The Emerald Coast makes New Year’s Eve easy to celebrate. Here’s your local guide to the biggest parties of the year.
Harbor Rockin' Street Party
Dine, drink and dance into the New Year throughout HarborWalk Village with the Annual HarborWalk Village Street Party beginning at 7 p.m. Enjoy live music and drink specials throughout all of the restaurants, as well as a rockin’ performance from Jim Beam’s Emerging Artist The Andy Velo Band on the HarborWalk Village main stage. Fireworks begin at 8 p.m. and midnight after the Fifth Annual Ball Drop over the Destin
New Year's Eve Cruise
Watch the fireworks from the perfect spot — on the water — during the New Year’s Eve Cruise aboard the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets are $24/adults and $12/children. Reservations required at 837-7741.
New Year’s Eve Party
American Legion Post 296, 311 Main Street in Destin, will host a New Year’s Eve Party with Rusty & Jabbo from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the ballroom. Call 837-3818.
Don’t miss The Village of Baytowne Wharf's end-of-year party, Baytowne Countdown, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dance the night away and enjoy breathtaking fireworks as they light up the sky over the lagoon at midnight. The Countdown will feature the sounds of Motown from The Amazing Hat Band from 7-9 p.m. Then get ready for the ultimate Bon Jovi/Journey experience from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the Events Plaza stage. The event is free.
Join Fonville Press for cocktails, a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, white chicken chili, and live music by Kyle LaMonica from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31 at 147 N. Charles St. in Alys Beach.
New Year’s Eve Celebration
Ring in the new year from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at WaterColor Inn’s Fish Out of Water with a four-course dinner, live music and a complimentary glass of champagne at midnight. Seating will be from 5-10:30 p.m. with Kyle Lamonica playing from 6-9 p.m. and Chris Alvarado from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Cost is $110 per person with a wine pairing available for additional price.
Vue on 30a New Year’s Eve
Vue on 30a, 4801 West County Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, will have special seating times of 6 and 8:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve. The menu includes culinary creations, such as corn and crab chowder, Thai lobster, Colorado lamb chops, surf and turf, pistachio crusted grouper and more. The night also includes drinks and dancing in the bar area with headliners Ben Friedman, of the well known band, Free Monica, as well as The Garcias Band, a lively act with a Latin flare. Friedman will open with an acoustic guitar performance from 6-9 p.m. and The Garcias Band will take center stage from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Call 267-1240.
Blues & Black Ties
V Seagrove hosts New Year’s Eve in style at its Blues & Black Ties event from 6-11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at 2743 Scenic Highway 30A in Seagrove Beach. Make reservations at 468-0973 to enjoy live music while toasting the New Year at midnight.
Close out 2012 with an incredible celebration on Dec. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. with live music from artists including Tony Lucca (Finalist on NBC’s The Voice), Jacob Jeffries Band, and Brendan James at the Seaside Amphitheater. Also featured will be street performers, children’s activities, and fireworks to ring in 2013 in grand fashion at the stroke of midnight.
The Carillon Beach Institute will host a free concert from 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 on the Carillon Beach Village Green as a special part of the Groovin’ On The Green Summer Concert Series. Bring family and friends, along with your chairs (and blankets) and join the community to celebrate Groovin’ in the New Year.
Pier Park Beach Ball Drop
Celebrate the arrival of 2013 in style during the Pier Park Beach Ball Drop 2012. The Family Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes stilt walkers, mascots, prize zone drawings, and live entertainment. At 8 p.m., the Family Beach Ball Drop and Fireworks takes place. The Countdown Celebration starts at 8:30 p.m. and includes live radio remotes, prize zone drawings, special appearance by local dignitaries, live entertainment, fireworks and more. Headliner performance at 10:45 p.m. will be country music star, singer/songwriter James Otto. The Midnight Celebration features live entertainment, fireworks and the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop. This free annual event is known for its glowing 800-pound beach ball drop at midnight.
Celebrate Safe-Celebrate Twice
Start in the Eastern Time Zone in Port St. Joe and St. Joe Beach, then travel west to Mexico Beach and celebrate all over again an hour later in the Central Time Zone during Celebrate Safe-Celebrate Twice New Year’s Eve festivities. A free-service shuttle will transfer patrons back and forth between Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe as they celebrate in two different times zones. Call 229-7800.