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Downtown Countdown 2018/19

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

There is a rich history of the Downtown Countdown being hosted at Barrie City Hall. Under the twinkling lights on the arch of old City Hall, the site provides the perfect setting for the City's New Year's Eve celebration with a beautiful outdoor skating rink for skating under the stars, skate changerooms and indoor washrooms, as well as indoor space for warming up and hosting some of the family activities. We look forward to welcoming you!


2pm-6pm @ Five Points Theatre

Warm-up at the Five Points Theatre with fun and festive activities, including the New Year's resolution wall where you can join the community in leaving your hopes for 2019. Capture memories at the magic mirror photo booth and print your photos as a magical keepsake, then head up to City Hall for a night full of entertainment.

6pm–Midnight @ Barrie City Hall

  • Skating at the Circle at the Centre rink. Bring your skates!
  • Horse-drawn wagon ride
  • Roaming street performers
  • Family fun activities: Clarabella the Clown, face painting, hockey shootout, Speaking of Wildife, Snow Valley's mini tube slide, and more
  • Bonfire warming zone - presented by Telus: Canada's Largest & Fastest Network
  • Food vendors
  • Fireworks: Two shows - the first following the family celebration and the second at midnight to ring in 2019​!


In partnership with ROCK 95 and 107.5 KOOL FM, the City of Barrie is excited to host an awesome evening of live entertainment featuring a special performance and early countdown for families, a local band, a Canadian headliner, a midnight countdown, fireworks, and more.

7:00PM Fred Penner
7:50PM Family Countdown & Fireworks
8:15PM Cousin Jack
​9:15PM​Skye Wallace
​10:30PM​Sam Roberts Band
​11:55PM​New Year's Eve Greetings
12:00AM Countdown to 2019 & Fireworks
Schedule subject to change.

Sam Roberts Band

In partnership with ROCK 95 & 107.5 KOOLFM, the City of Barrie welcomes Sam Roberts Band to headline the Downtown Countdown. The five-time Juno Award winning band hails from Montreal and their discography spans six albums with alt-rock anthems including 'Brother Down', 'Don't Walk Away Eileen', and 'Where Have All the Good People Gone'. The Sam Roberts Band has also won five MuchMusic Video Awards and has performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Ottawa Canada Day celebrations, and NHL and CFL events. They've built a reputation of putting on a stellar live show that will make the Downtown Countdown the place to be on New Year's Eve.

Fred Penner

Come on out for a special New Year's Eve celebration for the young and young at heart with four-time Juno Award winner, Fred Penner. With a career spanning over 40 years, Fred has established himself as a fundamental part of the family entertainment scene in North America. This four-time recipient of the Parents' Choice Award has shared his positive philosophy to make a difference through music, videos, books, speaking engagements, and television, including 12 seasons of the hit CBC show Fred Penner's Place. Fred is sure to put on an inspiring and energetic live show the whole family will love.

Skye Wallace

Skye Wallace is a classically trained singer with East Coast roots who discovered punk rock in her youth. Skye's music is inspired by every corner of Canada, and her newest album of three, Something Wicked, was listed as one of Vancouver Weekly's Best Albums of 2016. She is known to be a force to be reckoned with when performing live, so you'll want to be sure to catch her on the Downtown Countdown stage.

Cousin Jack
Every year, the City of Barrie invites bands from Barrie and area to submit for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage. From over 30 submissions, Cousin Jack was selected to perform - an incredible alternative rock trio from Barrie currently working on their debut EP set to release this December.

Getting Around & Parking

On New Year's Eve, Barrie Transit service is free from 5pm–3am to help you get to and from your celebrations safely. If you plan to drive to the event, there is plenty of free downtown parking available within close walking distance, including the Collier Street Parkade. Road closures for the event include:

  • 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 is Generously Supported by



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