MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you’re itching for a new way to scratch your New Year’s Eve fever, South Florida has you covered.
If you want New York’s “ball drop experience,” but also want your friends to be green with envy that you’re enjoying Miami’s beautiful weather, head down to Bayfront Park for the Big Orange.
A huge party, complete with live music and entertainment, is planned to help an expected 150,000 people have fun. From the festivities you can watch as La Gran Naranja (the Big Orange in Spanish) on the Hotel InterContinental Miami ascends to ring in the New Year.
This celebration has been a staple for 30 years in Miami. And In true Miami fashion, this party will include none other than Mr. 305 himself and be nationally televised.
“We’re announcing that we’re going to have Pitbull coming in on a boat, perform and we will continue the show,” said City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.
This free party with some real star power starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Some 300 Miami cops will be on hand to keep everything safe.
Well, since the Big Orange doesn’t “drop,” maybe you want to head down to Key West.
To celebrate the turning of the calendar, thousands of people gather on the island’s Duval Street outside the Bourbon St. Pub complex to watch the lavishly gowned drag queen Sushi “drop” in her high-heeled chariot.
For this traditional non-traditional drop, Sushi is accompanied by female impersonators and other entertainers at the ground level that add to the merrymaking.
If you find Sushi has too many admirers, Key West has a few other drops you can experience.
For 2014’s celebration, Sloppy Joe’s Bar dropped a gigantic manmade conch shell onto its flat roof. To honor Key West’s seafaring heritage a costumed “pirate wench” came down from the top of a tall ship’s mast, and indigenous flavors with the “splashdown” of a replica Key lime wedge into a 6-foot-tall margarita glass.
If the Big Orange and the key lime wedge didn’t cure your New Year’s scurvy, Fort Lauderdale has the Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown.
The free 11-hour street festival is full of fun and excitement for both children and adults. An estimated 100,000 revelers will crowd downtown Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday night from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. to wait with anticipation for the lighted ball to drop at midnight.
In Fort Lauderdale, police were busy with last minute preps for the free Orange Bowl downtown countdown.
“We’ve been told that our locations either closed or going through some construction so we know that we will have larger crowds than last year,” said Det. Deanna Greenlaw of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. “We are prepared to handle that.”
Those in Hollywood can go to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. To celebrate the New Year, the casino has multiple dining, dancing, live bands, dj’s and more.
And if none of those float your boat, Miami Beach will have live music at 9 p.m. with fireworks at midnight.
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