Downtown Flint to ring in the New Year with big bash - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Downtown Flint to ring in the New Year with big bash

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(12/27/12) - The Flint downtown development authority is teaming up with bars and restaurants to ring in the New Year in grand fashion.

"This is huge. It's never been done before. We're going to have a great big party in downtown Flint, with hundreds, if not over 1,000 people," said Gerard Burnash, Flint DDA executive director.

For Monday night's bash, heated tents will fill the flatlot on Saginaw Street between Kearsley and First Streets. We're talking food, drinks, DJ's and dancing. In some sense, a mini Times Square.

"It's the energy. You've seen New York and people packed down there with all that energy, and that's what we want to happen downtown," Burnash said.

And just like you'll see in New York, plans are in place for a unique countdown leading up to midnight.

"They have the crystal ball drop. We have the virtual ball drop. We'll have a 3D light show, six stories tall, projected on the Mott Foundation building, with the ball dropping at midnight," Burnash said.

Those projections come courtesy of the Flint Public Art Project - an organization that's already put on a few downtown laser light spectacles involving Genesee Towers.

"It really seems to be taking on a life of its own. There seems to be a lot of excitement out there and people are looking forward to it," Burnash said.

The virtual ball drop leads up to a massive pyrotechnics show, put on by Wolverine Fireworks, the same company that handles the Bay City Fourth of July extravaganza. And an added bonus, a trip to Las Vegas will be given away. It's tied into completing a downtown pub crawl.

"Every business you go into will be another ticket to put your name into the drawing," Burnash said.

Admission is free for anyone ages 21 and up, and it isn't costing tax payers a penny. It's all part of a continued effort to make downtown Flint a destination, even when it's cold out.

"We have a grant from the CS Mott Foundation to provide festivals and events throughout the year, and we're trying to focus on the months that they don't have a lot of activities downtown," Burnash said.

Downtown Flint's New Year's Eve Celebration begins at 9 p.m. Monday night.

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