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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida rang in the New Year as it always has, with La Gran Naranja going up the side of the Intercontinental Hotel.

There is no official number as to how many people were in Downtown Miami for the 2017 celebrations but city officials were expected over 300,000 to attend.

Downtown Miami’s New Year’s Eve celebration has had its struggles during its 31 years but in the last three years it’s found its groove.

“We want it to be like Times Square,” said Miami mayor Tomas Regalado. “But we never were.  But now we’re on the map. We have 300,000 people in Downtown Miami and I think the world is looking at Miami.”

Mayor Regalado hopes the rest of the world is watching people bundled up at celebrations elsewhere while in Miami a warm December offers the perfect escape for 2017.

“The publicity we’re getting is worth millions of dollars,” said Regalado.

No longer just about Mr. Neon, the Big Orange, but a concert and festival-like atmosphere has taken over Miami’s celebrations.

“We have Queen Latifah, and Snoop Dogg is our host, and of course Mr. 305, Pitbull, is our ultimate host for the night,” said Miami NYE Producer Ray Steinman. “He and his band will be performing tonight and a lot of surprises. We have Salt-N-Pepa, we got some mashups with a bunch of other old-school hip-hop artists and a lot of surprises.”

The night was a safe one in Downtown Miami, with no major issues reported from police.

Now the next step is the cleanup.


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