UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — Organizers for Utica’s New Year’s Eve block party say they can’t estimate attendance numbers for the city’s first end-of-year bash, but they’re directing patrons to park east of Genesee Street.
“Primarily we’re going to direct people to the Union Street lots. They’re city-owned lots behind Bank Place where we’re going to have officers stationed to have people park, primarily there,” Utica Police Sergeant Michael Curley said.
Starting at noon, Dec. 31, police say Genesee Street will be closed from Devereux Street to Bank Place, in order to safely erect the entertainment stage.
Sgt. Curley said municipal parking, which will be free, will also be available in the Washington Street and Kennedy Parking garages–while part of the Kennedy garage roof will be blocked off in order to launch midnight fireworks.
Increased foot traffic downtown is likely due to the Comets hockey game–home at the Aud–and ‘Moe’ playing a concert at the Stanley Theatre.
For those who choose to drink, Sgt. Curley recommends using ride-sharing services like taxis, Uber or Lyft and to set pick-up points near the east corners of Devereux and Bank Place.
Unlike New York’s City’s Time Square tradition, there won’t be a ball-drop from the Bank of Utica clock tower (the event host).
Bank of Utica Vice President Barry Sinnott says the LED panels atop the tower will show a countdown clock leading to the first moments of the new decade.
Admission to the downtown party is free, and beginning at 7 p.m. with the swearing-in of the mayor and Utica common council members.
Entertainment is scheduled to soon follow with ‘Ladies of Soul,’ ‘The Dovetones’ and ‘Classified.’
Restaurants downtown will serve specials throughout the evening.