VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach’s Last Night on the Town event will help ring in the new year Saturday evening in Town Center.

Lupe Fiasco will headline the free, family-friendly event, which will also feature special guests Empire Strikes Brass and Monotronic. This is the ninth year for Last Night on the Town in Town Center.

“We would love to see about 5,000 people at the event,” said Mike Hilton, Creative Director of BeachEvents.

Events will begin at 6 p.m. with family-friendly activities at Fountain Plaza, including a live, family DJ with a light-up dance floor in the lower plaza, and roaming novelty entertainers, including stilt walkers, LED hoop artists, jugglers and more. There will also be a dance-off contest for kids under 12.

On the main Countdown Square Stage on Columbus Street, Monotronic will perform at 8 p.m., Empire Strikes Bass at 9:30 p.m., Lupe Fiasco at 11 p.m., and the ball drops at midnight.

Fiasco is a Chicago-born Grammy-award-winning rapper who gained national attention with his 2006 album Food & Liquor and has released six studio albums and has had three platinum singles, including his 2008 single ‘Daydreamin’, featuring Jill Scott.

Monotronic emerged in 2016, starting as a loose collective of New York City-based musicians, and a rotating cast of musicians have shared the stage and recorded with artists such as Joe Jackson, Robert Randolph, Elliot Moss, The Spin Doctors and Dweezil Zappa.

Empire Strikes Bass is an Asheville, N.C.-based brass/funk/rock band whose music provides a thumping rhythm section highlighted by lush horn arrangements.

While the event is free, there are VIP tickets available. VIP admission includes the following:

  • VIP entertainment balcony with premier viewing of the main stage entertainment and the ball drop
  • Heated VIP lounge
  • Festive party favors
  • Best dressed couple contest with a crown and special gifts as prizes.
  • Superstar charcuterie/beer/wine (included)
  • Photo booth with instant delivery
  • Free photo ops with the bands
  • Champagne toast at midnight
  • Purchase drink tickets for mixed drinks and shots
  • Access to VIP restrooms

Streets in Town Center will close earlier in the day. Columbus Street will be closed from Market Street to Constitution Drive, where the countdown stage will be assembled along with the VIP tent. Central Park Avenue and Town Center Drive will also have closures.

There will still be access to the free garage parking, however. As they fill up in the evening, people will be routed to the nearest garage with free space. Overflow parking will be in the Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot, and there are several hotels in the area, including the Westin, Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, Residence Inn, and others.

“We encourage people to come out early, find a parking spot, there’s lots of free public parking available,” Hilton stated.

Restaurants in Town Center will be open on New Year’s Eve. Reservations are suggested.