Revelers Bid Adieu To 2013 in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

The countdown is on, and come 11:59 p.m., all eyes will be on the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Countdown Ball as it helps ring in 2014.

It's the pride of the festivities – in all its flashing glory.

"It’s got 11,000 LED lights and strobes. It's second in size only to the New York City ball so we're pretty proud of it," said Debbie Bylica, a Fort Lauderdale special events programmer.

Saying goodbye to 2013 is an all-day affair, and hundreds of kids got the party started early.

Before 7:30 p.m. bounce houses and face painting lined the street fair – family fun parents say is hard to find on a big night of revelry.

"Just for family and kids. They have it blocked off. You know it's safe and that's a great thing," said Jennifer Grassia of Weston, who was there with her daughter.

After the ball came down for the kids at 7 p.m., the revelry began for the big kids.

The free event spans three avenue blocks, along Southwest 2nd Street between Southwest 2nd and 5th avenues.

"We get close to 100,000 (people)," Bylica said.

The preparations for the party started early. Mounted police were in place, the barricades closed off streets for pedestrians and vendors started grilling before dark. Food and drinks were ready to be consumed by hungry revelers.

Save your New Year's resolutions for tomorrow, vendor Jimmy Gomez said.

"Start tomorrow not tonight, please! Start tomorrow not tonight!" he said.

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