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Top 5 Things to do on New Year's Eve


There is only one reason to stay in on New Year's Eve, and it involves not knowing what there is to do. Well, now you have no reason, because millennial reporter Mike Tokars compiled this list of the Top 5 Things to do this New Year's Eve!


This weekend I realized I’d yet to make plans for New Year’s Eve. I didn’t even know what was going on ... And I’m a local arts & entertainment reporter. I remember thinking, so the people of Bradenton must really be clueless. But maybe you aren’t; perhaps you’re all set and ready to go, or explode, like ticking time-bombs counting down to December 31st—and I’ve simply been too preoccupied to realize that I only have a week left to lose 20-pounds and quit smoking. 


[ ... ]


But probably not. Probably, you haven’t made any definite plans for New Year’s Eve, and you don’t even know what’s going on. And why should you? You aren’t local arts & entertainment reporters—I am; and I intend to do my job. So here’s the Top 5 Things to do on New Year’s Eve: 


1) The Speakeasy Soiree at the Powel Crosley Estate on Sarasota Bay is my featured pick, for many reasons, but mainly because it sounds totally cool. There is no better location to host a speakeasy themed party than at the gigantic bayside mansion, built in 1929 by 20th century tycoon Powel Crosley, Jr. for his wife, Gwendolyn. They named it Sea Gate, and the place served as their winter home until 1939 when Mrs. Crosley died there, and Powel never returned. He did, however, allow the U.S. army to use Sea Gate to house pilots that were training at Sarasota Airport during World War II. Apparently they practiced bombing drills over the bay, and the explosions created holes that to this day serve as some of the best fishing spots in the area. The whole story screams F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I learned it from a woman who used to let me into the mansion when I would wander down during breaks in classes at USF. She was a nice woman, quiet, and with a lost type of elegance, and she granted me total access to the estate under the condition that I not steal anything. I never did, and we got along fine. But back to the party:


The Speakeasy Soiree on New Year’s Eve at the Crosley Estate—created by Milan Catering and sponsored by the Powel Crosley Estate Foundation—will feature dinner at 8 p.m., during which guests will be served four entres including Chicken Carbonara, Lobster Ravioli with Truffle oil, Pan Seared Shrimp and Creamy Cheesy Grits, and Beef Tenderloin, with Berry Cognac Parfaits for dessert. The Soiree begins after dinner at 9:30 p.m. There will be card games, a cigar lounge, Jazz Age music and dancing, and cocktails from that era like the Sidecar, Bee's Knees, Martinis, and all things gin. There will also be bourbon, and a complementary champagne toast at midnight. It is also worth noting that, according to the promotional video for the event, the “joint closes at 1 a.m.”


To make reservations, which are required, call 941.312.0000 or visit www.crosleysupperclub.com. The Dinner and Speakeasy Soiree costs $75 per person. The Speakeasy Soiree (w/ no dinner) costs $35 per person. Cash Bar.


2) The Main Street Live event happening in Downtown Bradenton on New Year’s Eve also sounds good. Main Street Live shows Bradenton a great time every month, and according to the party’s listing on BradentonGulfIslands.com, “The event will be bigger and better than usual—because it’s new Year’s Eve!”—which means more vendors, more food trucks, more live music, art and more fun! Stretched across Old Main Street!


Main Street Live is a family friendly event.


3) As far as this next event is concerned—I’ve gone over the whole thing many times, and there doesn’t seem to be a way that the All Ages New Year Celebration at The New Jannus Live in Downtown St. Petersburg could be anything but a total bash. They’re offering UNLIMITED DRINKS for $25 & No Cover Charge from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.; and guest DJs from 93.3 FLZ will be there, spinning nothing but the choicest hits from today’s Top 40, House and Hip Hop catalogue. Also, according JannusLive.com, “This is an Official Keep Calm and Chive On Event.” I don’t know what that means, but I admit it sounds promising. 


4) The 2013 Sarasota Pineapple Drop Downtown New Year’s Party is another sure bet for a good time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a lifelong resident of this area, it’s that the people in Sarasota know how to properly lace up their party shoes.


The NYE party in Downtown Sarasota is big every year—count on full bars, food & beer vendors out on the street, and live bands and DJs pumping tunes from many stages all night long, until the countdown to midnight begins. When the clock strikes 12, a giant pineapple will descend in the vein of New York City’s classic ball drop; and the City of Sarasota’s indisputable one-upping of Dick Clark would be reason enough for me to head down to Lemon Ave. & Main Street—where this all is going down—because the only thing better than dropping a giant lightbulb to welcome the New Year is, of course, dropping a giant lighted-pineaapple to welcome the New Year. Perhaps dropping Dick Clark would be better?


5) For some people, New Year's Eve means going all out—money is no object, and excess is champion of the night. If you fall into this category, let me suggest The Rooftop: Cabaret En Rouge party happening in Tampa's Hyde Park Village. Tickets are $175 apiece (plus fees), which includes complimentary mid-shelf booze and champagne. The event is billed as "Tampa's most mysterious, elegant and sexy New Year's Eve party," and modern-disco dance band Love Struck Robot is scheduled to perform, as is DJ Papi. 


So there you have it, folks—The Top 5 Things to do on New Year's Eve.


Please party responsibly.


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