Dec 31st, 2018
First Posted
Dec 31st, 2017

New Year's Eve in Fort Lauderdale

One of the great things about living in Fort Lauderdale is that we have our very own New Year's eve ball drop. The ball in Times Square has over 32,000 leds; ours has "only" 10,000. Usually, it's well below freezing in Times Square on New Year's eve: Here, figure 72 degrees. You can freeze your butt off in Times Square or you can hang out in balmy downtown Fort Lauderdale. Your choice.

Our ball may be smaller, but it looks pretty good to me. You'll be a lot closer to the ball here, so size is relative.

On New Year's eve, the entire downtown "Himmarshee Village" area is closed off from the railroad tracks to Esplanade Park. There are food trucks, restaurants, beer stations in the street; it's just a crazy good time. You can argue that Fort Lauderdale doesn't do everything right; but New Year's is one thing they can be proud of. Following is an article from December 31, 2010, with a video of the actual ball drop and some Rock & Roll:

Original Post: Jan 1, 2011

In 2010, on a beautiful night with 70 degree weather, Fort Lauderdale rang in 2011 in style. Proving that they can learn from their past mistakes, they expanded the party from SW 3rd to SW 5th, adding an extra block and Esplanade Park into the festivities. And it's a good thing too; the crowd was substantial.

Getting here early is the key; by 11:30 the place is wall to wall people.

Food trucks this year. They didn't have much food last year.

Band playing in Tarpon Bend. There's more sanity inside with not too many people. Everyone wants to be out on the street.

Ah, the Mother Lode. They've set up Nugent street as a food court. The restaurants can't be happy about this; last year you had no choice but to pay for price gouged food at the restaurants.

Freshly grilled kabobs and meat on a stick. Sweet.

And another big tent of food. No shortage of choices this year, although most of it seems to be chicken. Chicken is cheap.

People were starting to gather down by the stage. While it's nice that they expanded the party to 2 blocks this year, getting to the stage could be a chore as the crowd builds. And they you have to fight to get out if you want to leave right after the drop. I have a pretty bad cold so I won't be staying too late.

Inside the bars things are pretty tame at 11:15. Bourbon street is on it's last legs and not too many people inside.

Outside they've set up a nice little patio. Great for people watching but you can't see the main stage or the ball drop from here. It's 2 blocks away.

Dicey's has a bigger crowd. Pit stop for a cold Guinness.

Time to get into position for the ball drop. Just 11 minutes left.

Some pretty good rock and roll. Pretty good stuff. Too bad I feel like crap. 2011 is here.

New Year's Eve 2010 Video

70 Degrees, an 8 foot diameter ball with 10,000 lights and fireworks; eat your heart out New York.

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