Grand Haven to host New Year's Eve celebration

Alex Doty • Dec 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM

New York’s Times Square is known for its New Year’s Eve ball drop, and Grand Haven leaders hope that they can capture some of the festive spirit and bring it here.

“We’re definitely doing a ball drop,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “It’ll be at 12 a.m. on Jan. 1.”

The city plans to host the celebration at the intersection of First Street and Washington Avenue.

Designed to be a fun and family-friendly event, the city has partnered with the Board of Light & Power, several downtown restaurants and the Grand Haven Tribune for the New Year's Eve celebration. The total budget for the event is $2,695.

“I’ve never seen anything on record that shows we’ve done a New Year’s Eve ’whoop-dee-doo,’” McGinnis said. “I think it’s going to be well worth it.”

According to McGinnis, the city’s Department of Public Works partnered with the Department of Public Safety to fashion a ball for the drop. The ball will be hoisted in the air on the Department of Public Safety ladder truck and slowly dropped as midnight arrives.

The ball will be lighted and battery operated. The plan is to begin the descent at about 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, with a full minute for a gradual descent and a crowd countdown from “10” once midnight approaches.

“With one minute left (in 2015), it’ll slowly descend over the intersection,” McGinnis said. “The city will have some extra features planned for the evening, as well.”

Although the event is in its first year, McGinnis is hoping for a solid downtown turnout. The city has teased the event on social media, and plans to promote it in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve.

”I think it will be the place to be,” McGinnis said. “Maybe it will grow into something bigger (in the future).”

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