St. Pete’s First Night Celebration to Welcome 2016
By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter
The city’s 23rd annual New Year’s Eve event begins at 4 p.m. and runs until midnight.
ST. PETERSBURG — Music, art, dancing and interactive entertainment are back in downtown St. Petersburg on New Year’s Eve as the city celebrates its annual family-oriented party for the 23rd year. The fun begins at 4 p.m. and includes two fireworks displays, one at 8 p.m. and another at the magic midnight hour. The Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team is the sponsor of this year’s celebration.
More than 25 venues will offer things to see and do. It’s free to walk around and observe the festivities, but admission to many activities requires a First Night admission button. Purchased in advance, they are $10 for adults and $5 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.
Purchased on Dec. 31, the buttons are $15 adults, $10 children 6-12, and still free for the 5-and-under set. Buttons may be purchased on line until 5 p.m. today (Dec. 30) or at a number of businesses in or near St. Petersburg.
Buttons will be available on New Year’s Eve at all venues where First Night performers or activities are scheduled. The main information booth for First Night is on the south end of the Museum of Fine Arts at Beach Drive and Second Avenue NE. Sales start at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31.
For details about the buttons and to see a list of the sales spots visit www.firstnightstpete.com/admission-buttons.html .
New this year is a free First Night App to help you with everything you need to know about activities, parking and venues. Go to either the Apple App store or Google Play and search for First Night St. Pete, and then download the app.
Several other events are scheduled around the bay area. Among them are Light Up Tampa Bay in Tampa, a free event at Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive; Busch Gardens New Year’s Eve, at which the theme park stays open until 1 a.m. and offers various activities; and Light Up Clearwater, which takes place on Clearwater Beach. All the events feature midnight fireworks.
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