Call it New Year’s Island!
The third time may be the charm for Coney Island’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza. For those ready to put 2016 behind them, the seaside spot’s third annual celebration offers plenty of reasons to skip a crowded ball drop in favor of a light show and seaside fireworks. The first event, at the tail end of 2014 had about 5,000 people, and this year’s festival of light-emitting diodes on the Parachute Jump is expected to draw a bigger crowds, says Coney Island’s city rep.
“Once again, the People’s Playground will play host to what is fast becoming a beloved annual tradition: New Year’s Eve, the Coney Island way!” said city councilman Mark Treyger. “Thousands of people will converge on our beloved Boardwalk, beneath the peak of the iconic parachute jump, to enjoy all of the sights, sounds, tastes, and thrills that Coney Island has to offer.”
Those thrills will include free rides on the Wonder Wheel, the Thunderbolt roller coaster, as well as open season on ice skating at the Abe Stark Rink.
The official festivities will get started at 9 pm at Steeplechase Plaza (on the Boardwalk between W. 16th and W. 19th streets), with appearances from Borough President Adams and from Treyger, along with performances by the high-energy Priceless Band and neon-drenched superhero rocker Blazes.
Local bars and restaurants are gearing up to serve the expected crowds. Nathan’s will be slinging hot dogs, Tom’s Diner will stay open late, and Marky Mark-approved eatery Wahlburgers will have its heated rooftop patio open for guests who want to watch the midnight fireworks while staying in the warm.
Several other Coney Island spots will host their own parties during the run up to midnight, though all of have planned a pause to guests can head to the Boardwalk for the final countdown:
Sideshow performers at Coney Island USA will get started early, with a 9 pm show titled “New Year’s Eve in Heaven,” featuring a fight between Father Time and Baby New Year, and starring Coney Island’s unofficial mayor Dick Zigun and newspaper-folding performance artist Eckszooberante. That show will be followed by a rock ’n’ roll laser light show at 10 pm, and an 11 o’clock trek to the Parachute Jump and more sideshow performances. For ticket-holders, beer and wine will be half-price in the Freak Bar from 8 pm until midnight .
Coney Island USA [1208 Surf Ave. at W. 12th Street in Coney Island, (718) 372–5159, www.coney
Coney Island Beer Company will host a beer blast at its tiny brewery, where it will debut a new ale for the occasion called “Never Sleeps.” A ticket gets you four free beers and food from Coney Island’s classic Italian restaurant Gargiulo’s, and half-price brews once your free ones run out.
Brew Year’s Eve at Coney Island Brewery (1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th. St. in Coney Island, www.coney
Next door to the brewery, the Steeplechase Beer Garden will have its own party, featuring an open bar all night, along with tunes from Grateful Dead cover band Ice Petal Flowers.
New Year’s Eve Party at Steeplechase Beer Garden (1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th. St. in Coney Island, www.coney