Guide to New Year's Eve in Buffalo: Fireworks, Ball Drop, and More

Electric Tower fireworks on New Year’s Eve

 Electric Tower

Although it is often upstaged by the festivities happening in New York City, Buffalo is not a city to be overlooked for New Year's Eve celebrations. The weather is likely to be cold, but that doesn't stop Buffalonians from flocking to the streets for an outdoor party and a ball drop of their own. From elegant meals with black tie attire to live music and pints in a brewery, you're sure to find some type of plan that appeals to you in this hip city.

Many events are canceled or taking place virtually for New Year's Eve in 2020. Check with individual event organizers to confirm the most up-to-date details.

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Family-Friendly Activities With First Night

First Night
Courtesy of First Night

First Night Buffalo was changed to a virtual event for New Year's Eve in 2020.

Whether you're looking for fun New Year's plans for your kids or just something to tire them out before you head off to your own event, First Night is a family-friendly party on December 31 filled with activities geared toward children. The event starts and ends early, and is conveniently located one block away from the Electric Tower Ball Drop.

Toddlers and the youngest party-goers can play in the Tiny Tyke Zone and meet characters from popular children's books, like Cat in the Hat, Rainbow Fish, and Peppa Pig. Kids a bit older will go wild for engaging activities like laser tag and roller skating. All ages (adults included!) can enjoy the many performances happening throughout the evening, including acrobats, trampolinists, magicians, and comedians. In order for kids to make it home in time for bed—and parents to their next party—the big countdown happens at 9:45 p.m., as balloons fall from the sky and confetti shoots across the air.

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Rusty Nickel Brewing Company New Year's Eve Party

The 2020 New Year's Eve party at Rusty Nickel Brewing Company is at their West Seneca location, which has outdoor seating under a covered patio with plenty of space heaters (although you'll still want to put on your winter gear). You can expect good food, lively music, and, of course, lots of beer to ring in the new year. Guests are seated at tables of four to keep the necessary distance from other revelers, and you must stay at your table throughout the night. While the party ends at 10 p.m., Rusty Nickel is still throwing a keg drop to commemorate the new year—even if it isn't really midnight.

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Electric Tower Ball Drop

Fireworks At the Electric Tower Ball drop

 Courtesy of Electric Tower

The Electric Tower Ball Drop is canceled for New Year's Eve in 2020, and is taking place virtually instead.

Billed as the county's second-largest ball drop event, the New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Buffalo may not have the same fanfare as New York City's, but with 40,000 spectators it's still a worthwhile event. The iconic Electric Tower in the center of Buffalo hosts the ceremonious ball, and the historic Beaux-Arts facade makes for a dramatic backdrop.

Festivities begin in Roosevelt Plaza, right in front of the Electric Tower building. Local artists perform on the main stage in the hours leading up to midnight, helping spectators to fight off the cold by moving around and dancing. Once the ball drops and the new year arrives, a spectacular fireworks display ignites over the city that rivals the show put on in Times Square.

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Statler City Ice Ball

Statler City Ice Ball
Courtesy of Statler City

The Statler City Ice Ball was canceled in 2020.

For a night of elegant celebrations with dinner, dancing, and formal attire, the Ice Ball at Statler City is just up your alley. This venue was originally a hotel built in the 1920s, and the interior still maintains a distinct Art Deco style. The ambiance gives the impression that Jay Gatsby could walk into the party at any moment.

Your ticket gives you a seat in one of the three luxurious ballrooms, some a little more expensive than others based on the size or amenities (for example, only those seated in the Golden Ballroom can order drinks from their table). But all guests are treated to a full buffet dinner including assorted antipasti, shrimp cocktail, and a carving station with herb-crusted strip loin. Best of all, the open bar serves premium cocktails.

Go back and forth between rooms to listen to a live band or a DJ spinning the latest hits. At midnight, everyone comes together for a final countdown and champagne toast to welcome in the new year.

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Statler City Niagara Room NYE

The Statler City Niagara Room party was canceled in 2020.

While guests at the Statler City Ice Ball are enjoying a sitdown meal, just a few rooms over other guests will be partying away in a nightclub event in the Niagara Room. Although slightly more casual than the Ice Ball, this is still a dressy event and sneakers, T-shirts, and loose pants will not be permitted.

The party goes on late with an open bar. The premium drinks, laser light show, and house DJ all contribute to the discotheque vibe of the night for an end-of-year party you're sure to remember.

Note that even though the Ice Ball and Niagara Room NYE are in the same building, these are two separate events. If you want to go from one to the other, you will need a ticket for each one.

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New Year's Eve at Big Ditch Brewing Company

Big Ditch Brewing Company
Courtesy of Big Ditch Brewing Company

The New Year's Eve party at Big Ditch Brewing Company was canceled in 2020, but you can pick-up Big Ditch craft beer to enjoy at home.

If you want to see the ball drop but can't handle the cold, then the party at Big Ditch Brewing Company is the perfect solution. Ring in the New Year with craft beer, a DJ, and food, all with an unobstructed view of the Electric Tower Ball Drop and fireworks show.

Two limited-release craft beers are served special for New Year's Eve, and attendees can try them both plus others using four provided drink tickets. Try not to gorge yourself on the included dinner menu, which includes a variety of elevated bar snacks like prime sirloin skewers, lobster rolls, and beer bratwursts that are sure to tempt you.

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Resurgence Brewing Company NYE Party

Resurgence Brewing Company
Courtesy of Resurgence Brewing Company

The New Year's Eve Party at Resurgence Brewing Company was canceled in 2020, but you can pick-up Resurgence beer to go on December 31, 2020, to celebrate and enjoy at home.

Resurgence Brewing Company usually hosts a New Year's Eve party at its Chicago Street location in the Old First Ward neighborhood. The entire first floor of the brewery is open to the public and the full list of beers brewed on-site and dinner menu are available to purchase.

For an extra special experience, book tickets for the exclusive VIP floor upstairs. In addition to an open bar serving not only beer but also wine and cocktails, servers walk around with platters of hot hors d'oeuvres and the buffet table is filled with items like chicken and waffles, a taco bar, and crab legs. If you're booking with a group of five people or more, discounts are available for each ticket.

Enjoy good beer and live music throughout the night, and while revelers downtown will be watching the ball drop at midnight, Resurgence stays on-brand with a new year "keg drop," where a keg full of beer falls at midnight.