I somehow doubted that the crowds would be so big downtown this New Year’s Eve. The excellent “First Night Knoxville,” which had featured great music at multiple venues in the city did not take place this year. Of course, the Dirty Guv’nahs played the Tennessee Theatre and Theorzt and Lil’ Iffy played the Preservation Pub Annex, but that would simply mean that those crowds would be off the street having fun inside. Throw in the fact that it was cold out and a slight drizzle had begun and I grew a bit skeptical.
I can’t explain why, but they came out by the thousands. I’m not sure where they spent the evening until midnight or how long they stayed afterward, but when I walked to the square, many were in place and more poured in right up until the last minute. Families, teenagers, twenty-somethings and geezers mingled freely all around the skating rink and somehow the mid-thirties didn’t feel so cold.
It’s a little underwhelming to see the large crane holding an unlighted ball. I’m not sure why it’s exciting when it lights and begins to drop, but the crowd certainly responded. I really think we could do better. Why couldn’t a cable be suspended roof to roof between the TVA towers and a smaller version of the sunsphere be lowered from there? A large 2014 could be set to illuminate when the ball hit a half-way level on the towers. It could be semi-spectacular and have a local flair.
I think it actually didn’t start its decent until a couple of minutes late – at least according to the clock on my phone. We did have fireworks when the ball landed, which was nice. I’m glad we had something going on and no one seemed to mind the crane and lack of other festivities, so maybe I’m just being picky as another year ends and a new one begins.
I think it is going to be another good one for our city. I hope the new one is very good for each and every one of you.