I LOVE New Year's Eve! Though, admittedly, I am getting to the age now where I have more trouble staying up late than I used to. Oh well. Time marches on. 

Anyway, if you're looking for fireworks and New Year's Eve events in Tampa Bay, here's a list! I only put together a list of stuff that's free... I know there are a TON of ticketed events, but I figured if you're anything like me, you've already spent too much money in December and don't want to have to shell out a bunch of dough for NYE. 


Tampa Riverwalk: In partnership with Friends of the Riverwalk and the City of Tampa, the viewing area for the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display, traditionally hosted at Channelside, will temporarily relocate this year to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. (Downtown Tampa)

The Sail: SAIL into 2018 with your friends at The Sail! Join us as we ring in the new year with a complimentary midnight champagne toast, music with DJ Andy Scott, some of Tampa Bay's best food trucks, and, more--all with waterfront views! (outside the Convention Center)

Busch Gardens: Ring in 2018 at one of the world's top theme parks! Join Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay for an awesome New Year’s Eve celebration! Enjoy Cobra's Curse and other awesome thrill rides in the dark. Jam out to music throughout the park and ring in the new year with a park-wide countdown and spectacular fireworks show in Gwazi Park. And with the park open until 1 a.m., you can make the first hour in 2018 a thrilling one! Admission to the New Year's Eve Celebration is included with regular paid admission to Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay. (Busch Gardens...I know admission to BG isn't free, but I included it anyway because a lot of you probably have annual passes)

Clearwater Beach:   Ring in the new year at Clearwater Beach. The celebration includes a midnight fireworks show you can watch from the beach or many surrounding restaurants and bars. Learn more and find viewing locations at lightitupclearwater.com. This is one of US News Travel’s top 5 kid-friendly new year’s eve celebrations in the country! 

Apollo Beach: Head to Circles Waterfront Restaurant to secure the best spot to view one of Florida’s largest fireworks displays at midnight, according to event promoters. You can even find a spot nearby if you want to avoid the crowds (and cost of tickets)! Learn more at circleswaterfront.com.

Ybor City: Celebrate the new year with festive floats and 20+ marching bands, including the two college bands! The parade is free to attend and runs along 7th Avenue. Learn more: outbackbowl.com

Sarasota: The free annual downtown Sarasota Pineapple Drop attracts between 20,000 to 25,000 Floridians. There will be amusement rides, food & beer concessions, live music and a pineapple drop at midnight followed by a fireworks display on Sarasota Bay, just a short walk away.

Bradenton: Head to Old Main Street Downtown for a big party! The party begins at 4pm with live music, food trucks and vendors and a countdown to the ball drop at midnight. The streets will be closed to traffic and local eateries and bars will remain open for your enjoyment.


Fireworks explode over the Ohio river during the Western & Southern WEBN Fireworks in Cincinnati, OH - Sept, 3 2017.<p> Photo: <a href=Twin Spire Photography" />