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New Year’s Eve Fireworks On The Cheap

photo: Medmoiselle T

Everyone knows about the brilliant display of fireworks, along with the famous New Year’s Eve Ball drop in New York City’s Time Square. Over 1 million revelers join in the fun, with many more watching the party from their homes. One of the best parts of this annual event is that it costs nothing to attend – what a great way to start the year.

That is, if you live in or near New York City and are willing to endure several hours in likely freezing weather as you wait for the festivities to begin. (The city closes the streets around Times Square at 3 pm.)

Not to worry, though: that’s not the only free and glorious celebration taking place in the country. If you happen to be traveling to, or live in any of the eight destinations below, be sure to check their free fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve:

Boston

First Night Midnight Fireworks over Boston Harbor closes out 2010 in style. The free fireworks show caps off a day-long festival celebrating community and art in Boston. The Boston First Night celebration is the original First Night event, which is now available in many other cities including Austin, St. Louis and Raleigh.

Brooklyn

Gather in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, with entertainment and refreshments in the Grand Army Plaza starting at 11 pm. For the best views, station yourself in along Prospect Park West between grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. Bring a jacket, it can be chilly!

Chicago

Join Chicago revelers at midnight for the free, annual Monroe Harbor fireworks, at Buckingham Fountain (located at Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive) in downtown. Catch the fireworks as they explode over the lakefront, all choreographed to a special musical soundtrack.

Las Vegas

Might be the biggest party around! America’s Party in Las Vegas, with fireworks from the rooftops of seven major hotels and people shoulder-to-shoulder up and down the strip. Fireworks begin at midnight and the best place to view the display is near Treasure Island and the Venetian and around the Paris/Bellagio.

Los Angeles

Each year, Universal City Walk offers a free New Year’s Eve event with live music, DJs and outdoor fun, beginning at 9 pm. Two stages with live bands, along with video screens, start the night. Fireworks start at midnight, in three different locations along City Walk.

Niagara Falls

The CAA Winter Festival of Lights Fireworks, part of the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza which includes a free concert by the falls (with the Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea and Kardinal Offishall), features two fireworks displays at 9pm and Midnight over Niagara Falls. Join 30,000 of your closest friends at the party, which begins at 6:30 pm. The best place to view the fireworks display is at Table Rock, right on the edge of the Falls.

San Francisco

Check out the annual midnight fireworks show on the waterfront, south of the Ferry Building. The 15-minute fireworks show is launched from barges in the Bay, so the best viewing locations are south of Sinbad’s Restaurant, along the Embarcadero between Mission and Folsom. The show is synced to music and a great way to close out the year.

Seattle

The Space Needle is the backdrop for Seattle’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show. Join the crowds at the base of the tower, or meet up with friends in other parts of the city to view the show starting at midnight.

Whatever your plans for New Year’s Eve, be responsible and designate a driver before heading out!