Fireworks erupt over Palafox Place to ring in 2012 during last year's Pensacola Pelican Drop. / Phil Bailey/GoPensacola.com
The Pensacola Pelican Drop has become the centerpiece of the downtown celebration of the new year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Our glowing gigantic pelican gives us a holiday icon that makes our town unique — we’ll take it over a ball, much less a certain Alabama city’s MoonPie.
The Pelican Drop may be the biggest celebration, but it’s not the only game in town. If you’re looking to party into the wee hours of the beginning of 2013, GoPensacola.com has your guide to all the goodness.
Pensacola Pelican Drop
Set to take over the streets of downtown Pensacola for the fourth year, organizers of the annual New Year’s Eve celebration estimate that more than 50,000 revelers will flock to the streets of downtown Pensacola to enjoy music and entertainment as they wait for the big bird to drop, setting off a huge fireworks display and welcoming 2013.
Most of the core streets in the downtown entertainment district will be blocked off for one of the biggest street parties of the year, including three stages of entertainment and the main event: a giant illuminated pelican perched above the celebration at the intersection of Palafox Place and Government Street, which will descend at the stroke of midnight amidst fireworks and confetti.
Helping add to the excitement this year is country duo Steel Magnolia, best known for such hits as “Keep On Lovin’ You,” “Just By Being You (Halo and Wings),” “Last Night Again” and “Bulletproof.” The duo headlines the entertainment at this year’s Pelican Drop, performing just before the giant, illuminated waterbird descends over Plaza Ferdinand.
Cat Country Stage — Palafox Place at Intendencia Street
• 5 to 8 p.m.: Children’s Pelican Celebration with an expanded children’s area. At the stroke of 8 p.m., the Pelican will rise and light up along with the annual bubble stomp.
• 8 to 9:15 p.m.: Whiskey River.
• 9:45 to 11 p.m.: Wes Loper Band.
GoPensacola.com Stage — Palafox Place and Romana Street
• 8 to 9:15 p.m.: Lucky Town.
• 9:45 to 11 p.m.: Cold Hard Truth.
The Main Stage — Palafox Place and Government Street
• 8:45 to 10:15 p.m.: Emerald Coast Blues Brothers.
• 10:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.: Steel Magnolia.
• Midnight: The Pelican descends from 100 feet above the street as revelers count down to the New Year, leading up to a huge fireworks display.
For more information, visit www.pensacolapelicandrop.com.
New Year’s Eve at Seville Quarter
The New Year’s Eve Celebration at Seville Quarter will feature live entertainment, drink specials and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Membership packages, priced at $35 in advance or $40 on New Year’s Eve, include a 2013 Seville Quarter membership card and admission to the party. The dance package, at $20, provides admission to the party only. All guests recieve party favors and a Cristalino Cava Brut toast at midnight. Live entertainment includes the Modern Eldorados, Mo Jiles, Thick as Thieves and the Dueling Piano Show. In addition, DJ Mr. Lao will be spinning high-energy dance music in Phineas Phogg’s, and outside, Seville Quarter will have the streets closed off for a light and laser show, fire performers, belly dancers, food concessions and DJ sets from DJ POW, DJ Funk and DJ DT. Additionally, a Gourmet Wine Dinner will be served in the Heritage Hall prepared by Executive Chef Brandon Melton, woith seatings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. The cost is $65, or $125 per couple. plus tax and gratuity, and includes admission to the party. Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com.
New Year’s Eve at Emerald City
Emerald City will ring it the new year with a midnight performance by international recording artist Jeanie Tracy, whose hits include “Cha Cha Heels,” “Keep the Party Jumpin’,” “We Will Be Free Tonite” and “The Power.” The evening aslo features DJ Dewight Barkley and the “Top Ten COuntdown of 2012,” as well as lights by Shavar. There will be free party favors and a balloon drop and free Champagne at midnight. $15. For ages 18 and older. Emerald City, 406 E. Wright St. Visit www.emeraldcitypensacola.com.
Capt’n Fun Beach Club New Year’s Eve Celebration
Doors open at 8 p.m. for Capt’n Fun’s celebration of the new year featuring DJ Tony C’s New Year’s Eve Dance Party, free party favors, free beer from 9 to 10 p.m. and free Champagne at midnight. Admission is $5 for ages 21 and older and $10 for ages 18-20. No one younger than 18 will be admitted. Capt’n Fun Beach Club, 400 Quietwater Beach Road, Pensacola Beach. 934-3978.
New Year’s Eve at Vinyl Music Hall
Vinyl Music Hall celebrates with Jukebox Superhero, with a new lineup and a new show featuring new songs, performing as your favoite DC Comics superheroes. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the band hits the stage at 11 p.m. All ages are welcome, and admission is free for ages 21 and older. For those younger than 21, the cost is $5, cash only, and those younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult guardian. Vinyl Music Hall, 2 Palafox Place. Visit www.vinylmusichall.com.
New Year’s Eve at Hopjacks
Hopjacks will be open until 3 a.m. with special holiday and hard-to-find beers, a band on the balcony and a full bar accepting credit cards on the porch. Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen and Taproom, 10 Palafox Place. Visit www.hopjacks.com.
New Year’s Eve at the Tin Cow
The Tin Cow will be open until 3 a.m. with Champagne, can beer and drink specials. “Pretty Rickey” will be grilling burgers outside with can beer, Champagne and sangria specials on the porch. The Tin Cow, 102 Palafox Place. Visit www.thetincow.com.
New Year’s Eve at O’Riley’s Irish Pub
O’Riley’s will feature 25-cent draft beer, $2 well drinks, $3.50 Vegas bombs and complimentary Champagne at midnight. DJ J Rock gets the party going at 9:30 p.m. O’Riley’s Irish Pub, 3728 Creighton Road. 474-0522.
New Year’s Eve Party at Chan’s Nightclub
Chan’s will celebrate the start of 2013 with music by Blackwater, door prizes, party favors, a Champagne toast, a money balloon drop and $4 Rumple Minze and Goldschlager shots. $15 in advance for reserved seating; $20 at the door. Chan’s Nightclub, 610 E. Nine Mile Road. 477-9961, or visit www.chanspensacola.com.
New Year’s Eve at The Fish House
The Fish House will offer a fixed-price, five-course wine dinner by Chef Billy Ballou at $125, including complimentary favors, with seatings at 7 and 9 p.m. Additionally, The Deck Bar will be tented and heated for a celebration starting at 9 p.m. with music by Banana Republic. There is no charge for the party at the Deck Bar. The Fish House, 600 S. Barracks St. 433-9450, or visit www.goodgrits.com.
New Year’s Eve at Jackson’s Steakhouse
Ring in 2013 at Jackson’s Steakhouse with special seatings in the President’s Room at 7 and 9 p.m. for a fixed-price, three-course menu by Chef Irv Miller, with bottomless champagne. The cost is $125, with complimentary favors and valet services included. Dinner service from the regular menu is available beginning at 5 p.m., with reservations being taken throughout the evening. Once the Pelican has dropped, everyone is invited to stop by Jackson’s for complimentary Hoppin’ John. Jackson’s Steakhouse, 400 Palafox Place. 469-9898, or visit jacksons.goodgrits.com.
New Year’s Eve Bash at the Florabama Lounge
The New Year’s Eve Bash at the Florabama will include a dinner buffet, a souvenir huggie, party favors, Champagne split, breakfast, entertainment on three stages, and door prizes. VIP tickets and packages are limited. $40; $100 for VIP tickets. Flora-Bama Lounge & Package, 17401 Perdido Key Drive. Visit www.florabama.com.