Ludington Prepares for New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

Ludington preparing to celebrate the New Year with a ball drop on New Year’s Eve and they’re expecting more people than usual.

That’s because Grand Rapids is not hosting a ball drop this year. 

 Organizers there pulled the plug on plans because of budget and venue issues.

So Ludington is expecting people who normally attend the Grand Rapids ball drop to come north and celebrate the New Year with them.

The ball drop brings about 10,000 people to downtown Ludington, a number expected to grow this year.

In its 8th year, the downtown Ludington ball drop could draw more people than usual, thanks to no ball drop in Grand Rapids. Something organizers are ready for.

“We’re expecting some people to come north that were planning on going to that event in Grand Rapids. There’s something about the energy with everyone all bundled up and frozen out there with 10,000 screaming people and they’re all happy so, I’m pretty excited. I know there are a lot.of locals excited as well,” said Jennifer Tooman, the Downtown Ludington Marketing and Communications Manager.

The extra visitors could have a major economic impact on Ludington.

“The hotels inform us as to how many rooms they have taken up for this weekend, and it has become a major event for them as well and obviously filling the hotels means they’re filling the restaurants and hopefully buying at the shops,” said Tooman.  

Local bars and restaurants say they’re excited about the possibility of more visitors in town on New Year’s Eve.

“We have a lot of reservations, everybody wants to sit by the window because the ball drops right there. It’s good for the economy and for downtown Ludington because the wintertime you know is slow so that makes up a little bit,” said Leonardo Maniaci who owns Luciano’s Ristoranti.

“It’s already a busy night so this should even kick it up another notch so we’re really looking forward to that business wise. The holidays keeps us up a little bit, but it does slow down so anything to help us in that department is much appreciated,” said Tim Johnson of Jamesport Brewing Company.

 If you do plan on attending the ball drop, organizers suggest getting there early.

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