New Year's celebrations around Tampa Bay area brings festivities outdoors amid omicron surge

The surge in COVID-19 cases here in Florida has interrupted a lot of people's plans, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Friday outside, for free, and with a bang.

Armature Works is set up for an all-day celebration. They'll actually have two celebrations. One of families from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and another starting at 8 p.m. for the grown-ups. There will be live music, fireworks during the day and at midnight.

Elsewhere, in downtown Tampa, Big Ray's Fish Camp and The Sail will also have fireworks and live music starting at 8 p.m.

In St. Petersburg, they'll celebrate First Night with two fireworks displays: one at 8 p.m. and another at midnight. 

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Further not in Pinellas County, Light It Up Clearwater will showcase Pier 60 and the beach for an evening of events leading up to the big show over Clearwater Beach.

The city of St. Pete Beach will shoot fireworks over the water at Upham Beach.

In Sarasota, there's the Pineapple Drop. Those festivities include amusement rides and games, live music, and the Pineapple Drop at midnight, followed by a fireworks display.

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Of course, it's not New Year's without the Outback Bowl. A parade in Ybor City will kick off at 5:30 p.m. to help Penn State and Arkansas get hyped up for Saturday's game. 

All the celebrations mentioned above are free, but there are VIP ticket options available.

Across the state, some Florida celebrations are proceeding as planned, while others have been adjusted to fit the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment.

There are no plans for the neon Big Orange to rise up the side of the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami this year, and a festival with food trucks and performers in a northeast Florida beach town has been canceled. But Key West’s maroon-heeled shoe will descend from a Duval Street bar.

In St. Augustine Beach, a massive fireworks show was still planned, but an accompanying festival with food trucks and performers was canceled because of the recent COVID-19 surge, as the highly contagious omicron variant uickqly overtakes the delta variant in the U.S.

The Associated Press contributed to this report