TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a new year and a new decade. And a new mayor has a new tradition in store for the City of Tampa.
The first-ever “New Yarrgh’s Eve Booty Drop” is expected to bring out big crowds at Curtis Hixon Park New Year’s Eve. Final preparations were in full swing Tuesday morning and afternoon.
The event is free and family-friendly. It will feature live entertainment, food and drinks and the booty drop.
“I love it because it actually gives us incentive to come out and do more and be more involved in the community,” said Rachel Mears of St. Petersburg, who came over Tuesday to spend the day in downtown Tampa with her family.
The Sykes building, otherwise known as the Rivergate Tower, will become the centerpiece for the celebration.
A 320-foot tall treasure chest will be projected onto the building using 3D mapping technology. At midnight, it will be lowered down the side of the building.
8 On Your Side got a sneak peek of the spectacular display Tuesday, but isn’t allowed to show it because the city wants to keep it a secret until the big event.
“That’s what makes Tampa so great. Everybody that you talk to describes Tampa, if they were to use one word, it would be friendly. So just to bring the entire community together and celebrate the dawn of a new decade here in Tampa,” Mayor Jane Castor said.
Even around noon Tuesday, many people had already visited the park and some planned to stay until the late-night festivities.
“It definitely draws people downtown,” said Shanon Shulte of Plant City. “We’re staying at the Marriott. It’s crowded down there. I think it will bring a lot more people and money downtown.”
Spectators can even take part in the interactive display.
“In addition to the projection, and the show taking place, we have live interaction with social media,” said Shaun Drinkard with the Tampa Downtown Partnership.
People can use #NYEBootyDrop with a photo attached to see themselves projected on the building, Drinkard said.
The event kicks off at 9 p.m. and ends at 12:30 a.m. after the booty drop. For more information, click here.
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