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Blast Friday
405 Cleveland St. (Downtown Cleveland Street District)
Clearwater, FL 33755
(727) 791-7400

Price: Free
Date: December 28, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

This monthly “last Friday” street festival, which began in 2009 in front of the Capitol Theatre, is preparing to try and top itself once again.

After executing an engaging laser light show in 2011, along with bringing in renowned musician Marty Balin from Jefferson Airplane fame, the only logical step the people behind Blast Friday can execute to visually please the thousands who descend upon this shindig is a fireworks show.

The annual live music and street vendor fest, that is first and foremost a family friendly event, is now going to light up the sky just days before the official ringing in of 2013. While the live stage performances are still being scheduled, attendees to this free event are encouraged to stroll in right around 5:30 p.m. to start the fun festivities. This festival has grown each month and promoters expect to be dealing with another record-size crowd.

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Leading up to 10 p.m., enjoy whatever national acts (one is a southern rock band and the other is classic ‘80s rock) are up on the Tampa Bay Times stage. When the music stops, the real fun begins. The talented noise will cease and Blast Friday’s pyrotechnic crew will take over with booming explosions in the sky.

Once the fireworks show concludes, there will more than likely be a special screening of a classic movie at the historic Capitol Theatre (last year was 1983’s comedy “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd). If there is in fact a movie playing in the traditional Capitol Theatre, tickets should be around $5 and the film will start rolling promptly after the fireworks have concluded. Check the event website closer to the date to see which movie will be featured.

Aside from that nominal cost, the only other out-of-pocket expense you will have to deal with is for a sampling of the edible delights via food vendors and street-side local restaurants. Since this is technically a New Year’s party of sorts, beer and wine will be available for purchase as well. And to keep the kiddies entertained, a few interactive promotions will be set up on the partying streets. One such promotion involves the Tampa Bay Rays. Your baseball-loving child won’t soon forget this New Year’s celebration.

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Head to CBS Tampa’s Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Joe Belcastro is an established journalist based in Tampa, Florida. His work can be found at Examiner.com.