A whopping 70,000 people are expected to be in attendance for the New Year’s Eve celebration at Bayfront Park on December 31st, and the way to have the best time is to arrive safely without waiting too much for parking and in traffic. When at the event, family and friends can find cozy spots at the 32-acre park to sit, stand, dance and enjoy the night. While nothing compares to spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square, the New Year’s Eve celebration at Bayfront Park can claim better weather, more comfort and also a seaside fireworks show.
301 N. Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132
Most party-goers will take public transportation, but if one wishes to take a car to the event, then it would be important to be in the area by 6 p.m. in order to find parking. The Orange will begin its ascent at 6 p.m. and will slowly rise to the top of the Intercontinental Hotel (South of Bayfront Park) during this time so passengers can entertain themselves while a parking spot is found. The exit to get to the downtown area will be Exit 2A–Biscayne Boulevard/NE 2nd Avenue. Look for parking around the American Airlines Arena and parking garages close by.
The Metrorail’s main stop for party-goers will be at the Government Center station where they will connect to the Metromover to get off at the Bayfront Park stop. Riders will have to purchase an Easy Card to pay for parking and Metrorail fare. The Metromover is free of charge to ride. The platform will be filled with a lot of people and it will be noisy, so it is important to wait for others to get off the mover first when it stops at the platform. For this special event, the mover will come around every 90 seconds. Afterwards, there will be late Metromover service to go back to Government Center and additional trains to take party-goers back to their respective stops.
The music will begin at 8 p.m. and well-known local DJ Tony The Hitman will be playing hip-hop, salsa, freestyle and dance music until the countdown to midnight. There will be food and beverage vendors located all over the park and arts and crafts vendors for children. Most of them take cash only, therefore party-goers should bring enough cash to suffice. Bayside Marketplace is north of the park and there are great restaurants there to sit and eat before returning to the party if preferred. “The Big Orange” will reach the top of the Hotel Intercontinental at midnight; a laser countdown (to midnight) will be displayed on the face of the hotel throughout the festivities. At 12 a.m., fireworks will be shot from barges in Biscayne Bay which will be a beautiful sight.
After the Event
The event finishes at 12 a.m. and this is the time when everyone must exercise the most patience. Everyone will either try to stay around the area and find another party, get into a traffic jam when exiting the parking lots to get home or start filing into the Metromover to get back to the Metrorail and their cars. Men, women and families should walk slowly and listen to the directions of police officers in the area who will be directing traffic, helping pedestrians cross streets and exercising crowd control. The journey back home should take a while but it will all be worth it.
Eric L Labrador is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. His work can be found on Examiner.com.