The pinkest party on Earth is back for New Years Eve.
The Cherry Blossom Ball Drop will kick off the holiday at Cherry Street Plaza downtown with an expanded event that adds childrens activities to the traditional celebration.
New Years Eve is an event thats synonymous with partying, celebration, drinking and because we are the Cherry Blossom Festival we wanted to provide a safe environment so families could partake in the New Years celebration but also feel comfortable taking their children, said Sean Pritchard, program coordinator for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Its a very family-friendly event.
The free event will start at 7 p.m. and includes inflatables, face painting, glitter tattoos, chalk drawing and dancing, he said.
In the past, it has started at 9 p.m. so this is going to be different with the childrens portion, said Jake Ferro, president and CEO of the Cherry Blossom Festival. About 80 (percent) to 85 percent of our events for all of Cherry Blossom are free admission and this is one of them. ... There are a number of sponsors making this happen.
The childrens activities will cap off at 9 p.m. with a short fireworks show.
So you can come down and enjoy the New Years celebration and get everything but the ball drop, Pritchard said. If you want to be home or you have places to go, you can be there by 9:30 ... following the show, we begin our traditional celebration.
This includes the live feed from New York Citys Times Square, the midnight ball drop and a larger fireworks finale.
It is a family-friendly event but we will be selling beer, wine and champagne, Pritchard said.
There also will be a full-service concessionaire with food priced between $3 and $5, he said.
Its a great kickoff for our Cherry Blossom events later in the spring, so its kind of a nice touch to get us in the visibility for all the people and tout what we have and what we do, Ferro said. (We) are promoting the pinkest party in town on a daily basis.
The ball is made of blossoms and takes about 30 seconds to drop, Pritchard said. Last year, the Huffington Post featured the Cherry Blossom Ball Drop in a Top 10 list of non-traditional ball drops.
Thats just based on us being a very unique event and us being affiliated with the festival and not just a traditional New Years Eve celebration, he said.
The 2012 event also included other unique events.
We had three or four people propose on stage, Pritchard said. It was kind of a domino effect. I believe one guy did and another guy decided it was time.
Organizers are encouraging attendees to leave pets at home because of the fireworks.
Its something that can be startling to them, Pritchard said.
The event also will be broadcast on NewsCentral 24, which will have a crew on-site interviewing people about their year, he said.
People start thinking pink following the event, Pritchard said. Our 2013 festival dates will be broadcasted there and its only a matter of weeks before we start having our first events.
Cherry Blossom Ball Drop
When: 7 p.m.-midnight Monday
Where: Cherry Street Plaza, downtown Macon