New Year's Eve bashes from Bradenton to Sarasota

December 27, 2012 

It's that time of year again for dancing, smooching, champagne popping, ball dropping and silly hats.

Check out our picks for party places on New Year's Eve.

Have fun.

Get freaky, even.

But please, if you're drinking at all, don't drive.

Main Street Live

For Bradenton area residents, the big bash takes place on Old Main Street, which will be closed for revelry from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m.

A thousand people are expected to enjoy the New Year's Eve edition of Main Street Live. It will feature upbeat dance music covers by Hot Ice. The band performs from 7 p.m. until the ball drops at midnight. There will also be food and drink vendors.

Main Street Live is free but attendees must be 21 years or older to be inside the bars. Organizers ask attendees to not bring glass bottles outside; the bars will provide plastic cups if people want to mingle outside with beverage in hand.

The drinking establishments on Old Main Street usually stay open as late as 2:30 a.m. Parking is available in the downtown garage on 12th Street West across from the Bank of America building, the county garage located on 10th Street West, just off Manatee Avenue and in the City Hall parking lot at the corner of 12th Street West and Third Avenue.

Information: 941-896-8860.

WSLR New Year's Eve Celebration: Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat, Sarasota

Join WSLR and the PEACenter for a down home New Year's Eve Party 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31 featuring live music by Passerine, the Florida Mountain Boys and the Schmitz Brothers. Attendees are invited to bring their own noisemakers for the Midnight Kumquat Drop. Food and beverages will be provided and there will be a hat-making station for all party-goers. Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door, children ages 16 and younger are admitted free. Information: 941-587-6588.

New Year's Eve Extravaganza: BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach

The BeachHouse Restaurant will host its 19th annual New Year's Eve Extravaganza 9 p.m. Dec. 31 featuring dinner, dancing, music, party favors and Champagne topped off with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight (weather permitting). Party package: $99.99. There will be a cash bar. Reservations are for inside only. Seating for the deck is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations and information: 941-779-2222.

Sarasota Pineapple Drop New Year's Celebration: Main Street and Lemon Avenue, Sarasota

Sarasota's annual Pineapple Drop to ring in the new year will begin at 2 p.m. with a carnival for adults and kids with rides and a fun house, followed by live performances and electronic music by multiple bands on four stages along Main Street and Lemon Avenue at 6 p.m. Pineapple Drop at midnight Dec. 31. Information:

Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge: Gulf Drive and 12th Street South, Bradenton Beach

The fifth annual Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge will be at noon Jan. 1, followed by a Post Plunge Party at Clancy's, 6218 Cortez Road, Bradenton. There will be door prizes, food and beverage specials and live music by the Jack Tamburin Band. All proceeds will benefit Caring for Children Charities of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Information: 941-794-2489.

-- Wade Tatangelo

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