First Night event canceled; city takes over NYE celebration

First Night event canceled; city takes over NYE celebration

Posted:
There will be a number of family-friendly events this year in Market Square. There will be a number of family-friendly events this year in Market Square.
"My parents and I have been coming down here for years for First Night. They're still going to do the ball drop and everything, so it will still be a lot of fun," said Cheyenne Licht. "My parents and I have been coming down here for years for First Night. They're still going to do the ball drop and everything, so it will still be a lot of fun," said Cheyenne Licht.
"They didn't know if it was something that was really needed anymore because of all the new restaurants and all the new activities going on," said Knoxville's special events director, Judith Foltz. "They didn't know if it was something that was really needed anymore because of all the new restaurants and all the new activities going on," said Knoxville's special events director, Judith Foltz.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A holiday activity many look forward to each year is Knoxville's First Night, but organizers say this year, they're taking the year off.

Don't worry. There will still be a number of family-friendly events this year in Market Square.

The city has taken on the project, making sure there is plenty to do and that people still head down to Market Square to ring in the new year.

"My parents and I have been coming down here for years for First Night. They're still going to do the ball drop and everything, so it will still be a lot of fun," said Cheyenne Licht.

The city of Knoxville has stepped in to make sure there will still be a New Year's celebration, including the ball drop and fireworks.

"They didn't know if it was something that was really needed anymore because of all the new restaurants and all the new activities going on," said Knoxville's special events director, Judith Foltz.

Businesses that usually participate say the event brings a boost in sales.

"Usually, that evening alone from about 4 or 5 o'clock on, if I remember correctly, we probably did as much business as we did the entire rest of the week, so downtown was really packed with people," said Rita's owner Nancy Langkamer.

But not every business relies on First Night for New Year's business.

"We'd like to, but it's a little bit too crazy for us, but we'll be ready for the crowd and make a great experience with all the music and a good time," said Cocoa Moon owner Javier Lopez.

With the skating rink open until midnight and other family-friendly activities starting in the afternoon, business owners hope families will still come out for some New Year's fun.

"It will probably be a little different crowd, but I hope families will still comes down because it's fun to watch the ball drop and the fireworks. I mean, who doesn't love fireworks," added Langkamer.

A lot of the activities planned start at about 1 p.m.

This year, organizers hope everyone downtown will sing Auld Lang Syne, and, yes, they'll display the words for anyone who doesn't know them.

Other activities include:

  • A euro-bungee will be set up at 1 p-m for some early fun.
  • Music will begin at 11 with a presentation of the big events of 2012.

The countdown to 2013 will begin at 11:59, with singing and fireworks to bring in the New Year with a bang.

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