Plaza is part of the Downtown West Palm Beach tradition. This New Year’s Eve, enjoy live music under the stars with Quick Fix Party Rock from 7 p.m.-12 a.m.; Snowfalls on the Plaza at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and Midnight; “iceless” ice skating and amazing dining and entertainment destination options. Saturday, Dec. 31; 700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach; for more information, visit www.cityplace.com.
Annual Broadway Spoof at the Kravis Center
Just when musical theater thought it was immune from the Cats’ meow of writer Gerard Alessandrini, Forbidden Broadway marks another parody milestone with a 35th Anniversary Tour that taunts the Great White Way in Wicked fashion. The long-running roast features outrageous costumes, riotous rewrites of familiar songs and sidesplitting impressions, from “The Phantom of the Opera” to “The Book of Mormon” and beyond. The Saturday, Dec. 31, 10 p.m. performance includes a New Year’s Eve champagne toast. Saturday, Dec. 31 at 10 p.m.; 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; tickets start at $39 via https://www.kravis.org/.
Party Like A Palm Beacher
It may be tough to get into the exclusive Coconuts Ball at the Flagler Museum on New Year’s Eve, but you can check out their fireworks display for free on either side of the Intracoastal. Head down to Waterfront Commons Park in West Palm Beach for the best vantage point. Sunday, Jan. 1 at 12 a.m.; 100 South Clematis St., West Palm Beach.
As we ring in 2017, we are one step closer to having Brightline express passenger train service to connect the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach like never before. Brightline is going to reimagine train travel in Florida and make everyone’s backyard bigger! Happy New Year to all!