Security efforts underway for “Light Up Tampa Bay” celebrations


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Thousands of spectators are expected to pack Channelside for the “Light up Tampa Bay New Year’s Eve Celebration” Saturday night.

It’s the biggest celebration in the bay area. Organizers have spent the past few days getting ready for the big event.

The stage is being set for the night’s festivities. There are barricades and cones throughout the Channelside district to handle the huge crowds. Thousands of people are expected to crowd this area to watch the fireworks.

The trolley service is working overtime, shuffling passengers throughout Tampa.

Everyone is coming for the spectacular fireworks show launched from the bay, but that’s not the only attraction. It’s going to be a night full of fun for the whole family.

It all starts at the Garrison Street lot, where the Tampa Bay Lightning watch party will be held starting at 7 p.m.

Throughout Channelside, there will be DJs, parties, food and fun

This is a free public event, but it might help to get there early- only 3,500 wristbands will be handed out for waterfront admission. It’s first come, first served.

Law enforcement will be stepping up patrols tonight to keep the revelers safe, but first responders will also need the public to lend a hand to make sure everyone is safe.

“Whether it’s a fight about to start, or an unattended package or somebody behaving oddly. Any of those things, we are really pushing this out for everyone because our job becomes much easier when we have the public helping us,” said Capt. Ryan Bradford with Tampa Fire Rescue.

If you go out with your family, police say you should take a picture with your kids. If you happen to get separated you can show the pictures to officers so they can quickly locate your children. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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