Fort Wayne’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop returns with real ball, new location

This year's New Year's Eve Ball Drop event in downtown Fort Wayne will feature a real ball lowered by a crane. Last year, the event used the image of a fall projected on the side of a building. (Courtesy photo)
The Alicia Pyle Quartet, pictured here, and the Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra will entertain at the New Year's Eve Ball Drop event Dec. 31 in downtown Fort Wayne. (Courtesy photo)
You can join the crowd for the New Year's Eve Ball Drop party on Dec. 31 in the Silver parking lot south of Parkview Field. (Courtesy photo)

Fort Wayne will have a real New Year’s Eve ball drop this year.

Organizers of last year’s first downtown New Year’s Eve party, countdown and ball drop used a digital image of a ball projected on the side of the Verizon building at Berry and Barr streets to mimic the ball dropping at Times Square in New York.

This year, local engineers have created a real, three-dimensional ball, which will be lowered by a crane to countdown to the start of 2018, an event news release said. The 8-foot-diamater ball will be made of plastic and lighted with LED lights producing more than 380,000 lumens, or the equivalent of nearly 24,000 100-watt incandescent lights.

Festivities, which all take place outdoors, begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 31, and include music, food and beverages, a warming tent, and fireworks, the news release said. Admission is free and open to all ages, but people entering the bar areas will have to show proof they are age 21 or older.

To accommodate the crowd and the ball drop, this year’s event has been moved to the Silver parking lot in front of Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing St., the news release said. The ball will be lowered over the intersection of Baker and Ewing streets.

Reporter Alyssa Ivanson of WANE, Channel 15, and station meteorologist Rob Lydick will serve as event hosts.

Last year, the event was held in the parking lot of the Barrett McNagny law firm, 215 E. Berry St.

For people who want to enjoy the fun but avoid the cold, the Ball Drop also will offer a VIP Gala in the Parkview Field Suites Level Lounge. Individual tickets are $30 per person, or you can reserve a luxury suite for 20 people for $600.

For more about the VIP Gala and to buy tickets, go to https://fwballdrop.com.


Here is the schedule for Fort Wayne’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop:

7 p.m.: Event opens

7:15 p.m.: Live entertainment with a DJ

8 p.m.: Opening ceremony

8:15 p.m.: Alicia Pyle Quartet

8:50 p.m.: WANE, Channel 15, Top 10 Good Vibe Stories of the Year in Fort Wayne, Part 1 of 3

9 p.m.: Lip sync contest

9:15 p.m.: Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra

9:50 p.m.: WANE Top 10 Good Vibe Stories of the Year in Fort Wayne, Part 2 of 3

10 p.m.: Fort Wayne Famous Food Eating Contest (people picked from crowd)

10:15 p.m.: Alicia Pyle Quartet

10:50 p.m.: WANE Top 10 Good Vibe Stories of the Year in Fort Wayne, Part 3 of 3

11 p.m.: Dance-off

11:15 p.m.: Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra

Just before midnight: Countdown to ball drop, fireworks and New Year celebration


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