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Florida Celebrates New Year In Style

Ring In The New Year With Florida's Best Celebrations

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10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Happy New Year! Well, almost. It's time to make those New Year plans. If you'll be in Florida to ring in 2014, you'll want to be at one of these celebrations.

Jacksonville & Northeast Florida

Ring in the New Year in style with Jacksonville's biggest New Year's bash downtown. The Winn Dixie Hometown Gator Bowl Parade will take over the streets of Downtown Jacksonville beginning at 3:00 p.m. Optional reserved seats are $10.

Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens are holding a family-friendly Noon Year's Eve Party with Radio Disney from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on December 31, with contests, prizes, favors and giveaways for everyone. Don't miss the apple juice toast at noon!

Miami & South Florida

According to About.com's Miami Travel Guide, Renee Chapple, there are plenty of ways to ring in 2014 in Miami.

Orlando

The major Orlando theme parks -- Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios Orlando -- have big plans for New Year's Eve. You can eat, dance 'til you drop and see the best fireworks displays ever.

Universal Orlando Resort will present the Rock in the New Year with non-stop entertainment at CityWalk. CityWalk, Universal Orlando's 30-acre entertainment complex will host live music on the plaza stage, an all-you-can-eat gourmet buffet — featuring filet mignon, jumbo shrimp, decadent desserts, and more — fireworks and champagne toast at midnight.

St. Petersburg

Bring in 2014 with the annual New Year's Even Celebration First Night St. Petersburg and enjoy a fireworks frenzy! This bay area celebration features entertainment, fantastic fireworks, food, and games at 35 venues in Midtown and Downtown from 5:00 p.m. until midnight. The alcohol-free event for children and adults is FREE for those age 5 and under. Adult admission is $15 and $10 for ages 6 to 12 — $10 and $5 when purchased in advance online.

Tampa

Busch Gardens is celebrating the New Year with its wildest celebration ever. The Guess Who in concert and fabulous fireworks at midnight on December 31. You can give 2014 the ultimate "wild" welcome with coasters in the dark, including SheiKra — America's only dive coaster. Hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. This event is included with daily park admission or a Passport membership.

The Outback Bowl Parade and pep rally by participating college cheerleaders. along 7th Avenue in Ybor City is a huge celebration featuring high school and participating college bands, professional-quality floats, and more. Parade begins 5:30 p.m., with a fantastic fireworks finale at 8:15 p.m. (Please note: No coolers, glass containers or open alcohol allowed on streets.)

Make a splash on the social scene this New Year's Eve at The Florida Aquarium's Aqua-Eve from 9:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. where you will see and be seen as you enjoy live entertainment, great food, complimentary beer, wine and food, underwater wonders, the best fireworks display in Tampa and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $100 general admission before December 25; $110 general admission before December 31; and, $85 for Aquarium members. Call 813-273-4000 for further information.

Lowry Park Zoo will host Radio Disney with a countdown to noon during their Noon Year's Eve celebration from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31. Families can ring in the New Year with games, arts & crafts, live entertainment, noisemakers, hats and a juice toast at 12 o'clock... noon.

The Keys

If you want to see the prettiest sunsets on earth and fireworks too... be in the Florida Keys on New Year's Eve.

  • Islamorada fireworks are displayed over the Atlantic Ocean and can be seen from shore.

  • Southernmost City (Key West) celebrates New Year's Eve with a conch shell drop at Sloppy Joe's Bar, "wench" drop at Schooner Wharf Bar, and red high heel drop with drag queen Sushi at Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House. Of course, Key West's Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square is an everyday affair that combines the natural beauty of Florida's sunsets with a carnival-type celebration.

Whatever your plans for New Year's Eve, please drive responsibly and stay safe... and, make a visit to Florida one of your New Year's resolutions!

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