The Best New Year’s Eve Celebration in Every State
Here’s where to ring in 2020 in every state in the United States.
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The countdown is on
Wondering what to do on New Year’s Eve? Whether you want to party ’til you drop or you have young kids and want to be snug in bed at midnight after ringing in the new year at one of these family-friendly celebrations, here are the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in every state.
Alabama: Reelin’ in the New Year
Courtesy Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
Held at The Wharf in Orange Beach, the family-friendly Reelin’ in the New Year event, which runs from 5 p.m. to midnight, features a “marlin drop,” fireworks at midnight, music, and lots of fun activities for kids, like bouncy houses, a rock wall, and face painting. There’s also a confetti drop at noon for those who don’t want to stay up quite so late. Orange Beach’s marlin is one of our favorite funny things people “drop” to ring in the new year instead of a ball.
Alaska: Anchorage New Year’s Eve Celebration
Downtown Anchorage hosts a fireworks celebration at Town Square Park on New Year’s Eve, but instead of waiting until midnight for the display, the skies light up at 8 p.m. The event starts at 5 p.m., and families can enjoy a dance party, 3-D light projections around the park, and a children’s ice gallery. Find out the tallest building in every state.
Arizona: Whiskey Row Boot Drop
It’s no Times Square ball, but Prescott does drop a six-foot lit-up cowboy boot down The Palace building’s flag pole as the New Year arrives, both at 10 p.m. and midnight. Located on Whiskey Row, the area rings in the New Year with a street party that includes a Ferris wheel as well.
Arkansas: New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
Downtown Fort Smith will light up for New Year’s Eve with all sorts of festivities, including live music and entertainment, local vendors, and a midnight ball drop followed by fireworks. To upgrade your New Year’s Eve, you can opt to hang out in the VIP room for a fee.
California: Big Night San Diego
Head to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront located at the base of the Gaslamp Quarter for the largest New Year’s Eve gala in the city, Big Night San Diego. The all-inclusive event includes drinks, a buffet, and entertainment in ten different party zones that feature bands and DJs. The fun kicks off at 9 p.m.
Colorado: New Year’s Eve fireworks
Enjoy two festive fireworks shows in downtown Denver, one at 9 p.m. and one at midnight. For the best views, head to the 16th Street Mall or party at The Woods rooftop restaurant at The Source Hotel, which will also have live music. The fireworks will be synced to music played by DJs along the 16th Street Mall.
Connecticut: First Night Hartford
Courtesy First Night Hartford
In Hartford, Bushnell Park is the place to celebrate New Year’s Eve with two fireworks shows: 6 p.m. and midnight. First Night Hartford is a more than 30-year-old alcohol-free celebration of the New Year through the arts with exhibits, performance groups, musicians, artists, and more. Be sure to eat these 13 lucky New Year’s foods on January 1.
Delaware: New Year’s Eve Riverfront Family Fun
Now in its third year, Wilmington’s New Year’s Eve Riverfront Family Fun event starts at 6 p.m. along the Christina Riverfront, with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Attendees can also celebrate with ice skating, food and drink, hot chocolate, family-friendly activities, and giveaways.
Florida: New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop
courtesy Visit Panama City Beach
Imagine 10,000 inflatable beach balls falling from the sky at midnight, and you’ve got the idea of the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop in Panama City Beach. This fun annual event releases the balls from nets over the streets of Pier Park and also includes two fireworks shows, music, and other live entertainment. Here’s the history behind why we drop a ball on New Year’s in the first place.