FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Downtown Countdown in Fort Lauderdale gives New Year’s revelers a free and family-friendly way to celebrate the beginning of 2019.

It all takes place at SW 2nd Street and SW 5th Street next to Esplanade Park located across the street from the Museum of Discovery & Science in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

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A signature of the event is the enormous anchor that hangs over the main stage. It weighs 700 pounds and is decorated with nearly 12,000 LED lights.

Fort Lauderdale New Year’s Anchor (Source: CBS4)

As the special programmer for the city of Fort Lauderdale, you can bet Debbie Bylica knows how to put on a successful family-friendly event for New Year’s Eve.

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“What sets us apart is we’re geared to families,” she said. “We want families to come together.”

The celebration, which features a variety of activities for the whole family, starts at 4:30 p.m. The festivities for kids will include bounce houses/inflatables, face painting and games, contests and dancing with DJ William Pennhouse, and free caricatures until 7:30 p.m.

There will be an early countdown and “anchor” drop at 7 p.m for the little ones who can’t stay up to midnight.

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Speaking of midnight, once the clock strikes it the anchor will drop again and the anticipation of a new year with the chance for new beginnings and new achievements will be ushered in.