Published: Dec 31, 2012 4:31 PM EST
Updated: Dec 31, 2012 6:41 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Downtown Fort Myers is gearing up for the 22,000 people expected to ring in the New Year.

The celebration gets underway at 6 p.m. and will go until 2 a.m.

Jane Harris is counting on the thousands in the after-midnight crowd to boost business at her food stand tonight. "Oh yes, definitely the after-midnight crowd, they love us," she says. She enjoys their spot on First Street, right in the middle of the action. "It's a lot of fun actually, we get to meet all new people or see our friends since the company is local so it's cool."

With all the food, entertainment on five stages, and midnight ball drop, downtown Fort Myers is making itself a December 31st destination. And this year, it is all centered around the new river basin.

Robin Dermer with the River District Alliance says, "it will add to the ambiance, and certainly we have our preferred and VIP tent by the water basin so everything will be more spread out and relaxed, not as congested as years past."

There are so many options for downtown tonight, but you may want to consider the new Sky Bar at Firestone Grill, where you have a perfect view of the fireworks and ball drop. There is a $20 cover charge to get in tonight.

General Manager Jon Roberson says they are expecting a full house. "We're sold out dinner reservations on the first two floors, and we'll have standing room only in the martini bar on the third floor and the sky bar up here tonight as well."

He says this is the perfect time to introduce Fort Myers to the city's new view, and he looks forward to downtown business booming in 2013. "Definitely been a great resurgence and a great time for us to be a part of it," he says.

Open containers will be allowed in the designated area of downtown tonight. There will also be free shuttles running to and from parking lots.