December 25, 2010 11:38:00 PM
Jan Swoope - firstname.lastname@example.org
No sooner is the tattered wrapping paper of Christmas Day on its way to the trash bin than plans are underway for New Year''s Eve. Presenting sponsor Stark Aerospace and Main Street Columbus hope everyone will be "Having a Ball Downtown" at the third annual New Year''s Eve Block Party in Columbus.
The celebration from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on College Street, between Fourth and Fifth Streets South, will feature a climactic ball drop at midnight, live entertainment by the Juke Joint Gypsies and a drawing for $500.
A crowd of nearly 1,000 at last year''s block party essentially doubled the turnout of the inaugural event held New Year''s Eve 2008. Organizers hope to top 1,000 people Friday, counting down the final seconds of 2010 as a 10-by-10-foot lighted ball made by Glenn Machine Works, and suspended 100 feet in the air, is lowered.
"Our goal is to make it bigger and better every year, to get people downtown and inside the downtown businesses," said Main Street Columbus Director Amber Brislin.
The ball drop will be televised live from 11:55 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. on WCBI-TV.
Live it up
Seven downtown establishments will offer food and drink promotions Friday for those with a wristband and New Year''s Eve "passport," available for $10 in advance or at the block party.
Specials at Fuhgetaboutit, Harveys, Hucks Place, Princess Theater, Station 7, The Elbow Room and Zachary''s range from free or half-price appetizers to free or discounted drinks. With the exception of Harveys, which will close at 10 p.m., participating restaurants and pubs will be open until midnight or after.
Passport to $500
Having a passport stamped by at least three of the businesses makes the holder eligible for the drawing for $500. Stamped passports must be dropped off on site before the ball drop.
Brislin said, "The drawing will be held right after the countdown; you must be present to win."
Passports are on sale now at Main Street Columbus, 107 Fifth St. N.; WCBI-TV, 201 Fifth St. N.; and the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link, 1102 Main St.
Organizers have large heaters on stand-by in case of cold weather. In the event of markedly inclement weather Friday, tune in to WCBI-TV for any announcements regarding the event.
For more information, contact Main Street Columbus at 662-328-6305.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.