Rivers Casino New Year's Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront in Philadelphia. (Photo: Rivers Casino) Rivers Casino New Year's Eve Fireworks
Rivers Casino New Year's Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront in Philadelphia. (Photo: Rivers Casino)

From Philly to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanians will have opportunities to gather and say goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023.

Before the new year’s resolutions start, there’s one last night of celebration. Some people celebrate at home with their family hoping they can stay up late enough to see the Times Square ball drop on TV. Others have friends and family over, go to nightclubs, enjoy fancy dinners, or book a few days away at a dream location.

Many communities also host New Year’s Eve celebrations, bringing together residents and families for fun activities and sometimes fireworks. These 7 Pennsylvania cities, towns, and communities have New Year’s Eve bashes to ring in 2023—some during the day, some at night—that are usually free or inexpensive to attend, although certain activities may require you to pay as you go.

Gettysburg New Year’s Celebration and Fireworks

Gettysburg begins a new New Year’s Eve tradition this year, the raising of Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to countdown to midnight in Lincoln Square. Fireworks follow the inaugural hat raising. 

The festivities start at 4 p.m. with music, family activities, food trucks, a beer garden, and vendors. 

Location: Lincoln Square, 1 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, Adams County

Harrisburg’s Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration

In New York City, they drop a ball at midnight to announce the passage from one year to the next; in Harrisburg, they drop a strawberry. At Harrisburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, the festivities start at 9 p.m. with Countdown to Kid-Night with a balloon drop featuring over 1,000 balloons, a milk and cookies toast, and more family fun. When the countdown to midnight starts, the strawberry drops followed by fireworks that launch exactly at midnight. 

Location: FNB Field, 245 Championship Way, Harrisburg, Dauphin County

Lancaster’s New Year’s Eve 

Starting at 9 p.m. on December 31, the community can head to Binns Park to celebrate the coming new year. Lancaster’s NYE celebration will have live music. Just before midnight, the Red Rose will drop as the crowd counts down to midnight.

Location: 145 N. Queen Street, Lancaster, Lancaster County

Philadelphia’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Philadelphians ring in the new year twice with fireworks at 6 p.m. and midnight. The Philadelphia Fireworks take place on the Delaware River Waterfront, and there are many free locations to watch the colorful displays that are set to music. Those watching from a location that’s away from Penns Landing where the music will play can listen to them on the radio at KYW 1060 AM.

Philadelphia’s New Year’s celebration doesn’t end on New Year’s Eve. The famous Mummer’s Parade marches down Broad Street on New Year’s Day.

Location: Penn’s Landing, 101 N. Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia, Philadelphia

Pittsburgh New Year’s Eve 2023

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The city hosts a First Night Pittsburgh celebration that brings the community together for music, dancing, live entertainment, and fireworks. Highmark sponsors events around the downtown Cultural District that start at 6 p.m. The events include Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks at 6 p.m., an immersive walk-thru ice maze, a parade through the Cultural District that starts at 8 p.m., face painting, a selfie station, and much more. A full list of events, times, and locations is on the First Night website

The biggest event of the night is the countdown to midnight. It starts with the raising of the 1,000 pound Future of Pittsburgh ball above Penn Avenue Place followed by fireworks at midnight. 

Location: Various locations throughout the cultural district; Ball raising at Penn Avenue Place, 501 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh

First Night at State College

A $10 button gives revelers admission to all the events at First Night at State College. The family-friendly event has music, comedy, variety, carriage rides, and dance (including a belly dance workshop) hosted at downtown churches, theaters, and various public buildings. 

Kids will particularly enjoy the Grand Procession that starts at 6 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where they can carry drums or giant papier-mâché puppets in the shape of birds, lions, wizards, and other animals. There are also art, craft, music, and dance workshops designed just for them. 

Location: Various locations in downtown State College, Centre County

York’s New Year’s Eve 

York dances the new year in with two dance parties that are free and open to the public. From 5 to 8 p.m., families can enjoy the Kids Countdown at the Voni Grimes Gym with complimentary hats and noisemakers, family-friendly entertainment including a kids’ dance party with a DJ and Liz and Chris from WARM 103.3, photo backdrops and props, glitter tattoos, face painting, petting zoo, inflatables, spin art, and a balloon drop countdown. 

Then, at 10 p.m. in Continental Square, a more grown-up dance party begins and goes to midnight when the city drops a white rose followed by fireworks that begin when the rose reaches the bottom.

Location: Voni Grimes Gym, 125 East College Avenue, York; Continental Square, 1 E Market St, York, York County