New Year’s Eve Plans Around Anna Maria Island

| December 21, 2022

Can you believe that 2022 is almost over? In just a few days, we’ll all have to start trying to remember to write 2023. (And making a few mistakes) There is something about the start of a new year that makes us excited. We think of new plans and goals for the coming year. New habits we want to form and old wants we want to leave in 2022. Before all of that, we get New Year’s Eve and here are a few ways to observe it during your time on Anna Maria Island.

Sarasota New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop

Who needs Time Square and an apple when you can have a giant lighted pineapple? This annual event in downtown Sarasota is an all-day celebration that culminates with the pineapple drop. One of Southwest Florida’s largest events, the celebration has been a local favorite since its start in 2000. The party starts at 1:00 pm and lasts until 1:30 am. There are amusement rides and games at Five Points Park. Food and drinks will be available on the street and at local bars and restaurants. The Pineapple drops at midnight followed by a fireworks show over Sarasota Bay. The celebration centers around Lemon and Main Streets. Check out the website for more information.

Main Street Live NYE

If you want to stay a little closer, the celebration in downtown Bradenton may be what you are looking for. It’s only about 10-15 minutes off the island. This block party starts at 6:00 pm and will run until midnight. During this event, 12th Street West (Old Main Street) is closed to traffic between Manatee Ave and Third Ave. Local food trucks and vendors will be set up in the area. Live music will give your party a soundtrack. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Lights in Bloom NYE Gala

Maybe you are looking for a more sophisticated way to welcome 2023. If that is the case, the Lights in Bloom NYE Gala is something to consider. Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns. The downtown Sarasota campus of Selby Gardens is composed of 15 acres and annually hosts the Lights in Bloom display. This features more than two million lights illuminating the gardens and walkways. The NYE gala includes hors d’oeuvres, a seated four-course dinner, as well as a performance by The Sarasota Ballet and dancing to DJ Karim. The countdown to the New Year culminates with a champagne toast and a beautiful view of the fireworks overlooking the Bay. For more information, visit their website.

Virgil Cain NYE Show

The other end of the spectrum from the black tie event at Selby Gardens is the Virgil Cain NYE Show at the Freckled Fin Irish Pub & Music Hall. The show starts at 9:00 pm and runs to 1:00 am. Live music is a staple at the Freckled Fin, so expect a great show. The pub is located at 5337 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. Visit their website for more information.

Family-friendly, fancy or casual. Whatever your New Year’s Eve plans look like, there is something in the area for you. If you need more information about places to welcome 2023, contact us. Our local experts will do their best to make your experience on Anna Maria Island a great one.

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