Downtown Gainesville will be the place to be on Monday for New Year’s Eve celebrations, beginning with a fireworks and followed by lots of partying.
The City of Gainesville is saying farewell to 2018 with a bang in the form of fireworks at dusk and then welcoming in 2019 with noisemakers of fewer decibels at midnight.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. at Depot Park off South Main Street with a family-friendly dance party hosted by a DJ on the stage near the hill. The highlight of “Sparks in the Park” is a 15-minute fireworks display over the pond starting at 6:30 and choreographed to music.
Immediately following the fireworks, guests are invited to “GLOW Downtown.” Sidewalks leading north along Southeast 2nd and 3rd streets will be lined with a glowing rainbow of lights leading to the Hippodrome Theatre and then to Bo Diddley Plaza, where the the “Downtown Countdown” to 2019 starts at 9 p.m.
The musical lineup this year begins with the contemporary blues of The Shakedown followed by the headliners, The Impostors, a Beatles tribute band that has performed in Gainesville for more than three decades.
Revelers are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to both Depot Park and Bo Diddley Plaza for seating. Noisemakers will be passed out before midnight to help ring in the new year.
Meanwhile, numerous downtown restaurants and clubs are planning special menus and events for New Year’s Eve:
The Atlantic (15 N. Main St.): New Year’s Eve Block Party at the Atlantic, The Top, the Alley, Arcade Bar and The Wooly with DJs at all venues and free champagne at midnight, 10 p.m.
The Backyard at Boca Fiesta (232 SE 1st St.): New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball with DJ Malibu. Doors open at 8 p.m. $5 cover.
The Bank Bar and Dutton’s Vault (22 W. University Ave.): Fizz Clink Drink! A Masquerade. Free champagne toast served at midnight. Doors open at 9 p.m
Boxcar Wine & Beer Garden (at Depot Park): New Year’s Eve Party with DJ Tashi beginning at 6:45 p.m. (after Sparks in the Park). Doors open at 4 p.m. No cover.
The Bull (18 SW 1st. Ave.): New Year’s Eve Open Mic and Countdown hosted by Kyle Keller, 8 p.m.
Cypress & Grove Brewing Co. (1001 NW 4th St.): New Year’s Eve Celebration with live music by T.J. Washburn and guest (2:30 p.m.), Dozenaires (3:30 p.m.), Vowls (6 p.m.), Funky Miracle (8:15 p.m.) and Chuck Martin and the Threetles (10:30 p.m.). Free.
High Dive (210 SW 2nd Ave.): New Year’s Eve with Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses tribute band), EFen and special guest tba. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9. Tickets $12 in advance (highdivegainesville.com, High Dive box office and Hear Again Records), $15 day of show. (All tickets include free champagne toast at midnight.)
Loosey’s (120 SW 1st Ave.): New Year’s Eve and Karaoke Dance Party with DJ Wolftron, 9 p.m. No cover.
Madrina’s (9 W. University Ave.): New Year’s Eve: Hello 2019 Party. The cocktail bar will be extending the holiday-themed “Miracle on University” until New Year’s Eve. Extended DJ set 9:30 p.m.-close.
Maude’s Side Car Bar (101 SE 2nd Place): New Year’s Eve: A Party for the Classy and Sassy. Doors open at 7 p.m. Free champagne toast at midnight.
Mai Kai Kava Bar (17 W. University Ave.): New Year’s Eve Party with DJ Brad Spin, 9 p.m. Complimentary beverage at midnight.
The Midnight (223 S. Main St.): New Year’s Spectacular: Watch the ball drop. Free champagne toast at Midnight! No cover.
Rockey’s Dueling Piano Bar (112 S. Main St.): Rockeys Brings In 2019. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $15 general admission. VIP tickets $75-$120 (eventbrite.com). All guests receive a complimentary glass of champagne for midnight toast.
The Wooly (20 N. Main St.): New Year’s Eve Block Party at The Top, the Atlantic, the Alley, Arcade Bar and The Wooly with DJs at all venues and free champagne at midnight, 10 p.m.