After years of no Midnight on Main, Patchogue Village’s unique and the family-friendly ball rise at 9 p.m. on Main Street, is to make its comeback this New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.
Last year was supposed to mark the return of the event; however, due to a rise in COVID cases and several organizers and public safety officials becoming sick, the event was cancelled at the last minute due to safety reasons and short staff. The year prior, Midnight on Main didn’t happen in the physical sense, as the chamber hosted a virtual Midnight on Main Street New Year’s Eve Celebration. In 2019, the ball rose for the first time at the intersection of West Main Street and Clare Rose Boulevard/West Avenue.
This year, the chamber plans to do the same, with Grucci Fireworks in the Blue Point Brewery parking lot. “Midnight” in Patchogue Village is still at 9 p.m., representing the ahead-of-its-time village. The party starts at 7 p.m.
“We’re delighted that the tradition of Midnight on Main Street continues and our New Year’s performance is a featured element in the evening,” said Phil Grucci, CEO/creative director of Fireworks by Grucci. “Our family is so proud to be a part of New Year’s in Patchogue with a growing community. It’s picture-perfect for us.”
Grucci described with enthusiasm some of the fireworks displays they will be presenting that night.
“There will be powerful gold glitters and cool colors of winter in blue and white. We hope we have a crisp and clear night for the shimmering of the fireworks to reflect on a snowy ground covering!,” he said, excited for the night.
In anticipation of the event, Blue Point Brewery will remain open; however, they have promised to close a portion of their lot for the event, with western access for patrons.
“We’re basically looking to dust off last year’s plans,” chamber executive director David Kennedy said, explaining they were all prepped and ready to go.
Midnight on Main committee chair Gerry Crean is excited for the return of the event.
“It’s been a couple of years; it’s really exciting to pull the community back together and reflect on what we’ve been through the last few years,” he said. “A look forward to a better 2023—it’s going to be great night.”
Committee vice chair Lori Belmonte, co-owner of the Colony Shop, said Midnight on Main is her favorite event.
“It’s Times Square without traveling to the city,” she said. “It’s a fun family event. We’ll be handing out hats and noisemakers, with dancing in the streets. Guaranteed fun for everyone!”
Ball to rise, not drop
True to the event, the original ball—a 4-foot multifaceted Lucite geodesic sphere with LED lights, made by NorthStar Signs & Neon Inc.—will rise to the anticipated crowd of about 3,000 to 5,000 in rain, shine, or snow on Dec. 31.
The ball will be situated directly in the middle of the intersection, just west of and much higher than the traffic lights. Extra preparations will also be made to further secure it, anticipating additional winds due to the lack of building coverage.
The event might seem like one big party, but getting the job done is a joint effort among private security company PSA, Village of Patchogue public safety officers, Patchogue Fire Department firefighters, Patchogue Ambulance Company members and Suffolk County police. Garbage trucks will block either side of Main Street for protection, and clear garbage bags will outfit the streets.
Streets will close from East Main to West Main streets at the intersection of West Main Street and West and Waverly avenues at the spur beginning at 6 p.m.; music will kick off at 7 p.m.; and the event will start seeing a crowd at around 8 p.m. Additionally, the following roads will be closed:
West Main Street between Ocean and River avenues
West Avenue between South Street and West Main Street
The Waverly Avenue spur from Lake to West Main streets
Roads will reopen by 10 p.m.
The countdown to the ball rise and the fireworks will commence at 9 p.m. Partygoers are encouraged to come early for a good spot and free hats and noisemakers, and to treat themselves to the local bars and restaurants. JVC Broadcasting will again provide a live DJ.
Also, the chamber is planning to raffle off their “30 Days of Dining” baskets, which help sponsor the event. Tickets are currently being sold on the chamber website.
There could also be possible performances by surprise local guests. The event, according to Kennedy, will also honor one of the event founders, Louis Giancontieri, who died recently. He was responsible for helping the ball rise with his company LFG Rigging.
The chamber is expected about 3,000 to 5,000 eventgoers, depending on the weather.
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