Grand Haven’s annual NYE celebration returns after last year went virtual –

The city manager said it’s also a great way for people to enjoy the city’s new social district that opened in the fall.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Are you looking for a fun, safe way to ring in the New Year? The city of Grand Haven has got you covered. Their annual New Year’s Eve tradition is back after last year’s virtual celebration. 

“It’s a really fun, fresh way to celebrate the holiday,” said Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis.

On Friday, Grand Haven will host its annual Community Ball Drop. Last year, COVID-19 forced the event to be virtual, but not canceled altogether.

“We kept the tradition alive, so we can accurately say that this is our seventh annual ball drop in downtown Grand Haven,” said McGinnis.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety will slowly lower a giant colorful ball in the minutes before the new year, and everyone is invited to come celebrate at the corner of Washington and 1st Street. 

“A firetruck sets up a great big ladder about 120 feet up in the air,” McGinnis said, “and then we do a 10-second countdown with the crowd so it’s really fun.”

McGinnis said city leaders considered canceling the ball drop this year because of the increasing cases of COVID-19, but they felt it could be done in a safe way.

“We believe that most of our population has gotten very intelligent about proper social distancing and proper personal safety,” he said. “The event is also outdoors, and it’s a very open area downtown so you can stay pretty far away from people around you.”

McGinnis said the event will go on rain or shine, and right after the ball drops, there will be a big fireworks show. 

McGinnis said it’s also a great way for people to enjoy the city’s new social district that opened in the fall. 

“It’s going to be fun,” he said.

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