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Downtown Countdown 2020/21

Since 1998, the Downtown Countdown has brought thousands of residents and visitors together in downtown Barrie to celebrate the arrival of a new year.

Stay tuned for details on this year's event!

Due to COVID-19, the festive season will be a little different this year, but there's just as much fun to be had. We're planning some fun and safe activities to help you create special memories throughout this holiday season. Details will be announced soon, so watch the this webpage and social media for updates.​

Previous Celebration:
Downtown Countdown 2019/20

While we plan for 2020, we can reminisce about the family fun activities, live entertainment, and fireworks that took place in Barrie last New Year's Eve:

Activities

From, 6pm–Midnight, under the twinkling lights on the arch of Old City Hall, we enjoyed:

  • ​Skating on the Circle at the Centre rink
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides
  • Roaming performers
  • Family fun - face painting, Speaking of Wildlife, Snow Valley's mini tube slide, inflatable snowglobe, and more
  • Bonfire warming zone
  • Food vendors
  • Fireworks - two shows! The first following the family celebration and the second at midnight to ring in 2020!​

​Entertainment

​In partnership with Rock 95, 107.5 Kool FM and Barrie 360, the City of Barrie presented an awesome line-up of live music featuring a special performance and countdown for families, local talent, a Canadian headliner, countdown to midnight, fireworks, and more!

7:00pm
Splash 'n Boots
7:50pm
Family countdown & fireworks
8:15pm
The Hillbirds
9:15pm
Craig Cardiff
​10:30pm
​The Trews
11:55pm​
​​New Year's Eve greetings
Midnight
Countdown to 2020 & fireworks!

Learn more about the entertainment lineup:

The Trews

Canadian favourites, 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 6 Juno Awards. In 2018 they released their 6th studio album, Civilianaires, after undertaking a new creative process.

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.​ They've built up a reputation of putting on a stellar live show and they made Barrie's Downtown Countdown the place to ring in the New Year!

Craig Cardiff

Last year's line-up also included Canadian troubadour, Craig Cardiff. Described as "a songwriter that needs to be heard" by Gordon Lightfoot, Cardiff sings songs that expose the human condition, putting a magnifying glass to the clumsier and less proud moments. He can turn any setting into an intimate affair, infusing his music and lyrics with an uncompromising humanism and making a point to keep the relationship with his fans personal. Armed with an extensive cataloque 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.

Splash 'n Boots

Splash 'n Boots​ rose to prominence in the hearts and minds of families through music, live shows, and television. Their music creates family dance parties and is the soundtrack of bedtimes, mealtime and fun moments in between. They've released twelve albums resulting in five JUNO Award nominations for Children's Album of the Year.

Their most recent album, "You, Me and the Sea", co-written and produced by Alan Doyle, won the 2019 JUNO Award for Children's Album of the Year. On television, they appear daily in over 8.5 million homes across Canada with their number one TV show broadcast daily on Treehouse TV and Disney Jr. Canada, as well as the worldwide streaming platform Kidoodle, garnering over 1 million views in the first 6 months. Splash 'n Boots put on an inspiring and energetic show that had everyone dancing.

The Hillbirds

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, the 2019/20 featured band was The Hillbirds! The Hillbirds are an indie/folk/pop band from Barrie who keep things real with their meaningful lyrics and high energy performances.

Formed by husband/wife musical duo Nicole & Nick Duquette, The Hillbirds have filled out their sound with Tanner Greatrix on drums and David Rakusin on bass. Having only formed in 2019, they've had a great run so far with performances at venues and festivals throughout Ontario and are currently recording in the studio.

   

​Barrie's Downtown Countdown 2019-20 was Generously Supported by

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