BY ANDREAS BUTLER
There are plenty of options for those looking for free New Year’s Eve activities.
At the Bandshell
The City of Daytona Beach is sponsoring a free concert and painting event on New Year’s Eve at the Bandshell.
John Carroll and Cowboys band will present a “Rock with Kid Rock’’ concert. The band plays rock funk, soul and country. The show is from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
From 11 p.m. until midnight, rising Italian painter Marco Perego will be showcasing his talent. He is being sponsored by Vasilaros & Wagner law firm.
“We are trying to put cultural events in our city. We also want to celebrate the holidays and invite families and tourists to come and celebrate with us. We also want to bring families together and build up our community,” said John Cameron, the city’s Cultural Services coordinator.
‘Bigger every year’
Both events are part of the city’s “December to Remember’’ event, which lasts for three weeks around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
During the event’s four-year span, it has grown over the years.
“The crowd has gotten bigger every year. Last year, we estimated 50,000 people participated in our holiday events. This year we have scaled back due to economic reasons, but we still are expecting about 25,000 people to partake,” stated Cameron.
The event includes a concert on Dec. 30 from 7 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. at the Bandshell. The band Pocket Change from Miami is scheduled to perform.
Earlier that day, beginning at 11 a.m., the area will be filled with trains, inflations and food vendors.
‘All White Watch Night’
Most local churches are holding their regular Watch Night services and masses. However Master’s Domain Church of God in Christ at 511 Fremont Ave. will do something different with its “All White Watch Night Celebration’’ on New Year’s Eve beginning at 10 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. It will include free food, spoken word, music, dance, a balloon drop, and sparkling cider.
“We’re doing something totally innovative this year. It’s not an official Black Clergy Alliance event.
It’s an individual church thing, but we have reached out to the Alliance and other entities in the community,” said Pastor Derrick Harris.
The goal is to reach out to the community and welcome outsiders into the church.
“We are really trying to attract those individuals feeling left out. We want to reach out to those who have no church affiliation. We will still glorify God, but this won’t be your traditional service. We want people to know that Christ is a transcending savior,” explained Harris.
The idea of this combination of a service and celebration came from trends across the nation.
“Similar things have been done in some of the major cities with pastors trying to reach out to those outside of the church to bring them in and make them feel welcome,” Harris remarked.
Main Street party
The annual Main Street New Year’s Eve Party is Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. and will run until 2 a.m. New Year’s Day. Main Street is blocked off between A1A and Peninsula. It includes music, food vendors and a midnight ball drop.
Votran bus service
Votran bus service will run its regular operations on New Year’s Eve, including its night services.
There will be no bus service on New Year’s Day.