By Ty Russell

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thousands were on their feet for Miami’s own Pitbull at Bayfront Park Monday night. The rapper got the crowd excited to ring in 2019 in Downtown Miami. The big name also helped people stick around to watch the Big Orange climb 400 feet along the Intercontinental Hotel.

“The first time,” one man said.

The Llanes family decided to end the year and start a new one at Bayfront Park for the first time.

“A lot of people,” he said.

They wanted to beat the crowd so they sat along Biscayne Bay for a close up of the fireworks and a good view of the Big Orange.

“We are having a good time. Every year we come here and watch the fireworks here with our family and having a picnic,” Emily Macceus said.

This was the fifth year the Macceus family rang in the new year in Downtown Miami. They too arrived early with their camping chairs to also get a prime spot for the grand finale.

“Watching the fireworks. Waiting for the countdown,” Macceus said.

The Big Orange started its journey to the top of the Intercontinental Hotel a little before six p.m. It’s a tradition that has been around for more than 30 years.

“The food and music, we are having a good time,” Martin Mendieta said.

Ty Russell