"La Gran Naranja" ready to rise

Published On: Dec 29 2012 08:44:08 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 30 2012 06:05:16 PM EST


For 2013, the Big Orange (also known as Mr. Neon) has been renamed "La Gran Naranja" to celebrate Viva Florida 500, a three year Spanish heritage campaign.

City officials also say that la Gran Naranja gives a nod to the Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, who brought the orange to Florida in 1513 --  500 years ago come the new year.

In keeping with the 26 year old tradition, the iconic orange will make the same trek up the side of the InterContinental hotel in Downtown Miami, setting off a firework display once the orange reaches the top.

This year, the 200 pound orange is outfitted with LED lights.

A watching party will be held in Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Boulevard, on New Years Eve.


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