With the New Year almost upon us, it’s time to celebrate…twice!
Before making any personal resolutions, the Gulf County Tourist Development Council and Mexico Beach Community Development Council have asked that you make a resolution to stay safe.
But because the area spans two time zones, safety and celebrating twice intertwine.
To help, a series of complimentary trolleys will be provided for those who wants to celebrate the countdown in the Eastern Time zone and then again in Central Time on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 31.
“It’s a free way to enjoy the night’s festivities safely,” said CDC executive director Kimberly Shoaf. “You can trolley-hop all over Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, enjoy two great fireworks shows and get to ring in the New Year twice.”
The annual Celebrate Twice event will ensure revelers safe passage to Port St. Joe watering holes that include The Thirsty Goat, Regan’s Oyster Bar, Reid Avenue, Lookout Lounge and Marina Cove, home of Dockside Sea Food and Raw Bar, Ronnie B’s and Haughty Heron.
Once the clock has struck midnight and 2014 has received a warm welcome in Port St. Joe, the celebration can start all over in Mexico Beach at the El Governor Motel, Toucan’s Restaurant, Mango Marleys, Fish House Restaurant and Rustic Sands Campground.
“Celebrate Twice allows our visitors and residents to enjoy such a unique New Year’s Eve event,” said Shoaf. “There are only four other places in the world where you can walk across time zones.”
“It’s a wonderful event, it’s safe and we usually have great weather,” added TDC executive director Jennifer Jenkins.
Two fireworks displays will light up the night, the first in Port St. Joe at 10 p.m. ET and the second in Mexico Beach at midnight CT.
Mexico Beach began the “Celebrate Safe, Celebrate Twice” event in 1999, and shuttled partygoers from Regan’s and the Lookout Lounge back to Bay County in time for the second ball drop.
Port St. Joe was incorporated into the event seven years ago and the transportation expanded to cover both cities.
This year, six vehicles will be providing transportation.
In Mexico Beach, one trolley will stay within the city limits, but systematically hit each participating venue. One trolley will be dedicated to do the same in Port St. Joe.
Three charter busses will hit every stop while an express bus will run between the El Governor Motel and the Thirsty Goat. Each bus will be clearly marked and drivers will regularly announce their next destination.
“Once the event is over, we hope that people will stay the night at the El Governor Motel, the Port Inn or be within walking distance of their homes,” said Shoaf. “Historically, we’ve had very few drunken driving incidents during New Year’s.
“The trolleys keep those drivers off the roads and help keep everyone safe.”
In order to ride the trolleys or busses after 10 p.m. ET, patrons will need to be 21 or older.
Celebrate Twice scheduled trolley stops:
8 p.m. until 3 a.m. ET.
(7 p.m. until 2 a.m. CT)
El Governor Motel
Mango Marleys & Fish House Restaurant
Port St. Joe:
Marina Cove (Dockside Seafood and Raw Bar, Haughty Heron, Ronnie B’s)
The Thirsty Goat
Regan’s Oyster Bar