CROSSETT, Ark. (01/01/20) — Thousands of people across the country are probably still celebrating the new year right now but when the clock struck 12, that’s when all of the excitement into 2020 began.
With many people participating in the tradition of watching the ball drop on Times Square in New York City, many in Crossett took to the streets to witness a ball drop of their own.
Residents, former residents, and visitors filled the block on Main Street. The event included dancing, games and food. The ball was colorfully lit and could be seen across town. It was everything everyone was expecting.
“Usually I hear about seeing a ball drop on tv like in New York and so hearing it’s coming from my hometown little ole Crossett I couldn’t miss it,” Brian Thomas Jr. said. “I had to come to come down here and see it.”
“Are they going to have it next year. Probably. That’s Good,” one teen said as she was visiting the area from Dallas.
Sarah Hollimon helped organize the event. She hopes to make this an annual tradition.
New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Coming to Crossett
CROSSETT, Ark. (12/18/19) — While many are counting down the days until Christmas, some residents in Crossett are already prepping to ring in the new year — New York City style.
The countdown to the new year is a tradition just about everyone across the world partake in. Millions in the United States are either out having fun, at church or watching the infamous ball drop on Time Square in New York City.
This year all of that excitement will be a reality for those near and around the Ashley County area.
“I’ve watched it at home and then went through that time period where you sleep through it and you don’t even get to watch it,” Sarah Hollimon said. “Now, you get to do it.”
Hollimon is the assistant director of parks and recreation. She had the initial idea of the ball drop.
“It just came to me that we needed a ball drop for New Year’s Eve,” she said. “Who doesn’t want to come and count down the New Year.”
Hollimon had the idea but she knew she couldn’t take on the project alone. She contacted Public Works Director, Jeff Harrison, and he gathered his workers to come up with a plan. That idea turned into a sketch and then became an actual structure.
“He came over and wanted to know if we could build a ball to go down the flag pole. At first I was kind of skeptical but then we decided to give it a try and we did.”
Now, the 5 ft. ball weighing around 50 pounds is just weeks away from making its first ever debut. All it needs is the lights and it’s ready to be put up.
“What I envision is those lights you can stretch across your shrubs and it’s a curtain of lights not just one strand that’s what we think we’re going to do,” Hollimon said.
One thing they do know for sure is that this will bring the community and surrounding areas together.
The town suffered a loss with the partial Georgia Pacific shutdown that affected more than 500 employees. Hollimon hopes this will help the community enter into a new phase of tourism and recreate a spark in the town.
“We did go through a lot with the industry kind of knocking the wind out of us a little but we can come back with the tourism industry and thrive,” Hollimon said.
The festivites will begin at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve night. The first block of Main Street surrounding the flag pole will be shut down. There will be games, food and entertainment.
City workers will test everything out on Friday.