New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, 2018, will be a busy day in the City of Annapolis and surrounding areas. Motorists and residents should plan accordingly for traffic impact and road closures associated with the Military Bowl parade and game, and the fireworks displays later that afternoon/evening.
MILITARY BOWL PARADE AT 9 A.M.
The day begins with the 2018 Military Bowl Parade at 9 a.m. through the streets of historic Annapolis. Beginning at City Dock and ending at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the parade features crowd favorite, the Budweiser Clydesdales, as well as musical groups, civic organizations, military-themed groups, color guards, youth clubs, Anne Arundel Youth Football Association championship teams and their marching bands/spirit squads, and several recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor presented for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
- Please Note:Due to construction at College Avenue and Bladen Street, there is a new parade route this year. The parade will take the following route:Begin at Dock Street at City Dock;Left onto Randall Street;Right onto Main Street; Right onto Church Circle; Right onto West Street; Right onto Calvert Street; Left onto Northwest Street which turns into Rowe Boulevard; Left onto Taylor Avenue; and end at stadium. There will be a rolling street closure controlled by Annapolis Police throughout the course of the parade. Roads will open immediately as the parade finishes its course.
The Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman and benefitting the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore begins with a 12 noon kick off. This year’s Military Bowl is a matchup between Virginia Tech and University of Cincinnati. The game is a rematch of the sold out 2014 Military Bowl between the Hokies and Bearcats.
At 3 p.m. on Weems Whalen Field behind Maryland Hall and Bates Middle School, the family friendly, 2019 Annapolis New Year’s Celebration begins, with fireworks at 5:15 p.m. Activities include live music by local teen bands from the Lee Priddy Music Academy, free craft making, face painting, moon bounces and an obstacle course. Annapolis Police and Fire departments will have giveaways and apparatus on display.
Take the stress off of parking and use the free Circulator Shuttle running to and from the Park Place Garage. This will be available to anyone who doesn’t want to walk between the field and the garage. The Weems Whalen Field parking lot off of Spa Road will be reserved for handicap parking only during the early event. Parking will be FREE in Park Place Garage ONLY from 2 p.m. on Monday, December 31, until Tuesday, January 1, at 2 a.m. Standard rates will apply at the other three city-owned garages – Hillman located off Main Street, Gotts located on Northwest and Calvert streets, and Knighton off of West Street.
Special Note:Online Prepay for garages: Visitors can now reserve parking online at city garages – Noah Hillman, Gotts Court, and Knighton. Visit annapolisparking.com, navigate to the garage of your choice, and select “Buy Daily Parking.”
Remember! Two FREE Circulator shuttles will run from 2 p.m. Monday, December 31 until 2 a.m. on January 1. From 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. the Circulator Shuttle will provide a continuous route between Park Place and Maryland Hall (Chase Street) to offer transportation for the children’s event at Weems Whalen Field. The other Circulator run its normal route until 6:30pm. After 6:30 p.m. both Circulator Shuttles will be dedicated to the Park Place-Church Circle loop.
- HELPFUL HINT: Download a free app that enables you to track the Circulator’s location in real-timeand get estimated arrival times for upcoming stops. The mobile app is available in both iOS and Android app stores at no charge. Simply download the app named “RLS Shuttle” and select “Annapolis Circulator” to start tracking the shuttle.
Maryland Avenue Shuttle: Visitors in garages this holiday season can hail a free, electric shuttle to the boutiques and restaurants on Maryland Avenue and State Circle. Simply visit EZCruiser.net to quickly and conveniently hail the shuttle run Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. through Monday, December 31st.
The City Dock New Year’s Eve celebration comes alive around 8 p.m. The evening will be filled with music at Susan Campbell Park with WNAV broadcasting starting at 8 p.m. and hosting a kids’ dance party (with prizes), followed by the fun, high energy dance band, Radio City, from 9 p.m. to midnight. At midnight, Mayor Buckley will lead the countdown to the fireworks grand finale.
Here are a few reminders if coming into town by vehicle or boat:
- No shuttle service will be offered to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
- A warming bus will be stationed at Market House beginning at 6:00pm until 12:30am.
- There will not be any parking restrictions specifically related toNew Year’s Eve. However, please be sure to adhere to all residential parking signs to avoid tickets, fines, or towing. Also remember, the free, three-hour parking is only for three hours.
- Because of the anticipated crowded conditions, boaters are urged to select their preferred viewing-area anchorage early and are also warned to avoid the 1,000-foot safety zone around the fireworks barge. The 1,000-foot safety zone covers all of Spa Creek from Susan Campbell Park to the Chart House. You will not be able to transit that entire portion of Spa Creek from 4 p.m.-midnight.
Please note: Immediately after the fireworks, the barge will be underway to clear the harbor. All boaters are urged to heed the instructions of safety and law enforcement officials including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police, the Annapolis Police, the Annapolis Fire Department, the Annapolis Harbormaster and others.
Remember, these city events are alcohol-free events. If you would like to celebrate with alcohol, please visit one of our wonderful local bars, restaurants or hotels. If you are attending New Year’s Eve celebrations anywhere in the area, please drink responsibly and utilize designated drivers.