Who'd have thought just four years ago that the biggest problem facing the then-new CherryT Ball Drop was going to be finding enough room downtown for the massive crowds that have been showing up for the New Year's Eve extravaganza.
Organizers were expecting thousands of revelers last night. Just four years after it began, the CherryT Ball Drop now has organized parties for families and adults, a heated tent at Cass and State streets with a cash bar, outdoor entertainment that was to include fire twirlers, beatbox champion Heatbox and the Traverse City All-Stars Cheerleading Team. A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City fly-by was also scheduled.
Best of all, this has been from the start a peaceful event, despite the large crowds and the availability of alcohol, usually a bad mix. Traverse City police said there were no incidents last year; there were to be eight full-time police officers and eight volunteer reserve officers on patrol last night.
The weather was supposed to cooperate and for the first time stay-at-homes could watch the big red cherry drop at midnight on UpNorth TV. The show was to start at 9 p.m. and was to be livestreamed at upnorthmedia.org.
The CherryT Ball Drop has been great for Traverse City and for local charities, which is how the whole thing began.
Let's hope we have more reason to celebrate on Jan. 1, 2014.