(12/29/11) - Thousands of people are expected to pack downtown Midland New Year's Eve for a gigantic outdoor party. The crowd will see a ball drop at midnight that should rival the one in New York City.
For the past six months, workers at Zentx Media Group of Freeland have been constructing a New Year's Eve ball. It weighs 1,400 pounds and is made of aluminum with acrylic plates. Other cities like Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Royal Oak have ball drops, but they aren't as big as Midland's.
"There are 2,400 RGB LEDs which means they can be any color combination," said Jeremy Gwizdala, Zentx Media Group project director.
The ball really is impressive, at 8 feet in diameter. Zentx doesn't want you to see the whole ball until Saturday night. They want to maintain the surprise.
"We are estimating you'll be able to see the ball dropping from two miles away. It's dropping from 100 feet above the ground. It'll be landing on scaffolding on top of the stage. You'll be able to see it no matter where you are," said Heidi McIvor, Midnight on Main event coordinator.
The ball is sturdy enough to be used for several years. The ball drop will be accompanied by a fireworks show too. A number of other events are planned in downtown Midland for New Year's Eve.
"From 3-7 p.m., bring your kids downtown. No matter what age they are. We've got something planned for everyone. We have children's crafts. We have games for kids outdoors," said Susan Putnam, executive director of the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Heart of Michigan.
"We're envisioning we'll have anywhere from 4-6,000 people as far as the family portion of the event," McIvor said.
Pancakes will be served by Chris Cakes of Clare as a fund raiser for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
"They call them high-flying pancakes. They flip them up in the air. It's really entertainment as well as terrific pancakes," Putnam said.
A gated area from people 21 years and older will be set up.
"We have already pre-sold 3,000 tickets. We will have 500 tickets available the day-of for ticket sales," McIvor said.
For more information on Midnight on Main, click here.
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