Ring in the New Year, Brooklyn style.
Although Manhattan is most famous for its Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration that draws millions of tourists and New Yorkers alike, Brooklyn is quickly becoming a popular alternative destination to count down the seconds ‘till midnight.
“This New Year’s Eve, whether you’re a beachgoer or a landlubber, Brooklyn will be the place to be” said Borough President Eric Adams. “With fireworks in Coney Island and at Grand Army Plaza, and family-friendly activities on both ends of the borough, the best parties for ringing in 2016 will be in the center of the universe: Brooklyn, USA.”
Last year, Coney held its first year annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Attendees clamored to watch fireworks and live entertainment, and enjoy hot chocolate during an evening bash highlighted by a digital “burst” of lights to ring in 2016 from the iconic Parachute Jump, which features its own countdown. This year, the popular event returns, with signs pointing to it becoming a strong tradition.
“Brooklynites don’t need to travel across the river to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style anymore, because Coney Island is the place to be for family-friendly, exciting fun, just as it has been throughout its storied history,” Councilmember Mark Treyger said, noting that more than 5,000 people gathered for last year’s celebration to welcome 2015. “A big crowd is expected again as we say hello to 2016, continuing to prove that Brooklyn is home to some of the most exciting events and cultural attractions in New York City.”
“Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, we want to continue the new tradition of providing New Year’s entertainment on the historic Coney Island Boardwalk,” added Johanna Zaki, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island.
The return of last year’s festivities is just the beginning. The B&B Carousel on Riegelmann Boardwalk will be open and free of charge, as will the Abe Stark Rink, throughout New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day.
In addition, Deno’s Wonder Wheel on the Boardwalk in Coney Island will start its 96th year, counting down to a 100-year celebration in 2020, by being open for New Year’s for the first time ever.
On New Year’s Eve, from 9-11 p.m., free rides on the Coney icon will be offered, weather permitting. On New Year’s Day, the wheel will be open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with tickets costing $5 per ride, and 50 percent of the proceeds being donated to Camp Sunshine, which sends inner city kids to summer camp, and which is the charity of choice for the Coney Island Polar Bears, who will be out taking a dip in the frosty Atlantic, as they do every January 1.
The Coney Island History Project will also be hand on New Year’s Day to record New Year’s greetings from the Wonder Wheel for its Oral History Archive.
Coney won’t be the only place for locals to celebrate. The Prospect Park Alliance will host its annual New Year’s Eve celebration featuring music from DJ C. Live and the Brooklyn Mash It up Band at Grand Army Plaza as well as a pyrotechnic display.
“New Year’s Eve fireworks at Grand Army Plaza are truly a borough-wide celebration, and so it is fitting to host in Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s backyard,” Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue said. “We welcome thousands of revelers each year to come to the park to enjoy the gorgeous display, which would not be possible without the support of Borough President Adams, and we thank him.”
The party will begin in Coney Island at 9 p.m. on Thursday, December, 31 at Steeplechase Plaza, Boardwalk between West 12th and West 16th Street. Prospect Park’s party will commence at 11 p.m. at Grand Army Plaza. For more information, visit www.allianceforconeyisland.org and www.prospectpark.org.