Fifteen minutes of fantastic fireworks follow, shot into the night sky from a duo of barges on the Mississippi River, before crowds disperse to the surrounding French Quarter with its boisterous Bourbon Street, and to nearby music club-dotted Frenchman Street, where you can whoop it up till the wee hours.
The evening festivities kick off with a spectacular torchlight parade on Golden Peak (see photo left), featuring as many as 300 skiers and snowboarders from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School who schuss the slopes in an illuminated train, glow sticks in hand.
The first round of New Year’s Eve fireworks in this Colorado ski town follow up the spectacle, as does the family-friendly First Night festival, held at the mountaintop Adventure Ridge, accessible by gondola.
Food stands, activities just for kids, a choral group, and a live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop assure the festivities maintain their momentum.
A secondary fireworks display explodes above Vail Mountain for more merriment at midnight, as does some rather explosive nightlife at bars and restaurants throughout town.
A massive dance party at the Dobson Ice Arena is the biggest event in town, featuring three DJs and a midnight balloon drop, with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes tucked inside the balloons.
The descent of a costumed “pirate wench” from a schooner’s mast is set to the sound of booming canons and the cheers of spectators and the ship’s “pirate” crew (at the Schooner Wharf Bar in the Historic Seaport area).
Thousands more gather on anything-goes Duval Street to watch a mammoth man-made conch shell descend from atop Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, Sloppy Joe’s Bar (live music is inside).
And yet more crowds congregate for the “Red Shoe Drop” (see photo) just down the road, where bedazzled local drag queen legend Sushi is lowered in a super-sized red high heel from above the Bourbon Street Pub (peek inside for over-the-top performances by female impersonators).
Across the U.S. anything goes when it comes to ringing in the New Year. Find great budget-friendly timeshare rental bargains in each of these fun and fascinating New Year’s Eve destinations.
Photos Credit: travel.yahoo.com
Timeshare Travel - Top 7 U.S. New Year’s Eve Party Towns – Part 1