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Downtown Countdown

Ring in the New Year in downtown Barrie! Traveling from near and far, thousands join together to celebrate with a free evening of fun and entertainment at one of Central Ontario's largest New Year's Eve celebrations.

Planning for our countdown to 2018 is now under way, so check back or follow the City of Barrie on social media for updates as they're announced!

We're Looking for a Local Band!

Do you want to perform at Barrie's Downtown Countdown? The search is on for a local band or musician to perform a 30 minute set at one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in Central Ontario. Bands from Barrie and area that are suitable for this family event are invited to apply.

Submissions will be accepted until November 1st. Please include contact information, a band bio, and a few examples of your best audio/video for the selection committee to review. Submissions can include a press kit, CD(s), digital audio and video files, or a direct link to a website, YouTube, SoundCloud, Dropbox, etc.

Submissions can be made by:

Email -

In Person - Creative Economy Department, 56 Mulcaster Street (beside City Hall)
Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

All applicants are thanked in advance. Only the selected band will be contacted by mid-November.

Partnership Opportunities Available for Downtown Countdown 2018

As an event partner, you can build brand recognition through our promotion campaign, including radio and print advertising, social media, website, and printed materials. Engage an audience of over 20,000 through on-site recognition and brand activation opportunities. Our partners are valued and contribute directly towards providing exciting, free programming for the community. Sponsorship opportunities start at $1,000 and a limited number of brand activation spaces are available starting at $500 for a 10'x10' space. If you are interested in becoming a Downtown Countdown partner, please contact the Special Events Office at (705) 739-4285 or

Downtown Countdown 2017 - December 31, 2016

Activities - 6pm to Midnight

  • Skating at the Circle at the Centre rink. Bring your skates!
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides
  • Snow Valley's mini tube slide
  • Roaming street performers
  • Family fun: Clarabella the Clown, face painting, Speaking of Wildlife, hockey shootout, and more!
  • Bonfire warming zone
  • Food vendors
  • Two fireworks displays: one following the family celebration and the second at midnight to ring in 2017! The fireworks are set off from Heritage Park and the rooftop of City Hall.


In partnership with Rock 95 and 107.5 Kool FM, the City of Barrie hosted an exciting evening of live entertainment, featuring:

7:00pm - Splash 'N Boots
7:50pm - Joe Roberts, The Push for Change
7:55pm - Family Countdown & Fireworks
8:20pm - Cardinal Street
9:20pm - The Pick Brothers Band
10:30pm - Sloan
11:55pm - Greetings from Mayor Lehman and special guests
12:00am - Countdown to 2017 & Fireworks


In partnership with Rock 95 and 107.5 Kool FM, the City of Barrie was excited to ring in the New Year with Canadian rock band Sloan. They have been nominated for nine Juno Awards over their twenty five year career, and the success of their many hit singles, such as The Good in Everyone and Money City Maniacs, has made them one of Canada's most popular bands.

Splash 'n Boots

The Downtown Countdown also featured entertainment for the younger crowd with Treehouse TV’s Splash ‘N Boots kicking off the night. They have performed thousands of shows all over the world, released nine award-winning CDs, have been nominated for JUNO Awards, and were crowned Canadian Children’s Music Group of the Year three times. The brought their exciting and fresh approach to the family celebration at the Downtown Countdown, which was followed by a special fireworks display just for the kids. Afterwards, families had the opportunity to head inside the City Hall Rotunda to meet Splash 'N Boots!

The Pick Brothers Band

Having sold out a number of shows, The Pick Brothers Band (yes, they are brothers!) are earning a reputation as one of Toronto's most exciting up-and-coming acts. With compelling writing, dynamic performance, and gritty rock and roll spirit, they put on an amazing show here in Barrie on New Year's Eve!

Cardinal Street

Every year, the City of Barrie invites local bands to apply for an opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage. In 2016, Cardinal Street was selected from over 35 submissions to play in front of a hometown crowd! Songs from their debut album have received international airplay and singles I Don't Have Time and Hey, Yeah! reached #1 and #2 on the UK Unsigned Top 40. The four piece rock band has recently released their follow-up album, Ride On.

Getting Around & Parking

On New Year's Eve, Barrie Transit service was free from 5pm–3am to help you get to and from your celebrations safely. There was free downtown parking available within close walking distance. Road closures for the event included:

  • Collier Street from Owen Street to Mulcaster Street
    6am December 30 – noon January 1
  • Collier Street from Mulcaster Street to Berczy Street
    3pm December 31 – 2am January 1
  • Mulcaster Street from Dunlop Street to Worsley Street
    3pm December 31 – 2am January 1

Downtown Countdown 2017 was Generously Supported by





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