9 of the best places for NYE in the USA

America goes big for New Year’s Eve, as entire towns and cities get ready to see in the new year, with entertainment, fireworks displays and often, the curious ‘ball drop’ tradition, where a ball or other giant object is lower to mark the start of the new year. Here’s our pick of some of the best places to see in the new year. 


First Night Alexandria, Virginia

Head to Alexandria, Virginia, for the the largest family-friendly party in the Capital Region, right. First Night entertainment starts at 2pm with a Fun Hunt through the Old Town, followed by the ‘Kids Karnival’ at different recreation centres. Expect face painting, balloons, special hosts in costumes along with carnival styled games, dancing on King Street near the waterfront from 10pm. The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display—the only one in the D.C. metro area—over the Potomac River at midnight. This annual New Year’s Eve music festival and more includes more than 150 performances at 25 warm indoor venues by bands and DJs. 

Golden nugget drop, Marion, North Carolina

How’s this for a tasty start to the year? On Main Street in the small town of Marion, North Carolina, the new year is marked when a giant ‘golden nugget’ is dropped into a 10-foot giant doughnut that everyone gets to tuck into after midnight. The golden nugget has its links with North Carolina’s gold history.  


The Midnight Run, New York City

The annual crystal ball drop in Times Square might be New York’s most iconic New Year’s Eve tradition, left, but for a fun alternative, join the New York Road Runners’ annual four-mile midnight run. Participants celebrate and dance until midnight, when they start running - with the backdrop of the fireworks display to mark the arrival of the New Year.  


The big baby drop, New Orleans

The biggest countdown to new year in New Orleans takes place in a packed Jackson Square. As you’d expect in this unconventional city there’s no regular New Years ball drop, instead a giant ‘Baby New Year’ is dropped down from the top of Jax Brewery, followed by a massive fireworks show over the Mississippi. The party continues all night in the city’s famously fun Quarter, with partygoers heading to Bourbon Street to celebrate until the early morning.  


People’s Parade, Boston

Every year since 1975, the city of Boston has ushered in the new year with the First Night celebrations, a night of cultural and musical shows. The free event starts with the People’s Procession followed by a massive family fireworks show on Boston Common, right. Other entertainment includes fantastic ice sculptures and light displays.   


Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop, Eastport, New England

The town of Eastport in New England, has a truly original take on the traditional new year drop - at 11pm a giant red maple leaf is dropped from the Tides Institute and Museum of Art, to ring in the new year Eastern time. At midnight Eastern time, it’s followed by the giant 8-foot Great Sardine drop. Local businesses join in the fun so expect themed restaurant menus, entertainment and venues open late. 


Gatlinburg Ball Drop, Tennessee

One of the country’s biggest celebrations takes places in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with a ball drop and magnificent firework show at the Space Needle, a structure with an observation deck path offers 360 degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Nearly 50,000 people are expected to gather around this landmark at the intersection of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail on late Saturday night, to watch as fireworks are set off from the roof of the 400-foot tall structure. As well as a musical show, the tower has rhythmic LED lights.


Party on the pier, Chicago

The traditional place to see in the new year in Chicago, Illinois, is the famous Navy Pier, which reaches out into Lake Michigan. Partygoers head there for an evening of music, theme park rides and fun, followed by a spectacular fireworks display to music, left. For something a little different, go to the after-hours celebrations at Lincoln Park Zoo, which will be decked out in millions of glittering lights. Expect ice carvings, bars serving beer, wine and champagne, a live DJ, giveaways, games, free carousel rides and more. 

Big Night DC, Washington DC

Want to party big on New Year’s Eve? Head to Washington DC for the Gaylord National Hotel, one of the Las Vegas-style hotels on National Harbor for Big Night DC. On offer at this mega hotel are fifteen party areas, five dance floors, first class cuisine, discounted hotel rooms and a spectacular midnight celebration.
Posted on: 17/12/2018

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