Presented by the River District Alliance, the annual Fort Myers New Year's Eve Downtown Countdown helps tens of thousands of local revelers ring in the New Year in style. As midnight approaches, the main stage's ball drop counts down the waning seconds till the New Year and braces visitors for the keynote spectacle: a dazzling fireworks display over the New Caloosahatchee water basin. The bands and DJs play long after the display, entertaining crowds until as late as 2 a.m., at which point guests are encouraged to return home and set all their clocks one year forward.
For more than 10 years, Germain Arena's hockey and figure-skating coaches have nurtured athletes on the ice of the facility's 200'x85' twin rinks. During eight-week programs, the coaching staff helps groups of up to 10 students grow comfortable standing, falling, and gliding on skates before tackling fundamentals in U.S. figure skating, synchronized skating, or ice dancing. For hockey hopefuls, they teach passing, stick handling, and backhand sweep passes, and each student receives a jersey and a pass that may be redeemed for public skate admission.
Inside the 7,100-seat main arena, advanced skaters and players face off in figure-skating competitions, hockey tournaments, and Florida Everblades matches. Leisurely skating commences at daily open skates––where a disco ball and laser show cast the rink aglow against the thumping beats of Top 20 songs––and at birthday parties. Birthday parties can be held for parties of 8 or more, includes admission, skate rental, pizza, popcorn, drinks, private-room rental for the entire session, and a free skate admission for every child.
The Sarasota Film Society's two theaters—foreign-and-independent-film-spotlighting Burns Court Cinemas and mainstream-flick-running Lakewood Ranch Cinemas—function as a nonprofit organization dedicated to heightening film entertainment and education options in the area. A one-year single membership grants a free pass for one movie (an $8 value) and one popcorn (a $4 value), as well as $5 tickets and free popcorn refills (a $4 value each) at all regular screenings for the remainder of the year. Early access to tickets means members never have to feel the shame of being the last person they know to cry about a Pixar movie, and discounted tickets to all Film Society festivals and special events allows members to compare their Sergio Leone trivia thresholds. Alternatively, two movie tickets (a $16 value) and one large popcorn (a $4 value) valid at either theater rescue customers from another night of staying in to watch their DVR's directorial debut about the living room's seedy underbelly.
Cupids Bar Crawl invites ladies and gentlemen?single or paired up?to express their devotion or disdain for the holiday of lovers by hitting eight hot spots across the city. The crawl begins at 6:30 p.m. at Tequilas on Valentine's Day, and ventures to seven other locations, where participants revel in free shots and swag from Fireball Whisky. At the end of the three-hour crawl, partiers return to Tequilas to soak up the libations with light food and to nurse any wounds from Cupid's arrow. Proceeds from Cupids Bar Crawl benefit the Michael Agana Memorial Scholarship at USF.
As a part of its continuing mission to promote the cultural and economic impacts of independent filmmaking, the not-for-profit St. Petersburg–Clearwater Film Society hosts the annual Sunscreen Film Festival. Each day of the four-day festival packs in more than 12 hours of short- and feature-film screenings, as well as workshops on the filmmaking process, such as "Tips for Creating a Talking Picture." Local documentarians and producers of comedic shorts, genre pieces, or feature-length films showcase their work for eager audiences and industry professionals. Myriad workshops cover aspects of screenwriting and acting as well as promotional arts such as how to land an agent or how to use social media as an advertising and networking tool. Many nights also feature concerts and after parties, allowing auteurs, musicians, and audience members to mingle.
There's no telling who you'll run into on a Beer Crawl crawl?past events have seen stormtroopers, cowboys, and even a brace of rarely spotted Waldos. Thanks to themed costume contests that run the gamut from neon '80s wear to masked superheroes to a holiday-themed "ugly sweater crawl," attendees of all stripes race or meander between trendy area venues. At each one, they enjoy free beer and drink specials as DJs spin popular tunes and supervise games such as Flip Cup or Figure Out What Channel the Game Is On. Participating bars vary, but can include watering holes such as Yard of Ale and MacDinton's, among many others.