First Ever New Year’s Beach Ball Drop in Panama City Beach

by December 19, 2008 • 9 comments

Celebrate the start of 2009 with a bounce and a bang at the New Year’s Eve “Beach Ball Drop” in Panama City Beach, Fla.  Presented by Margaritaville and hosted by Pier Park, this first annual event rings in the New Year with live entertainment and fun activities for the whole family, including a spectacular fireworks display, amidst dazzling beaches and holiday lights.

Creating its own beachside version of Times Square, Panama City Beach will close the roads of Pier Park for pedestrian traffic only and host a street festival with live music, food, festivities and more.  To mark the start of the New Year, a larger-than-life illuminated beach ball will slowly descend from a 120 ft. tower, 12 stories high, at the stroke of midnight.

“The Beach Ball Drop is the first of what promises to become an annual tradition at Pier Park, Northwest Florida’s largest shopping, dining and entertainment venue,” remarks Felicia Cook, Director of Mall Marketing for Simon Property Group. “We are thrilled to play host to this one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve event and look forward to ringing in the New Year in Panama City Beach.”

Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with exciting activities for the entire family including live music, food, bounce houses, stilt walkers and face painters and a Florida Lottery “Prize Zone.”  The New Year’s Eve countdown celebration starts at 9:00 p.m. with more live entertainment, leading up to the awaited Beach Ball Drop at midnight.  The evening will culminate with a spectacular fireworks show over the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“The New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop provides the perfect opportunity to visit Panama City Beach and become a part of history,” states Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  “We welcome locals and visitors alike to join us for a weekend of cheer and celebration as we kick-off 2009 in the world’s most beautiful beach destination.”

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1 Don Docken December 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Great Idea !!! Look forward to attending the “EVENT”

Thanks, Don


2 Todd December 25, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Tell me how it goes. I won’t go back to similar events at Pier Park until PCB knows how to exit major crowds. Remember the 4th of July fiaso at Pier Park after the fireworks?


3 Cheryl December 27, 2008 at 2:23 am

Any good New Year’s Eve packages next door to Pier Park? I would like to stay 3 nights and enjoy for once in my life!!
Let’s call it a new beginning. Any suggestions from a local would be great.


4 Paul J December 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm

This is not a “one-of-a-kind” event. Bangor, ME has been doing a beach ball drop for several years.

Also, you cannot have a “first annual” event. No event is held annually until the second year. What if the event tanks and never happens again? It was never annual and the report ends up being a liar.


5 Jason Koertge December 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm

That’s awesome, Paul, thanks for the comment. Do I smell sour grapes?


6 John December 29, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Regarding special hotel rates — several of the hotels on the beach have excellent rates right now and are not increasing them for this event. Two that I know of are Beachcomber ($69 double suite) and Legacy ($79 double suite), both are By the Sea Resorts.


7 David January 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

I sure was wishing to make it to this! But had to be back at work on friday so could not make it 🙁 I will be there next year!! So how did it go?


8 Suzanne January 1, 2009 at 11:07 am

Just wondering if you are going to put up the video from the event? Couldn’t watch as I was working.


9 Linda Ebert November 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm

This event sounds great. Do we need reservation, and what are the hotels near pier park.