For many, New Year’s Eve is a celebration of new beginnings and a fresh start. In Minnesota, locals gather for parties and festivities to enjoy the upcoming year and possibly make a resolution for a positive change. Throughout the state, venues offer light shows and flashy fireworks to celebrate the end of the year. Check out any of these events to start off the year on a positive note.
15400 Buck Hill Road
Burnsville, MN 55306
Buck Hill, a snowboarding, tubing and skiing resort, holds an annual New Year’s party every year on December 31. The runs are open for night skiing, tubing and many other winter activities for the entire family. Included in the event, aside from an amazing fireworks display at midnight, is live music and entertainment. Stop by the Buckstone Lodge for cocktails and snacks to complete your celebration.
Skyrockers New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Grandad Bluff Park
3020 Grandad Bluff Road
La Crosse, WI 54601
Set off in the bluffs of Wisconsin, these fireworks can be seen from Minnesota as well. The Skyrockers are a long-standing group of volunteers dedicated to providing spectacular fireworks and light shows to the community and neighboring areas. On New Year’s Eve, two shows are performed to entice an audience that may not wish to stay up until midnight. Catch the 6 p.m. show, the midnight display or both. On the other side of the Mississippi River, southern Minnesotans can catch the show as well from the bluffs of Minnesota.
Bentleyville Tour Of Lights
Bayfront Festival Park
700 Railroad St.
Duluth, MN 55802
Although this New Year’s firework display is set for December 28, 2013, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights offers a fantastic end-of-the-year and holiday celebration. Throughout the holiday season, the Bayfront Festival Park is decked out in a giant walk-through light display for all to enjoy. The proceeds for this event go to charity and the workers are volunteers who come out to help celebrate. On the last day of the event, December 28, there will be fireworks to celebrate the New Year. Come anytime in December for marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate, festivities and fun.
Jolly Trolley Holiday Lights Tour
Peace Plaza Downtown
1st Ave. S.W. and 1st St. S.W.
Rochester, MN 55902
Although there may not be any official fireworks in Rochester this year, the Holiday Lights Tour welcomes the New Year with a tour of residential lights. Starting at the Peace Plaza, a lighted trolley takes passengers through largely lit residential areas in Rochester and around the festive downtown area. Holiday music accompanies the ride and the trolley makes several runs throughout the day and evening to accommodate early birds as well as night owls. Enjoy the outdoors on New Year’s Eve and a beautiful light tour to welcome in the New Year.
Fort Snelling Candlelight Walk
Fort Snelling State Park
101 Snelling State Park Trail
West St. Paul, MN 55111
Looking for something a little more tame and intimate than fireworks? Historic Fort Snelling offers a candlelight walk on New Year’s Eve this year from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy being outdoors in a beautiful setting among candlelit walkways, bonfires and ice skating. The lighted trail has two options, six miles or two miles. Celebrate the New Year by getting outside and engaging in fresh air and exercise.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.