Few things are quite as exciting as a fireworks show. The bright colors and sounds are impressive enough on their own, but watching a fireworks show coordinated with music and even storytelling is truly spectacular. Check out some of these amazing New Year’s Eve fireworks shows in Tampa Bay.

Light Up Tampa Bay
Channelside Bay Plaza
615 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 223-4250

Date: Dec. 31, 2016 at 5 p.m.

This annual event is free and open to the public. The fun begins at 5 p.m., but if you want to watch the midnight fireworks show from the wharf area, be sure to arrive extra early. Only the first 3,000 people to arrive will receive wristbands to access the wharf for the fireworks show. Fortunately, there will be plenty to do while you wait to ring in the New Year. All of the Channelside shops and restaurants will be open for business and there will also be live music and entertainment in the Channelside Bay area, so be sure to wear your dancing shoes.

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Busch Gardens
10165 N. McKinley Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
(888) 800-5447

Date: Dec. 31, 2016 at 9 a.m.

Busch Gardens puts on a New Year’s Eve celebration like no other. The park opens at 9 a.m. and will remain open until 1 a.m., with a fireworks show of epic proportions right at midnight. The rides will stay open all night long and there will be live music performances from local and not-so-local bands. The best part is that the New Year’s Eve party is included in the price of a regular admission ticket — no extra charge. Try something different and shout your New Year’s resolution from the top of Montu!

First Night
St. Petersburg FL 33731
(727) 823-8906

Date: Dec. 31, 2016 at 4 p.m.

First Night, which takes place in downtown St. Petersburg, was first created as a gigantic celebration of the visual and performing arts, and remains just that. Dance, drama and live music of all kinds, including jazz, bluegrass and opera, is performed at this huge event. This year, some of the headlining performers include the Whitney James Quintet and the Florida Mountain Boys. There will be two fireworks shows, one at 9 p.m. and one at midnight. The cost of admission starts at $5 per child and $10 per adult.

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Jackson’s Bistro
601 S. Harbour Island Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 277-0112

Date: Dec. 31, 2016 at 10 p.m.

The New Year’s Eve party at Jackson’s is one of Tampa’s most popular celebrations. The fabulous menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian options, in addition to culinary creations like crab ravioli, Key West conch fritters and a variety of sandwiches, burgers and entrées. There is even a special children’s menu for the little ones. Jackson’s waterfront room and dining patio provide the perfect spot for the whole family to watch the fireworks show over Channelside Bay.


Light Up It Up Clearwater
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
419 East Shore Drive
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Date: Dec. 31, 2016 at 9 p.m.

Frenchy’s patio has the best view of the Clearwater Beach fireworks because they are on the beach. Join them for food and drink specials all night, plus a complimentary champagne toast and party favors at midnight!

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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.