We’ve been poking around Pier Park’s Facebook Fan Page and came across the full event schedule for the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop event. Reading their updates, it seems apparent that there will be a large dedicated stage for the headliner band, Vertical Horizon and tons of fun things to do for the family.
Per the event listing:
5:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Family Celebration: Bands including The Barry Fish Band, bounce houses, stilt walkers, balloon artists, face painting, funnel cakes, tons of fun for the kids including 7,000 beach balls being dropped at 8:30 (right now there are lines going across the main Boardwalk area, could this be for the beach balls?) and fireworks off the pier.
8:30 pm to whenever – Countdown celebration: Nothing Short of Pure Band at 9:00 pm, Headliner Band is VERTICAL HORIZON will go on at 10:45pm, funnel cakes, beer and liquor tents, tons of fun for all including a countdown and grand firework display off the pier at midnight!
140+ prizes being given away including 12 Southwest Airlines tickets to ANYWHERE in their network.
VERTICAL HORIZON Hits include “You’re a God” and “Everything You Want” with their latest album including the single “Save Me From Myself.” Visit http://www.verticalhorizon.com for more info on them.
Three of the things that seem to stand out this year that are different from last year:
- 7,000 inflated beach balls being dropped at 8:30 pm for the kids. This looks and sounds very cool. I can only imagine how this will play out, but I keep imagining tons of beach balls bouncing all over the streets and tons of kids smiling.
- Vertical Horizon playing. Now having some experience seeing how the back end of these types of operations work (thank you seafood festival!), I know it’s no small task bringing in a “big” band and getting everything set up for them the way they want. These bands have requirements for everything from stage set up to lights to the access people have behind stage (which is why it is so hard to get back stage passes, etc.) I also know that Vertical Horizon was a band that I listened to quite a bit back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and they had a few hit songs that most of you have probably heard of. I thought this was cool because Panama City Beach was getting another semi-big name band coming in (like Styx). Check www.verticalhorizon.com to listen to some music.
- Southwest Airlines is the presenting sponsor. I know last year Margaritaville was the presenting sponsor. I’m not sure how much it costs to be a “presenting” sponsor, but I do know that it is a big title and certainly a great thing that our new tourism “partner” is supporting this event and having a dominant presence. This is very fitting, especially since there are bound to be thousands of out of state tourists here that will be glad to know that they very well may be able to fly here low-cost next year. This is a cool evolution for the area. Last year was the first event at our new shopping meca, Pier Park, this year we announce that next year you can fly here for way cheaper than you ever could before – NON-STOP in many cases!
Regardless, this year’s event looks like it will be huge. Here’s a video from last year.