All around the world there are celebrations to bring in the next year, but at the New Years Eve Ball Drop at Pier Park residents and visitors from far and wide celebrate in style! It’s an event for the whole family and they even bear in mind the fact that parents want to get younger revelers into bed early by having a special countdown for them at 8pm, where children watch in awe as more than 10,000 beach balls are dropped from huge nets that are hung over the streets and then a jaw dropping set of fireworks to decorate the night sky are let off. During this time the streets at Pier Park are all closed to traffic allowing celebrators to enjoy the evening without danger and of course to create more room.
5:30 p.m.: Barry Fish Band Performs on the Main Stage
7:30 p.m.: The Kids' Countdown to 8 p.m. begins
8:00 p.m.: 10,000 Beach Balls are dropped down on crowd Pier Park Drive and fireworks are shot from the rooftops
8:15 p.m.: American Tread performs on the main stage
10:00 p.m.: The Celebrity All-Stars perform on the main stage
12:00 p.m.: The 800-pound, LED illuminated ball drops to ring in the New Year and fireworks are shot from the Pier.
In addition to the early ball drop, each year Pier Park adds new attractions so that each visit means even more fun! They have now brought in a snow zone, where despite the hot climate the snow machines bring a little winter to the occasion. This is something that some may have never seen before! There are also a few surprises that the event’s organizers keep under their hat until the day
The fun doesn’t end at 8 o’clock, the fun continues past midnight where live bands entertain their enthralled audience bringing the crowd into a smaller space to get ready for the countdown to the New Year. To signal the start of the New Year there is a massive beach ball glowing to light the way and then a huge fireworks display takes the celebrations to an exciting climax!
The planning for the New Year Ball Drop takes from springtime with every detail having had special attention paid to it so that fun can be had by all that attend. Last year saw over 40,000 people gather to bring in the new year and this year there is likely to be many more, following the usual annual pattern where the amount of attendees grows and grows.
Whether a first time visitor or a returning one, all attending will find new delights to enjoy as well as old favorites including the stilt walkers, mascots and the prize zone. The event is free to attend and there are amenities where you can grab refreshments during the evening which starts at 5:30pm until after midnight where the 800 pound illuminated LED ball drops from a staggering 100 feet!Many people stay in accommodation nearby rather than commuting if further afield, but with the sheer amount of people enjoying this celebrations it’s a good idea to book way in advance to avoid disappointment. The roaring nightlife in Panama Beach means you can party into the small hours after the New Year Ball Drop celebrations end or admit defeat and call it a night in your seafront Panama Beach home. This is definitely a New Year that you won’t forget and will want to repeat time and time again!