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York County towns prepare for eccentric New Year's celebrations
Mary Yeaple and her crew of volunteers prepare decorations and photo props for New Year's eve in Continental Square.
In York County, the land of unique New Year’s Eve ball drops, communities will gather around a pickle, a rose, a cigar and even Pac-Man on Sunday night to ring in 2018.
York City will host two ceremonies Sunday, Dec. 31, starting at 5 p.m. with a Children’s Countdown in two downtown hot spots, followed by the storied White Rose drop party that kicks off at 10 p.m. in Continental Square.
Both events have been expanded for this year’s festivities, with the children’s countdown running an extra hour — until 8 p.m. — to make the most of all the effort and time that is put into planning the celebration, said Mary Yeaple, who leads the York City Special Events team.
In addition to face painting, glitter tattoos, stilt walkers, balloon artists, spin-art stations and plenty of photo opportunities, a large inflatable slide will be set up at Central Market for children to play on throughout the three-hour event, Yeaple said.
The city’s special events team also rented out Marketview Arts across the street to bring in caricature artist Mel Conrad and singer Mark DeRose, who will perform two shows during the children’s countdown.
At 8 p.m., hundreds of balloons will fall from the Central Market ceiling so children can celebrate the start of 2018 with their families before bedtime.
Continental Square: The city's New Year's Eve rose-drop party will start around 10 p.m., when music begins to fill the cold air in Continental Square.
Event planners are looking for some inspiration from community members and are asking people to use the #NYEyorkplaylist hashtag on social media to make their song requests, Yeaple said.
As revellers take in all of the night’s festivities, it will be hard for them to miss the 2,018 white roses that will be used in photo props and decorations throughout downtown York City.
Once the largest rose of them all finishes its descent to mark the start of 2018, fireworks will be launched from the Market Street garage to celebrate the New Year, Yeaple said.
“I think it’s a great tradition,” Yeaple said of the New Year’s Eve festivities. “It’s a great tradition to see the White Rose drop and see the fireworks and come together as a community.”
A number of downtown restaurants will stay open late into the night to give people a chance to grab a bite to eat and take a break from the cold, Yeaple said.
The rose-drop event in Continental Square will close sections of Market and George streets from 9 p.m. until about 1 a.m. Market Street will close between Beaver and Duke streets, and George Street will close between Philadelphia and King streets. Parking restrictions in those areas will begin at 8 p.m., according to York City Police.
The White Rose Figure Skating Club was scheduled to entertain crowds on a portable ice rink in Continental Square from 5 p.m to 10 p.m., but the performances have been postponed due to frigid weather forecasts on New Year's Eve, Yeaple said.
The club will perform its solo and group routines from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 5 during the city's First Friday event, with skaters in T. rex costumes taking to the ice every hour to lead dance parties, Yeaple said.
Dillsburg: For the 25th year running, residents in Dillsburg with gather in the town square on New Year’s Eve to watch the midnight Pickle Drop.
Celebrations will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Dillsburg Square, with 25-cent games for children, a canned food drive and “magical family entertainment,” according to a news release.
“Lil’ Dill,” a baby gherkin, will be dropped at 7 p.m. in conjunction with midnight in Ireland to honor Dillsburg’s Irish founders.
Starting at 7:30 p.m., residents are invited to dance in the street and boogie to the beat of DJ Joe George. Bingo games will kick off at 8 p.m. and will run until just before the Pickle Drop, and fireworks will follow, according to the release.
Hanover: Pac-Man will make his fifth annual descent from the rooftop of the Timeline Arcade in Hanover, followed by a fireworks display.
The event will start at 6 p.m., with unlimited pinball and arcade gaming, pizza, drinks and food trucks on site at the Carlisle Street arcade.
Mick Jaguar and the Sly Cats will provide the soundtrack for the New Year’s Eve event, according to event organizers.
Red Lion: Red Lion will once again buck the ball-drop trend by hoisting a huge cigar aloft at midnight at the borough’s municipal building on Broadway.
The Red Lion Train Station on North Main Street wil host a model train display from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., while several local bands play at churches and lodges across the borough, according to a news release.
Following the 21st annual raising of the cigar, the borough will set off a fireworks display in Center Square, according to the release.
Hallam: The Hellam Fire Co., Trinity United Church of Christ and Faith United Methodist Church are teaming up to host the seventh annual First Night Hallam New Year's Eve celebration.
At midnight, a replica of the famous Haines Shoe House will be hoisted by a crane outside Trinity UCC, at the corner of Friendship and Forry avenues.
The event will feature a number of local musicians and artists as well as food vendors, bounce houses, prize drawings and a life-size Candy Land game board, according to event organizers.