Miami, Broward NYE events celebrate discovery of Florida
MIAMI (WSVN) -- As "La Gran Naranja," Miami's own Big Orange, continues its slow 400-foot climb to the top of Downtown Miami's Hotel Inter-Continental, this year's fireworks display will not only ring in 2013, but also commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida.
The fireworks are currently being set up at a barge outside the Miami Seaquarium. Thousands of revelers will gather at Bayfront Park to witness the 35-foot neon icon set off the display. "We've got a huge orange opening this year, as well as a lot of new effects," said Gary Avins of Firepower Displays Unlimited.
"The weather is better than in New York," observed Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado.
A select 300 people purchased tickets to view the show aboard the SeaFair Mega Yacht. "We have private chefs, fabulous bartenders, and great DJs, said SeaFair's Lee Ann Lester. "It's going to be the one of the most spectacular yacht parties you'll ever experience," she said.
Several blocks up Biscayne Bay, Mr. 305 himself, Miami-Born rapper Pitbull, takes center stage at the Hyde Lounge of the American Airlines Arena. Large crowds have also been gathering on South Beach.
Despite the parties taking place across South Florida, many people planning their own gatherings at their own homes are also purchasing fireworks to set off in their backyards. As Miami-Dade Fire Department Fire Marshal Juan Saud points out, not every rocket is safe, or legal.
"Nothing can go up or blow up," indicated salesman Chris Winkler, who has been selling fireworks in Southwest Miami-Dade County for over two decades. The legal options, which do not include bottle rockets or Roman candles, "usually don't explode, they don't fly, they don't eject," Saud said. "The [safe] novelty items emit smoke, flames, colors and noise such as whistling," he added.
Broward County revelers could view the big ball drop in downtown Fort Lauderdale. One hundred thousand people are expected to attend the festivities, which will also feature autograph signings by professional football players and a big dance floor. Children's events aimed earlier in the day included face paintings and field-goal kicking. "We feel this is a very safe place to spend New Year's, said Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. Seiler.
Gulfstream Park's free events in Hallandale Beach include a light show and a ball drop all their own.
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