Forget Times Square — head out east to Patchogue where the New Year is celebrated early. “Midnight on Main” starts at 7 p.m. and concludes with its own illuminated ball countdown and fireworks at 9 p.m.
“We call it ‘Patchogue midnight’ because in Patchogue we’re ahead of our time,” says David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event. “You get the energy of New Year’s Eve without the late-night hour.”
This family-friendly event starts with a DJ spinning tunes in the street with vendors selling hot chocolate and desserts. Free party hats and favors will be handed out and there will be even a Midnight on Main Raffle ($20 per ticket) for a basket of more than 30 Patchogue restaurant gift certificates. Last year's event was called off due to bad weather.
“We encourage dancing in the street to keep everybody warm and the blood flowing,” says Kennedy. “The crowd is in the holiday spirit and there’s a great sense of togetherness in the community going into the New Year.”
When the clock strikes 9, an estimate 3,000-5,000 people will gather at the intersection of West Main Street and West Avenue (just outside the Blue Point Brewery) to watch an illuminated ball rise up in the air.
“Our ball rises because Patchogue is a rising community,” Kennedy says.
The event concludes with a professional fireworks display by Grucci.
MIDNIGHT ON MAIN
INFO 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31 in the village of Patchogue, 631-207-1000, patchogue.com
NO PLANS, NO PROBLEM
Here are five last-minute ways you can still find some fun for New Year's Eve on Long Island:
1. BOWLING BONANZA
The All-Star's New Year’s Eve party in Riverhead features unlimited bowling (with shoes), food, soda, juice, party favors, sparkling cider for kids (champagne for adults) for an early New Year’s toast, plus a face painter and balloon artist.
INFO 4:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 631-998-3565, theallstar.com
ADMISSION $27.95 per child, $42.95 per adult
2. FAMILY SKATE
United Skates of America in Seaford hosts a family all-inclusive party with skate rental, unlimited pizza and soda, light rope necklace, 10 game tokens, chips, noisemakers and a New Year’s countdown.
INFO 6:30-9:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 516-795-5474, unitedskates.com
ADMISSION $25 per person
3. WITH THE FISHES
The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center's family-friendly celebration in Riverhead features a penguin meet-and-greet, cocktail hour, DJ and dancing, buffet dinner (includes beer and wine), dessert with ice cream bar, crafts, plus a mock midnight toast.
INFO 6:30-11 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 631-208-9200 — ext. 426, longislandaquarium.com
ADMISSION $99 adults ($60 ages 3-12, $5 ages 2 and younger)
4. COMEDY SHOW
Head into 2020 laughing with comedian Mike Vecchione at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown.
INFO 7 and 10:15 p.m. (late show includes New Year’s toast with champagne and noisemakers), Tuesday, Dec. 31, 516-731-3358, govs.com
ADMISSION $45 (plus two-item minimum) or $80 (includes VIP seating and dinner), 18 and over
5. LIVE MUSIC
Sad about the year ending? Hear guitarist Kerry Kearney play the blues at Treme Blues & Jazz Club in Islip.
INFO 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 631-277-2008, tremeislip.com
ADMISSION $30, 21 and over