A new year is almost upon us. But do you know how you will spend the final hours of 2018?
If the answer is no, here are a few ideas for things to do on your New Year’s Eve around Bradenton.
And a few for New Year’s Day, too, to kick off 2019.
Main Street Live! rings in the new year
Main Street Live! is a six-hour street party that brings food, drink, music and festivity to Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton.
Country rock bands 301 Travelers and Boss Hawg Band will perform.
Details: 6 p.m.-midnight. Monday. 400 12th St. W., Bradenton. Free.
Sarasota Pineapple Drop
Why watch a ball drop on TV when you can a ring in the new year Florida style?
The annual New Year’s celebration in downtown Sarasota has become a mega block party that attracts thousands.
Carnevel, a carnival featuring children’s rides, games and prizes, happens at Midway 5 Points Park from 1 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The party on main street begins at 5 p.m. and includes music, dining and a full bar. The illuminated pineapple drops at midnight, and then the party keeps going.
Details: 1 p.m. Monday to 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Intersection of Main St. and Lemon Ave., Sarasota. Free.
New Year’s hike
Whether you are looking to get some exercise before a night of partying or get a jump start on a New Year’s resolution, this might be the event for you.
Hike It Florida will lead New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day hikes through Myakka River State Park. The five-mile hike loop leads through scenic ecosystems with good chances for photo ops and wildlife sightings.
Details: 4-7 p.m. Monday. 8-11 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Tuesday. $10. Advanced registration required.
Holiday lights at Selby Botanical Gardens
“Lights in Bloom” transforms Marie Selby Botanical Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland.
Local bands soulRcoaster and The Hydramatic will perform, and food and drink will be available for purchase.
Details: Nightly through Jan. 6. Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Adults: $25. Children 5-12: $7. Children under 5: Free.
Beachy new year
The Beach House Restaurant in Bradenton Beach celebrates the new year with a party and fireworks show over the water.
Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there will be food and drink specials, party favors, a photo booth and a live DJ.
There’s also plenty of room to spread out on the beach if you just want to see the fireworks; they begin at midnight.
Details: 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday. Fireworks at midnight. The Beach House Restaurant, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach.
Beer to the new year
The Good Liquid Brewing Company will celebrate New Year’s Eve with $5 craft beers and appetizers, a live DJ, a free champagne toast at midnight and the New York City ball drop on a giant projector screen. Cheers!
Details: 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve. 4824 14th St. W., Bradenton. No cover.
Stand-up comedy (and beer)
Laugh a little (or a lot) before diving into another year with New Year’s Eve Stand-up Comedy Night at Motorworks Brewing.
Three top-notch comics will perform, followed by music from a live DJ to welcome the new year.
Details: Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve. 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. $15-$18.
11th annual Shamrock Shiver
The 11th annual Shamrock Shiver on Anna Maria Island will kick off the new year with a day of fun and give local charities a big boost into 2019.
Participants dressed in costumes of all sorts get photographed and judged by a crowd for a chance at a trophy. Then, they plunge into the Gulf of Mexico. It makes for a truly unique sight on Bradenton Beach.
The plunge and the party that follows at Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub in Cortez raise money for local charities that aid disadvantaged children in Manatee and Sarasota counties. This year’s goal: at least $25,000.
To find out how to plunge for pledges, or to donate, call Clancy’s at 941-794-2489 or Florida Winefest at 941-952-1109.
Details: Costume contest photos at 11 a.m., judging at 11:30 a.m., plunge at noon. New Year’s Day. Gulf Dr. and Seventh Street South, Bradenton Beach. Post-plunge party from 1-5 p.m. at Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub, 6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.