The lineup is set for the much-anticipated annual celebration in downtown Barrie to ring in the new year.
This year’s free Downtown Countdown celebration on Dec. 31 will feature one of Canada’s most loved bands The Trews, singer-songwriter Craig Cardiff, emerging local band The Hillbirds, and family favourites Splash ‘n Boots.
“This will be an amazing night of entertainment and fun for all ages. And best of all, it’s all free," Arin Donnelly, the city's community events co-ordinator, said in a news release this morning.
The Trews, have earned legions of fans with hits such as Not Ready to Go, Tired of Waiting, Hold Me In Your Arms, Highway of Heroes, and Hope and Ruin.
They’ve toured extensively over more than 15 years together and have been nominated for six Juno Awards.
With roots in Nova Scotia, they now call Hamilton home and have performed with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, and Weezer.
This year's line-up will also include Canadian troubadour, Craig Cardiff. Armed with an extensive catalogue of songs and sharp wit, Cardiff has played with and opened for artists such as Blue Rodeo, Gord Downie, Sarah Harmer, Skydiggers, and Hawksley Workman.
Included in this year’s event is an early celebration for the young (and young at heart) including a special show with Juno Award-winning Splash ‘n Boots and fireworks starting at 7 p.m.
Splash ‘n Boots rose to prominence in the hearts and minds of families in Canada through music, live shows, and television. They’ve released 12 albums, including their most recent, You, Me and the Sea, co-written and produced by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea.
On TV, they appear daily in homes across Canada with their show broadcast on Treehouse TV and Disney Jr. Canada.
Every year, the City of Barrie invites local bands to submit their music for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage.
From over 30 submissions, this year’s featured band is The Hillbirds, an indie/folk/pop band from Barrie who keep things real with their meaningful lyrics and high energy performances.
This year’s free New Year’s Eve celebration outside city hall in downtown Barrie also includes skating at the city hall rink, horse-drawn wagon rides, fun family activities, roaming street performers, food vendors, and two fireworks displays.
The festivities get underway at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Barrie Transit service will be free on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. If driving, there is plenty of free parking within walking distance of the event.
For more information about the event, visit www.barrie.ca/DowntownCountdown.