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Downtown Countdown

The City of Barrie is proud to present the 18th annual Downtown Countdown. Traveling from near and far, thousands will join together in downtown Barrie to ring in the New Year with a free evening of fun and entertainment for the whole family!  Celebrate with us on December 31, 2015 starting at 7pm outside Barrie City Hall.

The celebration began in 1998, which very quickly became a tradition for the community and grew to be one of the largest New Year's Eve events in Central Ontario.  Planning is now under way for December 31, 2015 and we look forward to celebrating with you!  The entertainment line-up will be announced in November 2015.

Do you want to perform at Barrie's Downtown Countdown?  The search is on....

The City of Barrie is searching for a talented band or musician from our community to perform at Barrie's 18th annual Downtown Countdown. You could be selected to play a 30 minute set at one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in Central Ontario! Interested bands and musicians from Barrie that are suitable for this family event are invited to apply.

Submissions will be accepted until Monday, October 5th. Please include contact information, a 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, website, or YouTube links.

Submissions can be made by:

Email -

Mail - City of Barrie, Department of Culture
PO Box 400   Barrie, ON   L4M 4T5

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

**All applicants are thanked in advance for their submissions. Only the successful act will be contacted in November 2015.

Partnership Opportunities Available for Downtown Countdown

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 10,000 through on-site recognition and brand activation opportunities.  Our partners are valued and contribute directly towards providing a variety of exciting programming at no cost to participants.  Sponsorship opportunities start at $1000 and a limited number of on-site brand activation spaces are available starting at $500.  If you are interested in becoming a Downtown Countdown partner, please contact the Special Events Office at (705) 739-4285 or

Vendor Opportunities Available for Downtown Countdown

Are you a food vendor with a unique menu? If so, we want to hear from you! Please send an email to with your menu and pictures if possible. Limited vendor spaces available - only selected vendors will be contacted.


Downtown Countdown 2014
December 31, 2014 • 7pm–12am • Barrie City Hall

In partnership with Rock 95 and 107.5 Kool FM, the City of Barrie rang in 2015 with a bang!  Thousands joined together in downtown Barrie with free fun, fireworks, and amazing entertainment at the community's 17th annual Downtown Countdown.


  • Skating on the Circle at the Centre rink
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides
  • Fire/LED performers
  • Indoor family fun zone: Clarabella the Clown, face painting, balloon animals, a magic show, and more 
  • Food vendors
  • Fireworks presented by Laurentian University

Schedule (approximate times)

7:00pm: Fred Penner
7:45pm:  Fireworks
8:00pm:  Meet & Greet with Fred Penner (inside City Hall Rotunda)
8:15pm: The Alpacas
9:15pm: TimeGiant
10:30pm: Finger Eleven
11:55pm: Countdown to 2015
12:00am: Fireworks and Happy New Year!



Finger Eleven

The City of Barrie and Rock 95 welcome Finger Eleven, one of Canada's best rock acts, to headline the Downtown Countdown!  Currently recording their 6th album, Finger Eleven has celebrated success in both Canada and US with hits including One Thing and Paralyzer.  In 2008, they won Rock Album of the Year at the Juno Awards.  They are sure to deliver an amazing live show that will rock the Downtown Countdown stage into the New Year.


Fred Penner

The Downtown Countdown will also entertain the young and young at heart featuring two-time Juno winner, Fred Penner!  With a career spanning over 30 years, Fred has established himself as a fundamental part of the family entertainment scene as well as childhood in North America.  This four-time recipient of the Parents' Choice Award has shared his positive philosophy to make a difference through CDs, videos, books and television including 12 seasons of the hit CBC show 'Fred Penner's Place'.  Fred is sure to put on a show the whole family will love!

Meet & Greet - Following the family show and fireworks, you will have the opportunity to meet Fred Penner and get an autograph!  Head inside the City Hall Rotunda for the meet & greet, which will begin at approximately 8:00pm.



While studying at university in Windsor in 2006, two of the band members started jamming together and TimeGiant was born.  Armed with big harmonies, big vocals and big guitars, TimeGiant offers up good, old-fashioned rock music.  Having grown up listening to AC/DC, Queen, Led Zeppelin and KISS, they wanted to bring back that huge sound and capture their live energy.  Their performance at the Downtown Countdown will remind you how fun, inspiring, and joyful rock 'n roll is supposed to be.


The Alpacas

The Alpacas are Nick Harper, Greg Lee, Brett Garner, and Brent Lee: a four-piece rock and roll band from Barrie. Together they aim to write honest, hooky, and heavy tunes that strike a balance between raw and refined. The Alpacas live show is loud and quiet, fast and slow, tidy and unkempt –– but above all, The Alpacas look to create some good time vibes and entertain an audience.

The City invited local acts to apply for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage. The Alpacas were selected to play in front of a hometown crowd from the over 20 submissions received and they will put on a performance not to be missed.

Getting Around and Parking

On New Year's Eve, Barrie Transit offers free transit service from 6:00pm to 9:00pm with evening 60-minute frequency extended to approximately 3:00am at the regular fare.

There's plenty of downtown parking available within close walking distance.  For more information, download the Downtown Parking Map.

When making your way around downtown, road closures for the event will include:

  • Collier Street from Owen Street to Mulcaster Street
    6am December 30 to noon January 1
  • Collier Street from Mulcaster Street to Berczy Street
    5pm December 31 to 2am January 1
  • Mulcaster Street from Dunlop Street to Worsley Street
    5pm December 31 to 2am January 1

Downtown Countdown 2015 Was Generously Sponsored By




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