Goshen ball drop to eclipse Times Square

Hug your neighbors, not strangers: Celebration will start early to include the kids

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"It’s good to see all the young families coming out to the dinners and the tree lighting. Goshen is on the upswing. We’re coming back!”
Molly O'Donnell, Illuminate Goshen

By Geri Corey

— New Year’s Eve in the Village of Goshen will be a night to remember. Mayor Kyle Roddey and Molly O’Donnell, President of Illuminate Goshen, aren’t revealing how the ball drop will be accomplished: “We’re keeping it close to the vest!” they say. But here's one thing they will promise: “It will be an exciting, fun night.”

With all that will be happening in the village on New Year’s Eve, there’s no reason to head to the city to hunt for a parking spot, get squeezed by hordes of people, or stand for hours to save a spot in Times Square.

Best of all, you won't have to hug and kiss strangers at the stroke of midnight. Stay right here on the Village Green in Goshen and hug your own neighbors as the illuminated “ball” is dropped at midnight, bringing in the New Year — 2016.

Keeping young families with children in mind, O’Donnell has planned fun activities beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, on the Village Green. Along with the “Mad Scientist,” who will engage young ones in amazing science activities, Princess Aurora, of “Sleeping Beauty” fame, will be available to meet and talk with children. So, parents, bring your cameras for photo ops.

Everyone’s favorite, a magician, will entrance the audience, and a “selfie” scavenger hunt is scheduled to take place.

“With ‘selfies,’ the activity takes the scavenger hunt into the 21st century,” said O’Donnell. “It’s different, and it’s challenging.”

With giveaways, noisemakers, glow-in-the-dark necklaces, young people will be a part of the fun of New Year’s Eve.

Of course, what’s New Year’s Eve without a ball drop? At 8 p.m. a ball drop will take place, but with a twist — it’s a “ball raising!” At that time the countdown will be synchronized with the illuminated ball going up to the top, where it will be ceremoniously “dropped” at midnight.

Music and moreThroughout the early evening festivities a DJ will play, and he’ll continue to play, but with live bands disbursed throughout the rest of the night until midnight. The bands are the Dan Brother Band, Talking Machine, and Dylan Owen, a Goshen native who’s been a headline performer in major cities.

“Dylan has Goshen roots, and that’s what it’s all about that night,” Roddey said. “We’re encouraging everyone to do plenty of dancing.”

To make room for the ball drop, South Church Street — between Route 207 and Park Place — will be closed for the evening. The ball drop and the stage for the bands will be located there. Free-standing heaters and a tent will be available to keep revelers warm.

“Hopefully sometime during the evening, people will walk down town to the business district and patronize the restaurants to have something to eat. There are so many places offering delicious food,” said Mayor Roddey.

The ball is under construction by students and staff at BOCES. He and O’Donnell are keeping mum on the design, but they’re sure it’s going to please everyone.

Work on the ball drop event started last February.

“We had two successful fundraising dinners," said O'Donnell. "We’re amazed at the support we’re getting from the community, and that we got big so quickly,” O’Donnell commented. It’s good to see all the young families coming out to the dinners and the tree lighting. Goshen is on the upswing. We’re coming back!”

“So come to the Village Green on New Year’s Eve to see it happen — a Goshen spin on the classic ball drop,” said Roddey.

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