Area events to help usher in 2014

Gator Bowl parade, fireworks among Jacksonville's New Years Eve highlights

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor, Nick Jones - Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - 2014 is just around the corner and so is the Gator Bowl -- and that means there will be plenty of ways to celebrate both. 


Jacksonville festivities get kicked-off around noon, with the coaches' luncheon at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Fans there will have the opportunity to meet with the Gator Bowl coaches and players. 

At 1 p.m. will be the VyStar 5K run that starts at the Landing and goes all the way through downtown and along the Riverwalk. That will lead to the Nebraska pep rally, also at the Landing, at 2 p.m.  

At 3 p.m. the Gator Bowl Parade will step off downtown. The parade lasts for two hours, and Channel 4's Adrienne Moore and Kent Justice will host live coverage on TV, News4Jax and the Gator Bowl ap for those who can't make it out.

After the parade, it will be Georgia turn for a Landing pep rally. It starts at 5 p.m.

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The nightlife downtown gets going around 6 p.m. at Mavericks with the 6th Annual "Smokin' Aces" New Year's Eve Bash. The bar will have its own balloon drop, a view of the river for fireworks, and the ball drop will be played on the 18 different televisions.  

From then on through the night there will be live music all around the Landing from 6: p.m. to 2 a.m., with performances by Radio 80 and Sun Jammer at the Coca-Cola Riverfront Stage. Fionn MacCool's Irish pub will also have live music by Something Distant at 9 p.m.

And of course, at midnight the city of Jacksonville will present the Fireworks Spectacular on the St. Johns River.

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More events are going on in St. Johns County, too, including ice sculpting, a chili cook-off, live entertainment and fireworks from 2-10 p.m. at the Beach Blast Off 2014 in St. Augustine Beach. There will also be a pub crawl from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. .

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