By LORRAINE THOMPSON
An Anastasia Island New Year’s Eve tradition, the St. Augustine Beach Blast Off, offers families a fun-filled late afternoon and evening celebration. The early beach celebration allows visitors to continue the festivities elsewhere at the stroke of 12. The event, from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 31 at St. Augustine Beach Pier Park, will feature 30 food vendors plus champagne, beer and wine stands, a kids’ zone, face painting, carnival rides, two mechanical bulls, and a photo booth.
Local radio station 105.5 will broadcast live. Special live performances by Papercutt, Old Enough 2 Know Better, and Cassidy Diana will precede the fireworks display, which will be synchronized to music, starting at 8:30 p.m.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW—
- The Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier and pier parking lot will be closed Dec. 30 through Jan. 1, 2017 for the Annual New Year’s Eve Beach Blast Off event. The Gift Shop and Visitor Information Center will remain open during standard business hours throughout this time. For more information on shuttle locations and Beach Blast Off, please visit http://www.sabevents.com/beach-blast-off.
- Free parking, with complimentary shuttles to the pier will be available from Anastasia Baptist Church, Augustine Amphitheatre, Amici Shopping Center, Reunion Bank, R. B. Hunt Elementary School, St. Augustine Beach City Hall Parking Lot, Harbour Island Executive Center (312 Bridge) and Anastasia State Park.
- The A Street ramp is now open to 4-wheel drive vehicles. The gates will remain open during Beach Blast Off. All vehicles are required to travel south and may park in the designated areas to view the fireworks. The closest exit ramps are at Ocean Trace Road and Dondanville Road.
- The estimated New Year’s Eve high tide time is 9:33 p.m.
- And, an official reminder—by law, the use of fireworks is prohibited on the beaches at all times except by special permit as in the case of the annual New Year’s fireworks display.
- For more information visit http://www.sabevents.com/beach-blast-off.