A good fireworks show can be a great metaphor for New Year’s Eve. Blow up the old year and start fresh, even if there is a trail of smoke left behind by 2019.
Though it’s not quite as big as July 4, New Year’s Eve in the Tampa Bay area offers a number of places you can start 2020 off with a bang.
Noon Year’s Eve at Armature Works: The event is for families with young children who would like a more bedtime-friendly option. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be live music, inflatable slides, a magic show, dancing and crafts. Then there will be a countdown to noon with fireworks. Free. 1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa.
First Night St. Pete 2020: The alcohol-free party has fireworks at 8 p.m. and at midnight. A customized artist button gets you into the many venues around downtown St. Petersburg offering music, puppetry, aerial arts and more. $12-$15, $5-$10 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. firstnightstpete.com.
Apollo Beach: Circles restaurant will have a food truck on site and a front row seat for the Apollo Beach fireworks. Free. 7 p.m. 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd., Apollo Beach.
Busch Gardens: The Tampa theme park will have thrill rides after dark, music and fireworks after a parkwide countdown to midnight. Included with admission. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa.
Clearwater Beach: Fireworks will be launched from Sand Key Park at midnight with best viewing available from the south end of Clearwater Beach. 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater.
Sparkman Wharf Laser Light Show: The night starts with live music, followed by hourly laser shows set to music. The Times Square ball drop will be broadcast live on the big screen. Free. 9 p.m. 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa.
Booty Drop: Instead of a dropping disco ball, Tampa will kick off Gasparilla season with a 320-foot-tall projection of a treasure chest dropping down the side of downtown’s Rivergate Tower, known to many as the Beer Can building. The free event at Curtis Hixon Park will also have food trucks on hand for a family-friendly party that will have “some pyrotechnic features" at midnight. Free. 9 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa.