You have a lot of choices for how to celebrate the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017. But every year, the most popular celebration in the area on Dec. 31 is the downtown Sarasota Pineapple Drop New Year’s Party.
It’s not just a nighttime event like most other New Year’s Eve bashes. It gets going at 1 p.m. with a family carnival that includes kids’ games, a midway and food vendors. Live music begins at 8 p.m. Beer stations will be set up along the downtown streets and avenues and local restaurants will offer special deals throughout the evening.
Bands will perform from three stages. Among the musical highlights are the Jah Movement reggae band, on the stage outside Evie’s Tavern on Main Street near Lemon Avenue starting at 9 p.m., and Latin funk band Big Night Out, at Lemon Avenue and First Street starting at 8 p.m. A DJ will provide music outside the Gator Club on Main Street.
The highlight will be the countdown to midnight and the Pineapple Drop that welcomes in the New Year at Main Street and Lemon Avenue, but the party keeps going until 1:30 a.m.
The free annual downtown celebration attracts some 20,000 to 25,000 every year, so it’s by far the biggest New Year’s Eve bash in the area.
Details: 1 p.m.-1:30 a.m., Downtown Sarasota. Free. sarasotanewyearsparty.com.