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Bringing in the New Year In the Oldest City in America

New Year’s Eve revelers looking for an innovative way to greet 2010 will find fun, laughs and memorable excursions in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches. From fireworks at the beach to balloon drops for kids, this is the place for celebrating the New Year’s arrival. For example:

Beach Blast Off at St. Augustine Beach! Kick off 2010 in seaside style at this special family friendly, St. Augustine Beach event! Enjoy a blast of flavor, icy sculptures, Kids Zone and fireworks when several of St. Augustine’s favorite restaurants serve up chili for tasting and judging at the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off from 4 to 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. After things cool off from the chili – the Fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m. This display will delight visitors and help usher in the New Year! On the Main Stage, enjoy live entertainment/bands, karaoke and the Family Friendly Dance Party. Admission is free. It all takes place at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Pavilion. For more information, visit the event’s website at www.BeachBlastOff.com.

New Year’s Eve Blue Moon and Sunrise at the Lighthouse: Get the best view possible of a rare blue moon on New Year’s Eve by climbing to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The blue moon, the second full moon of the month, will be enjoyed from this unique perspective – along with a champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres – at two times. On New Year’s Eve, experience sunset and blue moonrise from 5-6:30 p.m. On New Year’s Day, from 7-8:30 a.m., watch the blue moon setting and the sun rising from the Atlantic on the first day of 2010. Tickets are $80 per person for the New Year’s Eve event and $50 per person for New Year’s morning. For more information, tickets and required reservations, call Sara at 904.829.0745 ext. 207.

Piratical Plundering on New Year’s Eve: Sail aboard the pirate ship Black Raven for a New Year’s Eve filled with fun, music, food, drink and unexpected happenings! Join the boisterous crew, including pirate DJ Jonas Crew and magician William Mayhem, as they depart from the St. Augustine City Marina at 10:45 p.m. At midnight, 2010 will be greeted with a blast from the Black Raven’s cannon and a champagne toast. The ship will return to the dock at 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Tickets are $45 each – adults only. For reservations, call 1.877.578.5050.

New Year’s Eve Laughter: Laugh your way into 2010 – and help fund local scholarship programs! Haven Horse Ranch is proud to bring nationally-acclaimed comedian Jeff Allen to Ponte Vedra for a special New Year’s Eve appearance. Jeff is a family-friendly comedian whose goal “is to make people laugh as hard as humanly possible.” The laughs will occur at two shows – one at 6 p.m. and the second at 9 p.m. at the Crosswater Community Church’s new campus at Nocatee (Ponte Vedra) at the entrance to Davis Park. Tickets for this annual Haven Horse fundraiser are $22 in advance and $28 at the door. For more information, call 904.535.8400 or go to www.havenhorseranch.org. To find out more about Jeff Allen, click here .

Kids’ New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Cultural Center in Ponte Vedra Beach: Kids can celebrate New Year’s Eve with a bang at the balloon drop set for noon at the Cultural Center in Ponte Vedra Beach. Kids can snap, crackle and pop in the bubble-wrap room while jumping to the jingles of the house band and create hilarious hats and party masks that will make everyone giggle. Plus, they can get a bite of Brucci’s Pizza Pie or build a mile-high ice cream sundae. Get there before noon to save your spot – hundreds of balloons will drop at noon on the dot. Admission is $2 per person. The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach is located at 50 Executive Way. For more information, call 904.280.0614.

New Year’s Eve Family Celebration at Adventure Landing: Bring the kids for a day filled with fun and a chance to win great prizes in the New Year’s Eve balloon drop at noon at Adventure Landing. There will be “all you can play” min-golf and Go Cart rides for kids for just $10. And at noon there will be a spectacular balloon drop. The fun takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adventure Landing is located on SR 16 off I-95 Exit 318. For more information, call 827.9400 or visit Adventure Landing.

For more information on events, activities and vacation opportunities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.Getaway4Florida.com or call 1.800.653.2489.

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