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Pier Park New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop brings in thousands

“3…2…1… Happy New Year,” could be heard all around Pier Park Friday at Midnight, and a happy...
“3…2…1… Happy New Year,” could be heard all around Pier Park Friday at Midnight, and a happy New Year it was at the 14th annual Pier Park Beach Ball Drop.(WJHG)
Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 7:50 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - “3…2…1… Happy New Year,” could be heard all around Pier Park Friday at Midnight, and a happy New Year it was at the 14th annual Pier Park Beach Ball Drop.

“Very cool. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Got to use your big words. Extravagant,” Visitor Jermaine Wise said.

This extravagant event made its return after not having a ball drop last year due to COVID.

“Glad it’s back. It’s amazing, we can’t wait. We missed it last year,” Resident Kay Smith said.

This year, thousands of people from all over the United States kicked off 2022 right here in Panama City Beach.

“Unbelievable man, unbelievable let them know,” Visitor Brodon Brown said.

But it’s not touted as the New Year’s Eve ball drop of the south for nothing...

“We are comparable to the ball drop in Times Square in New York,” Visit Panama City Beach Public Relations Manager Lacee Rudd said.

But there’s one, or two, things the New York City ball drop doesn’t have.

“The weather is great, it’s warm and a lot better than New York and we get beach balls woo-hoo,” The Carlson family said.

10,000 beach balls dropped from the sky for the kid’s countdown event at 7:30 P.M. But some would argue, this kids event wasn’t just for the kids.

“It’s for adults. It’s not for the children, it’s for us,” Resident Kay Smith said.

Followed by a fireworks show at 8 P.M.

“When we said ‘where are we going to go for New Year’s Eve?’ He said, ‘hey I think I found the most fun place in America for kids, let’s go,’” said Carlson.

And the return of the Beach Ball Drop was a fun place for all, no matter your age.

And if you had more fuel in your fun tank after the kid’s countdown event, then you could watch the ball drop at midnight at Celebration Tower, followed by another fireworks show.

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