I must confess this is another place I've yet to visit, and when I do finally make it to the US it might not even be high up on my bucket list - think I've been unfairly impacted by the way the city is portrayed in sitcoms like 30 Rock and Hot in Cleveland, but perhaps that is actually more reason to give it a proper go.
Cleveland holds a number of parties and events over the new year period, with the focus being primarily on the city's bars hotels and restaurants, where private parties are the norm. Less hectic than the likes of New York, Cleveland brings its own laid back feeling to the festivities, with friends and family joining each other for dinner and drinks before finding a spot to watch some midnight fireworks, although that might be set to change this year with them stepping up the pace with the Cleveland Rocks party - details below...
Latest: December 16 2015: News have just reached us that the CLE Rock NYE party has been CANCELLED. Funding issues are cited as the main reason, with the hope being they can return for 2017.
This is another big loss to the ne wyear scene in the US, with buidget problems already seeing off big events like First Night in St Louis and the Atlanta Peach Drop.
This year the Cleveland party specialists the Ohio Homecoming Group are planning a new year party aiming to rival the main event in Times Square, with a special party, Cleveland Rocks NYE 2016.
This event has moved to an indoor venue at Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center. Another change is that this year it will be ticketed, at 10 dollars a ticket - sign up for updates here - the tickets last year didn't go on sale until the 1st December but were still selling until right up until the day of the event so you shouldn't miss out, although the VIP options do go first.
The Cleveland Rocks event will again be hosted by Drew Carey, with live performances by Ruby Rose, Duelle, Wesley Bright, and Malcupnext.
The evening includes live entertainment, ice sculptures, plenty of food and drink plus of course a dramatic fireworks display at midnight. You can also expect to see some special guests and live music. Please be aware that this event will take place in a gated area, where there will be security checks and no backpacks will be allowed.
Away from the public outdoor party, probably the iconic new year's eve event in town is the annual Cleveland Pops New Years Eve concert and dance, held at the famous Severance Hall with music by the Cleveland Orchestra - tickets are available here.
Further afield, the bars and nightclubs of Cleveland have the expected range of lively NYE parties to choose from - top venues to look out for include the House of Blues, Anatomy, the Wolstein Center, Cleveland Agora and Rumor Bar & Lounge, while there are also several comedy events to look out for. See a comprehensive list of all the top parties in Cleveland this new year here.
For those who like to take to the water then the conveniently located Lake Erie means this is very much a possibility here too, with the added bonus that you get a panoramic view of the city skyline to watch the fireworks. One of the best options is to see in the new year onboard the Nautica Queen, where the party takes place on heated, enclosed decks and includes dinner, dancing, entertainment and of course champagne at midnight.
A little further afield, the First Night Akron celebration is one of the most popular NYE events in Ohio, a family friendly party held in downtown Akron and featuring live music, dancing and of course fireworks.
For your new year dining options then Cleveland won't disappoint either, with everything from fine dining to burger vans - recommended eateries include L'Albatros Brasserie, The Flaming Ice Cube (obligatory vegan option, and by all accounts an excellent one!), Blue Point Grille, The Oak Barrell and Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon. See the full range here.
Places to watch live online - there are several live webcam views around the area:
There's also a decent chance of some live coverage of the Cleveland Rocks party, even if only by the local radio stations - check back for details, we'll post any links we find here.
Latest: The event is being broadcast live from 10pm - 12.30am on CBS 19 WOIO. We think there may be an online version of this available here.
Cleveland has a decent variety of accommodation, and quite a common feature is for the venues holding special events to offer deals with particular hotels as part of the package, so be sure to enquire about this when making your party bookings. Otherwise you can check availability and make reservations online for local hotels here.
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