A Salisbury New Year
At the risk of sounding “so last year” I’m going to talk about where I was last night. I wasn’t there from start to finish, but I saw the most important part.
For the first time, the city of Salisbury had its own New Year’s Eve celebration on the Plaza. Observers I spoke to said the crowds were somewhat modest early on when the celebration began at 8:00, but by the time we arrived shortly after 11 they were gathered throughout the downtown Plaza.
On stage at the time were The Bonedaddies, the second and final band of the evening. (Test Kitchen opened the proceedings.)
As you can also see, the ball was suspended directly above the stage, which had a running time clock through the event.
From the little I saw, it seemed like a well-run event. Yes, a number of people were celebrating with potent potables in open containers but no one seemed too much out of control. I noticed that domestic beers were running $3 a cup with Fat Tire and wine for $5 per serving, so there wasn’t exactly a cheap buzz to be found – unless you shelled out $20 for the 150 available Pub Crawl tickets, good at any of several downtown watering holes. I think they had champagne on sale, too, which may have helped a flagging business – if you believe my blogger friend Becca Lower, at any rate.
Around 9:00, as I was told, there were around 1,000 people in the Plaza but by midnight I would guess there were somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 people down there, based on some of the estimates I heard and my own figuring of the crowd. It wasn’t wall to wall people, but you couldn’t just casually stroll freely through there either. Given the Plaza is a couple blocks long and perhaps 60′ to 80′ wide and that some of the space was taken by the stage, beer tables, and so forth I would say there were maybe 3,000 down there. It was more crowded than I’d seen at any Third Friday, but there is less room to move around at those monthly events because of the artisan spaces.
Many of the city’s political officers were reportedly there, but politics wasn’t center stage at the event. The average partygoer looked to be in their 20s or 30s, with a sprinkling of families around – the voices you hear on my recording (aside from my countdown starting at about 15 seconds) were those of a family with a couple small children standing next to us.
Overall, though, I thought it was a very good event. Fortunately, the weather was good – if a little chilly – and it seemed like the only hitch was that the ball was a couple seconds late to the bottom. I also didn’t see any food vendors there, but then again surely several of the restaurants facing the Plaza were open – down the street we noticed Mojo’s was fairly busy. So we’ll see if the event comes back for year two; my guess is that it will.