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New Year’s Eve in the Florida Keys

For many people, New Year’s Eve is one of the most exhilarating events of the year, providing the ideal time to forget about the past and celebrate what’s about to come. Throughout the world, many spectacular events take place on December 31st as the clock edges towards midnight and the anticipation builds. Florida Keys is no different, and if you’re lucky enough to be holidaying in this beautiful area of the United States during Christmas and New Year’s, then you have to make sure you participate in the quirky parties and celebrations the city offers.

Florida Keys New Year

If you’re visiting the sunny state during the festive season, it’s a good idea to get a car so you can easily get around. Especially on the Keys, attractions and events can be spread out, and if you want to head down to Key West, then having the flexibility to jump in a car and drive can be a huge advantage.

There are many places in Florida Keys that celebrate the New Year with style, including the Schooner Wharf Bar, Sloppy Joe’s Bar and Ernest Hemingway’s old hang out. You should remember that many party venues will be selling tickets for the big event and post-midnight celebrations, so it’s important to book ahead so you’re not disappointed. On Duval Street, Sloppy Joe’s is particularly famed for its annual Dropping of the Conch Shell. Whilst New York has a ball drop, and Atlanta has a peach drop, Florida Keys celebrates in a particularly quirky style, with a shell dropped at midnight to celebrate the local surroundings. Crowds start to gather around 10pm and you’ll notice that many people are appropriately dressed in flip flops and bathing suits. As the clock strikes midnight, the Conch Shell drops from the roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, much to the excitement of everyone in attendance.

Also on Duval Street, is the world famous Shoe Drop. Located at Bourbon St. Pub, a drag queen Sushi sits atop of a giant high heeled shoe. As the clock nears midnight, crowds gather in anticipation of the drop, and as the New Year is ushered in, the giant red shoe, complete with drag queen, is lowered in celebration. Alternatively, if the crowds are too much as Sloppy Joe’s Bar and Bourbon St. Pub, there’s also the Schooner Wharf Bar, which lowers a Pirate Wench as January 1st arrives.

Florida Keys is a fantastic place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Long before the evening’s festivities start, you can enjoy the tropical landscape and culture by indulging in some afternoon parasailing, kayaking and snorkelling to get you in the mood. The city is famed for its beaches, and spending December 31st lazing on a sandy shore is an ideal way to say goodbye to the year. Watching the sun go down is also a stunning sight, particularly if you indulge in a glamorous sunset cruise. Then, after you’ve seen the sun disappear on the horizon, you can prepare for the celebrations of the coming night.

The various quirky drops around Key West, including the Wench Drop, Conch Drop and Red High Heel Shoe drop are all free to attend. Whilst this ensures a vibrant atmosphere, it also means that a lot of people fill the streets. If you want a good spot, it’s important to get there early so you’re not disappointed. Florida Keys is certainly an exciting place to spend an unusual New Year’s Eve, and if you’re holidaying in the state’s southernmost city, then celebrating with residents and visitors alike, is a must.

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Vago Damitio

Mr. Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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