LOOKS LIKE MARQUETTE won’t be celebrating its traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop this year.
JP Electric. which has conducted the drop on a volunteer basis since 1988, will not be involved this year. Owner John Prince says he and his staff are getting older, the ball drop has always been a little risky, and it’s time to move on.
So no electrician, no ball drop.
It’s a complicated, time-consuming job for an event that’s been enjoyed by New Years Eve revelers, often in snow and freezing temperatures.
Up to 5000 people have gathered at the corner of South Front Street and Washington to watch the ball drop at midnight from the historic Savings Bank Building.
The “ball” is actually just a three and a half foot sphere covered by 110 volt lights.
The city provides for the closure of the streets and the Downtown Development Authority pays for advertising for the event while volunteers do the rest of the work.
DDA director Mona Lang is hoping someone else may step forward to conduct the ball drop, maybe from another building.
But for now, this New Years Eve in Marquette looks like it’ll be dimmer and less festive than in past years.
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