Officials are expecting record crowds to pack Pier Park in Panama City Beach on New Year's Eve for the second annual Beach Ball drop.
Crews will hang the 800-pound glowing beach ball more than 100-feet in the air, and it will drop on the New Year. 2010 will be an exciting one for locals and visitors to the area.
Bay County TDC president Dan Rowe said, "We're one of the few destinations that showed growth in 2009, and we're really looking forward to 2010. With events like this, it will help to highlight Panama City Beach as a world-class destination."
Soon, it will be more accessible to air travelers. Southwest Airlines recently announced it will be providing non-stop service to Panama City Beach and its new airport in May 2010.
Southwest is a presenting sponsor of second-annual beach ball drop. Officials have also provided fun for the kids before the big ball drops at midnight.
Crews spent Thursday morning hanging nets full of inflatable beach balls. At 8:30 New Year's Eve, they will shower kids as part of their family beach ball drop.
Pier Park volunteer Perry Robinson said, "I tell you, it's all about the kids to me. I've never really worried about myself, I've always made sure kids around me have the good celebration."
There will be plenty of things for the kids to do before more than 7,000 of those inflatable beach balls fall. They'll be able to enjoy bounce houses, street performers and other family-friendly activities.
A mini-fireworks display will complete the warm-up act for the midnight 'Beach Ball Drop' to ring in 2010 in Panama City Beach.