The Big Orange is back for New Year’s Eve in Miami

The Big Orange is back, but it’s not The Big Orange you knew and loved.

The giant, neon-lit orange illuminated the downtown skyline for over 30 years, but the annual tradition has now been canceled four years in a row due to COVID-19 and, more recently, logistical issues with the InterContinental Miami hotel.

But this year, the giant smiling Big Orange of our youth — a 2,000-pound 35-foot-high icon created by industrial artist Steve Carpenter — is gone. Instead, a digitized version of the Orange will be launched 400 feet up the side of the bayside hotel.

This doesn’t mean the physical Orange is dead, however.

“The goal would be to have the original Orange back,” Albelo said. “I’m all about tradition and history, and if we can get the original back up, we will. . . . But I’ve looked at photos, and in pictures it’s hard to tell the difference between them.”

Besides, the physical Orange isn’t even truly original: “In true Miami fashion, in 2016 it went through a face lift,” Albelo said. “The original was neon. The new one has LED lights. It’s more reliable.”

Before the Orange rises, of course, the party revs up over at Bayfront Park, with musical performances by Willy Chirino, Arturo Sandoval, Amaury Gutiérrez Aymeé Nuviola and Lena Burke, plus many others. There will also be a special presentation by singer Nomcebo Zikode from South Africa, performing in Miami for the first time.



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