Pinellas County is ringing in the New Year in a variety of ways.
Say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in the New Year in a variety of ways as Pinellas County and Tampa Bay rings in 2014.
• One of the biggest celebrations in Pinellas is First Night St. Petersburg. Ring in the New Year with music, lights, dance, fire, bubbles, stories, creative fun, fireworks and more Tuesday, Dec. 31, 4 p.m. to midnight, at multiple venues in downtown St. Petersburg.
The event features family-oriented festivities with music stages, entertainment, drama, dance, games, art, fireworks and more. This year’s celebration is themed “First Night, First Flight” and is dedicated to Tony Jannus history-making flight from St. Pete to Tampa 100 years ago.
The festivities will begin with FirstKids at the Morean Arts Center at 4 p.m., with hat and mask making, the Second Time Arounders Musical Petting Zoo and Art in Flight Projects from the Morean Center for Clay and Creative Clay. St. Petersburg Library is sending over a puppet show. FirstKids will finish with the Procession of Flight soaring down to the waterfront at 7 p.m. lead by the Mount Zion Drumline and Color Guard for the Bubble Stomp and the First Fireworks.
In Williams Park, The Warehouse Arts District Artists will light up the New Year with Luminous Flight illuminated sculptural lanterns. First Night goers will be able to participate in hands-on demos by WADA artists including glass etching, flight based clay creations and decorating a Chinese style Dragon. A Dragon Procession to the waterfront starts at 10 p.m.
Musical stages will feature rock, jazz, bluegrass, opera, chamber music, hip-hop, alternative folk rock and sacred steel. New this year will be TASCO’s Young Talent Showcase in North Straub Park. The finale stage will feature alternative folk favorites Have Gun Will Travel and will finish the night with the sacred steel sounds of the Lee Boys. The event will feature fireworks at 8 p.m. and midnight. For information and a complete schedule, visit www.firstnightstpete.com.
• Swingin' the New Year, a grand New Year's Eve celebration for all ages, is Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $30. Call 669-7830 or 773-0064 or visit www.TampaBaySwing.com. The evening will feature live music by the 18-piece Tom Kats Big Band, dancing and celebration from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. There also will be an introductory swing-dance lesson between 8 and 9 p.m. Doors will open 7:30 p.m. The smoke-free celebration includes a midnight countdown and balloon drop, a vintage fashion photo shoot and contest, party favors and chocolates, prize giveaways, free parking and a full cash bar with champagne bottles and toasts available. New Year's and vintage attire are encouraged.
• The HOT 101.5 New Year’s Eve Party is Tuesday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. The party will feature DJs spinning live, go-go dancers, LED screens and a midnight toast. Tickets range from $25 to $75. Call 893-7832 or visit www.themahaffey.com.
• The Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts its second annual Community Fireworks event on New Year's Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31, on Clearwater Beach. The free event will take place at the stroke of midnight on the south end of the beach. The fireworks should be viewable from the south end of the beach and Sand Key all the way up to the north near the Sandpearl Resort. For information, visit www.lightitupclearwater.com.
• For a bit of blues on New Year’s Eve, B.B. King performs Tuesday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tickets start at $69. Call 791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com. The legendary blues icon will perform on New Year’s Eve at the all-new Capitol Theatre. This will be the first New Year’s Eve concert at the newly renovated, 93-year-old Capitol Theatre – and hopefully the start of a new tradition.
• A Salute to Vienna will usher in the New Year on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $35. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com. Welcome the New Year with Salute to Vienna, returning to Ruth Eckerd Hall for a glorious 16th appearance with a fresh new program. Attendees will enjoy a brilliant cast of more than 75 musicians, stellar European singers, and dancers in beautiful costumes. The show will celebrate with the best Strauss waltzes, polkas and excerpts from Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow and more. The gala is presented in partnership with Attila Glatz Concert Productions.
• Shephard’s New Year’s Eve party gets underway Tuesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m., at Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater. Admission is $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Admission includes a great view of the Clearwater Beach fireworks display, live feed from Times Square and countdown to 2014 on a 16-foot video screen, balloon drop, champagne toast, party favors, live music from All the Answers at the Tiki Bar and DJ Ray and DJ Brandon James. The party is for guests 21 and older with proper identification. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 441-6875.
• The TradeWinds Rockin' in the Midnight Hour New Year's Eve Party will be Tuesday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., in the ballroom at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St Pete Beach. Partiers 21 and older are invited to don their best duds for an evening of festivities, food, and fun. The locally famous Greg Billings Band will provide dance music. Guests will have access to an open bar and will receive a glass of champagne and noisemakers to celebrate the balloon drop at midnight. A gourmet hors d'oeuvres buffet will be the centerpiece of this year's experience. A dessert display of chocolate fondue and miniature pastries will give the buffet a sweet ending. Entrance to the party is $140 a person. For party reservations and information, call 363-2258.
• Experience a taste of James Bond excitement on New Year’s Eve at the Casino Royale ballroom celebration, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., at Loews Don CeSar Hotel, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. The entire fifth floor of the building will come alive New Year’s Eve with four Bond-inspired parties all rolled into one. Cost is $175 per person including full open bar, plenty of food action stations, two DJs, a live performance by Phase 5, casino gaming and more. Guests will have the advantage of attending four different parties, all in one location, each with its own character, cuisine and entertainment. For event and package reservations, call 360-1881, ext. 2293.
• A New Year's Eve party is Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Cost is $40 in advance or $50 the day of the event. Call 813-373-0700. Attendees will ring in 2014. Admission include the all-you-can-drink party and a champagne toast at midnight.
• Seminole Hard Rock Tampa at 5223 Orient Road is hosting two parties – all open to the public – on New Year's Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31. A Pop the Cork party for those 21 and older will be offered in the Hard Rock Cafe from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $85 a person in advance and $95 a person the day of the event. Tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com. Party tickets will provide four drink tickets, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, Hard Rock Cafe-inspired appetizers, and entertainment by the Flats. Additionally, a Rockin' New Year's Eve Poolside Party is also scheduled at for those 21 and older from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Standing room only advance tickets are $35 a person. Visit ticketmaster.com. There will be entertainment courtesy of Coo Coo Ca Choo, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight and a cash bar. For information, call 800-937-0010 visit www.seminolehardrocktampa.com.
• Radio Disney's Rockin' Noon Year's Eve Party is Tuesday, Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. Ring in the new year family style at the annual “Noon” Year’s Eve daytime celebration hosted by the zoo and Radio Disney AM 1380. The party begins when the zoo opens with games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, educational displays and more. Families can ring in the New Year with noisemakers, hats and a juice toast as they watch the clock strike noon. Activities are included with zoo admission. Visit www.lowryparkzoo.com.