BERLIN — The paperwork is all done and Berlin is ready to drop the ball for its 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Party, which has been expanded to accommodate what officials expect will be a larger crowd.
“We were obviously very surprised by the large turnout last year,” said Mayor Gee Williams.
Despite what was just a two-week notification, according to Williams, last year’s ball drop still brought in over 1,000 guests to downtown Berlin. Space was at a premium even then, and with more than a year of notification and the momentum of a successful initial run, Williams predicts even more bodies in the area.
Consequently, portions of Jefferson St. will be opened up this year to accommodate the crowd.
“It’s just to give us a little extra buffer,” said Williams.
Despite last year’s success, Williams acknowledged that Berlin should hedge its bets based on the weather.
“Everything is weather dependent,” he said.
Williams added that while Mother Nature was out of the town’s control, everything that could be done to ensure a popular and fun event has already been addressed.
“The only difference [this year] is that there’s going to be a bigger ball,” said Electric Utility Director Tim Lawrence.
Lawrence confirmed that his department is prepared for all the technical aspects of dropping the ball and agreed with Williams that the event will probably draw some impressive crowds.
“I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be more than last time,” he said.
There are downsides to large crowds, however, and Williams hopes that the ball drop doesn’t become too big for its own good. He isn’t especially worried, though.
“I would say within a couple of years [the event] should reach its natural level,” he said.