As the year draws to a close, there’s no better way to bid farewell to the old and welcome the new than on the picturesque Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant waterfront communities, and unique traditions, the Crystal Coast offers an array of New Year’s Eve events that promise to make the night memorable. From a New Year’s Eve crab pot drop in Morehead City to a New Year’s Day Penguin Plunge in Atlantic beach, the Crystal Coast invites you to celebrate the arrival of 2024 in style!

Crab Pot Drop

Crab Pot Drop in Morehead City:

The annual Crab Pot Drop in Morehead City has become a beloved tradition, drawing locals and visitors alike. The Downtown Countdown event is super family friendly with an early Crab Pot Drop, games, music, and activities for kids. The evening continues with a later Crab Pot drop at midnight, culminating in a dazzling fireworks display. The waterfront atmosphere, illuminated by the festive lights, creates the perfect setting for a family-friendly celebration. Don’t miss the chance to experience the unique charm of Morehead City as you welcome the new year with open arms.

Pirate Plunge

Captain Shack Walks the Plank in Beaufort:

Ahoy, Mateys! Set sail for Beaufort and immerse yourself in a Buccaneers’ New Year’s Eve celebration with a swashbuckling twist. As the clock counts down, gather around the crackling fire pit for delicious s’mores and hot cocoa. The excitement reaches its peak at 7 p.m. when Captain Shack fearlessly “walks'' the plank high above the Beaufort Docks, leading up to the eagerly anticipated Pirate Drop. Witness the thrilling moment as Beaufort’s very own pirate takes a daring plunge into the shimmering waters of Taylors Creek, capturing the essence of the Crystal Coast’s rich nautical history. The historic waterfront, adorned with quaint shops and maritime ambiance serves as the perfect stage for this unique celebration.

Newport Pig Drop

Pig Drop in Newport:

For a down-home, Southern-style New Year’s Eve, Newport hosts the family friendly Pig Drop. As the clock strikes 6 p.m., a lit-up pig (don’t worry, its cardboard) descends from a flagpole. The festivities include hot cocoa, cookies, party favors, music, and a warm community spirit. Newport’s Pig Drop is a unique and lighthearted way to welcome the new year, surrounded by the hospitality and charm of this coastal town.

Fort Macon

New Year’s Eve Cannon Blast at Fort Macon State Park:

For history enthusiasts, Fort Macon State Park hosts a New Year’s Eve Cannon Blast. Imagine the historic fort lit up against the night sky as a cannon is fired, marking the new year. The echoes of the eight cannon blasts revibrate through the coastal air, creating a memorable and timeless atmosphere. This event offers a unique blend of history and celebration, including live music, making it a must-visit for those looking for a different kind of New Years’ experience. Folks are invited back the next day for the annual First Day Hike as rangers guide visitors through the maritime forest, the beach and salt marshes on a beautiful three mile hike.

Penguin Plunge

Penguin Plunge in Atlantic Beach:

Start the new year out with a splash by taking part in the Penguin Plunge in Atlantic Beach. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to start the year with a refreshing dip, join the hundreds of brave souls who take to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Penguin Plunge is not only a thrilling experience, but also a charitable event, with proceeds benefiting local causes. Whether you’re taking the plunge or cheering from shore, Atlantic Beach offers an invigorating start to the new year. 

The Crystal Coast invites you to ring in the New Year with a series of distinctive celebrations, each offering its own blend of coastal charm and waterfront community spirit. Whether you’re captivated by the Crab Pot Drop in Morehead City, the Pirate Drop in Beaufort, the Pig Drop in Newport, the Penguin Plunge in Atlantic Beach or the Cannon Blast at Fort Macon State Park, the Crystal Coast promises a New Year’s Eve to remember. So, gather your loved ones, embrace the unique traditions, and welcome the dawn of a new year on the enchanting shores of the Crystal Coast. Learn more about these events here. For the perfect place to stay, make sure to visit our specials page and start planning for the new year at the Crystal Coast.