They have only been doing New Year's Eve fireworks on Apollo Beach in east Hillsborough for four years, but the community effort led by Circles Waterfront Restaurant owner Vic Granowicz claims it will have the largest fireworks show in the state.
They aren't the only ones starting the new year off with a bang. There will be two fireworks shows for the family-oriented First Night party in St. Petersburg, one at a more bedtime-friendly hour.
Here's the lineup of fireworks shows you can catch around the Tampa Bay area that will have your ears ringing as you ring in the new year:
Apollo Beach: This year the communitywide effort of more than two dozen sponsors raised $58,200, nearly double what was raised last year, making this year's show the largest in the state, organizers say. The fireworks will be shot from a 3,600-square-foot floating construction barge moored in Bal Harbor, in the center of Apollo Beach. The show begins promptly as the clock strikes midnight and will be choreographed to music that will be broadcast on WPHX-FM 101.9 It's free to watch at Circles Waterfront Restaurant, 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd. (813) 641-3275.
Channelside: The Light Up the Bay show in Channelside will have entertainment on two stages, a Tampa Bay Lightning watch party and a giant fireworks display. Only 3,500 wristbands will be available for waterfront viewing, first come, first served. Free. Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 223-4250.
Busch Gardens: The Tampa theme park will have a parkwide countdown and fireworks in Gwazi Park. Included with daily admission: $99, $79 for ages 3-9. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
Clearwater Beach: Fireworks will be shot off Sand Key in a midnight display that can be seen along all of Clearwater Beach.
Downtown St. Petersburg: There will be two rounds of fireworks, one at 8 p.m. and one at midnight, visible from the Pier approach at Spa Beach on Fifth Avenue and Second Street NE. The family friendly First Night St. Petersburg party will have dozens of activities, crafts, concerts and play area, many accessible only with a $10 button, $5 for kids ($15 and $10 on Saturday) from firstnightstpete.com.
Bay Harbor Hotel: There will be a private fireworks display for the waterfront hotel at 7700 Courtney Campbell Parkway, Tampa. $15-$400. (813) 281-8900.
Jackson's Bistro Bar & Sushi: The trendy Tampa club hosts its own professional fireworks show for its 21-and-older-only party. $55-$149. 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.