Mon, Dec 23rd, 2013 by Jordan Staggs
Momentum is building for the highly anticipated New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop at Pier Park on December 31 with the announcement of the Southeast’s favorite party band, The Rupert’s Orchestra, to be part of the New Year’s Eve celebration. Pier Park, Panama City Beach’s premier open-air, beachfront shopping destination with more than 125 popular retail and dining choices, will herald in 2014 with thousands of visitors who will commemorate the occasion with an evening of family-friendly activities, including the nation’s only family beach ball drop at 8 p.m. and a rockin’ countdown at midnight.
“We’re counting down for the Annual Beach Ball Drop at Pier Park, which will draw thousands of residents and visitors to Panama City Beach, Florida to enjoy the largest celebration on the Emerald Coast,” said Brent Gardner, Pier Park Mall Manager. “As the leading resort-style shopping destination in Panama City Beach, we’re excited to ring in the New Year with family-friendly activities, an exciting line-up of live entertainment, festive beach ball drops and more.”
Ahead of the evening’s festivities and throughout the night, New Year’s Eve celebration attendees will experience the great shopping and dining options at Pier Park. The entire property will be open until 8 p.m. with select stores along Pier Park’s Boardwalk remaining open throughout the evening. Popular dining options like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House and Rum Runners Tropical Island Grill will also welcome attendees looking for a place to kick-back and enjoy the festive, beach-front atmosphere.
The New Year’s Eve festivities will kick-off at 5:30 p.m. with a family celebration along the Boardwalk on Pier Park Drive. Families will enjoy interactive activities like face painting, costumed characters and exclusive giveaways, as well as live entertainment provided by The Barry Fish Band, known for their renditions of popular tunes from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Ahead of the family-friendly beach ball drop, Alex Angelo, also known as “DJ BEATBOY”, will entertain families with an interactive set and lead the crowd in the first countdown of the evening. At 8 p.m., local dignitaries will release 10,000 inflated beach balls along Pier Park’s beachfront boardwalk. This awe-inspiring activity, heralded as the nation’s only family beach ball drop, will be followed by a dazzling fireworks display.
At 8:30 p.m., the official Countdown Celebration will begin with live musical performances by Heritage, a popular local reggae-rock band that has been spreading love with original, one of kind songs since they began touring in 2009. At 10:15 p.m., The Rupert’s Orchestra, will take the stage where they’ll bring down the ‘pier’ performing a dynamic mix of current Top 40 hits, classic rock favorites and more.
Just before midnight, attendees will countdown to 2014 as an 800 pound LED lighted beach ball descends nearly 100 feet. This symbolic occasion will be followed by a stunning, second fireworks display.
The 6th Annual New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop at Pier Park is free and open to the public. Event sponsors include the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and Wyndham Vacation Resorts.
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