HUFFINGTON POST
11/30/2011 05:53 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2011

New Year's Eve In Miami: A MapQuest Guide

On New Year's Eve in Miami, locals and visitors revel in the possibilities of the months to come. From ball drops to fireworks to First Night activities, every locale rings in the new year a little differently. As part of NewYearsQuest -- a MapQuest guide to the best New Year's Eve sights and sounds in the U.S. and in major cities around the world -- here are three recommended events for New Year's Eve 2011 in Miami.

Miami New Year's Eve Events Map

Orange Drive Miami Beach Music Festival

Featuring more than a dozen bands playing a lively mix of R&B, hip-hop, pop and Latin music, the Orange Drive Miami Beach Music Festival takes over Ocean Drive, which is closed to traffic (and temporarily renamed Orange Drive), for a three-day beach party from 7 p.m. on Dec. 30 through 11 p.m. on Jan. 1. This year's headliners include Cee Lo Green, Ne-Yo and Boyz II Men. In between live sets, DJs keep the music pumping -- and the crowd dancing -- all night long. The annual event, which started in 2010, attracts more than 100,000 visitors, leading several nearby hotels to offer package deals for the festival. The main amphitheater stage and food booths are located between 7th and 9th Streets. Three-day passes start at $169.

Ocean Drive and 7th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139

New Year's Eve At Bayfront Park

The great weather, the Orange Bowl football game and the possibility of spotting big-name celebrities draw thousands of people to downtown Miami for New Year's Eve. While the professional basketball stars and Hollywood A-list types normally spend the evening at places like the Fontainebleau hotel, which charges $25,000 to rent a poolside cabana, revelers of modest means can enjoy the free fireworks at Bayfront Park. The Big Orange, Miami's neon variation on Times Square's crystal ball, rises to the top of the nearby InterContinental Miami hotel at midnight. A massive fireworks display erupts over Biscayne Bay to ring in the new year. A free concert featuring a mash-up performance by Ludacris and Mike Posner begins at 9 p.m.

100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131

King Mango Strut

Started in 1982 by a group of wags who were deemed too goofy to participate in the persnickety Orange Bowl Parade, the King Mango Strut is a parade that pokes fun at the major news events of the past year. Some of the names of past floats illustrate the irreverent tone of the festivities: The Million Chad March, Idu Grab Prison and Weapons of Mass Distraction. The parade route includes Commodore Plaza, Main Highway and Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove, a suburb about four miles south of downtown Miami. The 30th Strut commences at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. A free concert, dubbed the King Mango Music Massacre, begins after the parade, at Commodore Plaza.

Commodore Plaza and Main Highway, Coconut Grove, FL 33133

New Year's Eve In Miami: Video

DJ Irie keeps the crowd fired up at the Orange Drive New Year's Eve party in 2010.

Did we miss a Miami New Year's Eve event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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