New locations for Tampa’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, plus a Mario Lopez appearance

Mario Lopez will appear in Tampa this New Year's Eve. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Mario Lopez will appear in Tampa this New Year's Eve. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

New Year’s Eve fireworks in downtown Tampa will be a little different this year, as free, public viewing moves from Channelside Bay Plaza to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park behind Amalie Arena due to ongoing construction.

Meanwhile, the Pied Piper New Year’s Eve party, which for years has taken place at Jackson’s Bistro on the downtown waterfront, will move to the TPepin Hospitality Centre ballroom and outdoor patio at 4121 N 50th St. and bring downtown’s other large fireworks display along with it.

That Pied Piper fireworks display had for years been held on a barge in the Seddon Channel near Tampa General Hospital, sometimes at the same time the other New Year’s Eve fireworks display hosted by Channelside.

Extra host and Saved by the Bell alum Mario Lopez will appear at Pied Piper’s NYE Twenty Eighteen Countdown, running from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., with entertainment by DJ Magic Mike and all-inclusive tickets starting at $75 at

The Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park fireworks event will be family friendly and alcohol free, and will not feature any food or drink vendors due to the space restrictions of the park, organizers said.

The park will open at 10 p.m., with fireworks at midnight. More details on that free event are at