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Beach party: New Year’s Eve expands on Coney Island

The Brooklyn Paper
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Second time’s the charm!

The New Year’s Eve celebration on Coney Island this year will be bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event, adding free roller coaster rides and ice skating to the fireworks display and dazzling Parachute Drop light show, according to Brooklyn’s partier-in-chief.

“The best parties for ringing in 2016 will be in the center of the universe: Brooklyn, USA!” said Borough President Adams.

Adams hopes the extravaganza at the People’s Playground on New Year’s Eve will someday measure up to Manhattan’s greatest winter tradition, according to the Beep’s press officer.

“In the years ahead we think it’s going to be something we’d like to believe will rival Times Square,” said Stefan Ringel, Adams’s communications director.

The numbers are still on the side of the Manhattan ball drop, which crams an estimated one million people into Times Square, while last year’s Coney Island celebration drew about 5,000 people. But visitors to the seaside resort will have more options than those tightly-squeezed revelers across the river.

From 9 pm to 11 pm on Dec. 31, the Abe Stark Rink will offer free ice skating, and rides on the Thunderbolt roller coaster, the B&B Carousel, and the iconic Wonder Wheel will be free of charge. The sideshows at Coney Island USA will also be operating that night.

Instead of a ball-drop, the People’s Playground will flaunt its own unique Brooklyn flair with a burst of midnight light from the defunct amusement park ride Parachute Jump. Bars and restaurants in the area will also extend their hours to ensure the partying masses can keep their celebrations going well into the night.

The celebration is part of the Beep’s goal to make Coney Island a destination during the colder months of the year.

“We’re just very enthusiastic about making Coney Island a year-round destination and introducing people to all the different things Brooklyn has to offer,” said Ringel. “Coney Island is so uniquely New York City and it has its own culture and flavor to it.”

New Year’s Eve festivities will also take place on the other side of the borough, kicking off in Grand Army Plaza at 11 pm, with music from the Brooklyn Mash It Up Band and more fireworks at midnight.

Coney Island New Year’s Eve at Steeplechase Plaza (Boardwalk between W. 16th and W. 19th streets in Coney Island). Dec. 31 at 9 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511.

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