Ring in the New Year on Florida’s Historic Coast
From the renowned Nights of Lights to fireworks at the beach, here are the top ways to ring in 2023 in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach.
1. Nights of Lights
First, take in the lights. All millions of them. Nights of Lights is one of the most dazzling spectacles during the holidays and a special way to kick off the New Year. The best part is, you can see the amazing display of lights for free. Start your walk at the holiday tree in the Plaza de la Constitucion. Along King Street, the Lightner Museum and Flagler College take holiday lighting to new levels from the grounds to the palm trees and the rooftops. Take a stroll along the bayfront from the Bridge of Lions to the Castillo de San Marcos to see the lights reflected in the waters of the Matanzas Bay. Everywhere you look, a brilliant spot for a New Year’s selfie.
2. Light up the Night! Beach Fireworks
There’s nothing like fireworks on the water and this St. Augustine tradition is a perennial blast. Bring a blanket and gather with thousands of your best friends and neighbors to enjoy Light up the Night! one of the most magical fireworks displays of all time at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier. Limited shuttle service will be provided from Anastasia Baptist Church to the three viewing locations on the beach. Public Parking will be available at City Hall, Ron Parker Park, Anastasia Square parking lot on the side close to Pope Road, and at the YMCA after 1 p.m. Best of all, it’s free! 8:30–10 p.m.
3. Party at the Embassy Suites
They know how to do it up right at the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort. This year it’s a Brazilian Carnival theme complete with open bar, fantastic food, live entertainment, lots of dancing and, of course, fireworks at the pier. From 7:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. Tickets are $175 per person, adults 21+ only.
4. Over the Top at the Circus
The big top returns to St. Augustine with Venardos Circus at the AMP world-class circus acts. The entire family will enjoy the Broadway musical-style performances created by former Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Kevin Venardos. Tickets available here for December 31 at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. and New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
5. Celebrate at the Lightner Museum (Sold Out)
It’s the 75th Anniversary of the Lightner Museum and they’re doing it up big with a New Year’s Eve Gala that includes dinner from 7– 9 p.m., open bar, cocktail reception, seated dinner catered by Chef’s Garden, live music by the Alberto Cebollero Trio and admission to the Countdown Party. Tickets are $250 per person. Just want to party? The Countdown Party will take place in the Alcazar Casino from 10 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. with open bar, hors d’oeuvres by Chef’s Garden and dancing to live music by Ramona + The Riot, midnight champagne toast and balloon drop. Admission is $100 per person.
6. Live Music in the Air
If you find yourself walking along St. George Street, you’re bound to hear music in the air. Head over to the Colonial Oak Music Park and enjoy a live performance by favorites Groove Coalition from 7–10 p.m. on December 31. Admission is free and there’s food and drink available.
7. A Classic Evening
Prefer something more classical? Die Fledermaus Presented by First Coast Opera is a fully staged production with orchestra of Johann Strauss Jr’s classic 19th Century Viennese Operetta performed in English. Tickets are $40 for adults, children free with adult paid admission. December 31 at 7 p.m. and January 1 at 3 p.m. Complimentary champagne at intermission.
Of course, there’s lots more going on around town so be sure to check out our list of restaurants and attractions. We suggest you call ahead for restaurant reservations to make sure your group can be accommodated.
8. New Year’s Eve Gala — Party with a Purpose hosted by the Junior Service League
Goodbye 2022. Hello 2023. Ring in the new year at the Junior Service League of St. Augustine’s Party with a Purpose New Year’s Eve Gala! The festivities begin at 8:30 p.m. at the Magnolia Room at Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave., St. Augustine. Dance under the stars to the live music of St. Augustine’s favorite band, Chillula. Guests will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, with carving station by World Plate Caterer, and an open bar. Countdown to the New Year with a champagne toast. Tickets are available at www.jslgala2022.givesmart.com.