Key West hosts one of the best New Years Eve celebrations in the United States


New Years Eve in Key West, Florida is kinda – no, do that many – different from New Years Eve in other places.

For starters, the temperature should be around 80 degrees due to its southern location, but it’s the general mood that sets the festivities apart. Think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, add a lot of drag queens, add fireworks and cannon fire – yes, cannons – and you start to get the idea.

New Years Eve in Key West, one of the Florida Keys, is also not like New Years Eve in Times Square, for example, New York, as different bars have their own parties and their own ways. to count until midnight.

There is a lot to see in Key West on New Years Eve. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most important events.

Afternoon activities

Not all New Years Eve happens at night in Key West. In fact, there is a lot to do in the afternoon.

Mallory Square, located on the waterfront in historic Old Town Key West, is home to a number of shops, galleries, and restaurants. It’s also a place to congregate and watch the sunset as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.

“We hate to brag, but the last sunset celebration of the year is a big deal,” says Mallory Square management. “Gather around the evening performers and get ready for some very special celebrations. Discover magicians, jugglers, and performers who captivate audiences with the glowing pink and orange sunset as a spectacular backdrop.

By the way, if you can’t make it to Key West, you can still watch the sunset every evening via the Mallory Square webcam here.

Plus, for something a little different, a local charter arranges sunset sailing trips. On New Year’s Eve, it even offers Last Sunset Sails, departing at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Of course, you can also visit a number of bars and restaurants around Mallory Square.

New Year’s festivities

Key West is famous for its falling balls and various New Years Eve parties. You may have seen live broadcasts from the area picked up by CNN and other TV news as some of the attendees are blazing and the crowd is huge.

Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s

Sloppy Joe’s Bar offers live music inside the bar, starting at noon on New Years Eve. Then, at 10pm, a DJ kicks off the outdoor festivities from the bar’s rooftop.

“The arrival of 2022 must be announced … with the ‘drop’ of a gigantic artificial conch, the symbol of the Florida Keys, on the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar,” explains the Official Florida Keys Tourism Board. “Spectators gather on Duval Street for the annual gala, hosted by a rooftop host, and featuring street dancing and a countdown to midnight recorded on a huge clock.”

Pro tip: “Thousands of spectators gather to get a glimpse of this annual tradition,” explains Mallory Square. “If you’re not looking for crowds, avoid this area at all costs as it’s like a little version of Times Square.”

Pirate Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf Bar

Schooner Wharf Bar promotes itself as “a final little piece of old Key West that just keeps getting better with time.” The bar, which opened in 1984, is located on the site of the former Singleton shrimp factory.

“For pirates, a New Year’s salute to Key West’s boisterous maritime roots is planned at the island’s historic seaport,” says the Florida Keys Official Tourism Board. “At midnight, an attractive pirate girl will descend from the top of the tall ship’s mast. America 2.0 as the cannons greet 2022. Scallywags in attendance can look forward to all day live music, dancing and festivities.

Shoe Drop Celebration at Bourbon Street Pub

The Bourbon Street Pub, a gay bar, is known for its dancers and male-only garden bar. It is attached to the New Orleans Guesthouse, a gay guesthouse.

Sushi, a drag queen who has led performances at the Bourbon Street Pub for years, figures prominently in the New Year’s celebration.

“Key West is celebrating New Years Eve with a 6-foot-tall red drop-down high-heeled shoe carrying drag queen Sushi,” says the Official Florida Keys Tourism Board. “Seconds before midnight, the high heel wearing a sumptuously dressed and styled Sushi will be lowered from the resort’s second-story balcony to the cheering crowd below. As midnight strikes and the New Years officially begins, she will land and happily pop the cork of a ceremonial champagne bottle.

Key Lime Drop at Ocean Key Resort & Spa

Adjacent to Mallory Square, the Ocean Key Resort & Spa overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. It even has a pier, which is the venue for the resort’s New Year’s Eve celebration.

The resort invites attendees to “Gather” for New Years Eve with the Beatle Band at the famous Sunset Pier.

“Party right over the water, under our private tent, and enjoy an upscale open bar, butler’s sundowners and our annual Midnight Key Lime Drop. It’s a party not to be missed!

Know before you go

Key West, which was first explored by Ponce de Leon in 1521, became American territory in 1822. Located about 160 miles from Miami but only 90 miles from Cuba, Key West is the southernmost point. the United States.

Although Key West is a small island, it is possible to fly directly to the island. Most people, however, either drive from Miami themselves or take a shuttle bus from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Whether you’re driving or taking a shuttle or bus, you’ll cross several bridges, including the famous Seven Mile Bridge, which offers great views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Keys.

Be sure to read the rest of our Florida Keys coverage, including:

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