New Year’s Eve marks the end of the holiday season and the beginning of a brand new year all in one, so why not go out — or come in — with a bang? In the Tampa Bay area, there are plenty of events and parties that include live concerts by local artists. Grab your dancing shoes and a few energy drinks, because these concerts will have you dancing in the New Year all night long.
Light Up Tampa Bay
Channelside Bay Plaza
615 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
This annual event is free and open to the public. The festivities start at 5 p.m., but arrive extra early if you want an ideal spot to watch the fireworks. The restaurants and shops along Channelside Bay will be open for business, and there will be a fireworks show over the waterfront at midnight. There will also be plenty of free live music provided by local bands. Grab your family and friends and party the night away to say goodbye to 2013.
1610 E. Swann Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
A parking garage might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a party, but one of Tampa’s most popular parties takes place on the top level of of a garage overlooking Hyde Park Village. Rooftop Eve offers party-goers complimentary spirits, wine, beer and champagne, along with luscious desserts. Live entertainment provided by Love Struck Robot and DJ Papi will have you dancing in no time. Tickets for this event are $150 per person.
701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Make a splash on New Year’s Eve at the Florida Aquarium’s Aqua Eve celebration. One ticket gets you complimentary food, beer, wine and a champagne toast at midnight. Both dinner and dessert will be served buffet style and cash bars will be available throughout the aquarium. Live music will be provided by local bands all night long, so wear your dancing shoes. Tickets start at $90 per person.
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P.O. Box 1915
St. Petersburg FL 33731
For music lovers, First Night in downtown St. Petersburg is a dream come true. Live music of all kinds will be performed by local groups, including bluegrass, jazz, opera and rock and roll, just to name a few. Some of the headlining performers include Florida Mountain Boys and the Whitney James Quintet. This family-friendly event also includes a petting zoo, puppet show, games and more. Concessions will be available for purchase. The price of admission starts at $5 per child and $10 per adult.
10165 N. McKinley Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
The New Year’s Eve party at Busch Gardens is unlike any other party in the Bay area, and not just because of the roller coasters. This massive party is safe for kids and teens and will include plenty of fun, fireworks and live music from local and not-so-local musicians. The best part is that all New Year’s Eve festivities are included in the price of a regular admission ticket with no extra charge. The park opens at 9 a.m. and will remain open until 1 a.m. after the conclusion of the midnight fireworks show.
Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.