Duluth 'rises to the occasion' on New Year's Eve



DULUTH -- For the third year, Duluth has created an environment for those young and old to ring in the new year together in the Historic Downtown area of town on Saturday at a very reasonable price -- free.

"You can basically spend the entire night for free," event coordinator Jayne Madigan said. "This year, we're letting people bring in food and beverages, so everyone can celebrate affordably."

There will still be plenty of concessions available for purchase for those who would rather eat downtown. Most of the stores and restaurants will be open for the big night. Plus, Best of Brews will sell growlers at its store and on the Town Green, where the city has set up a big screen television broadcasting the Chick-fil-A bowl as the Auburn Tigers take on the Virginia Cavaliers.

"It's going to be a tailgate party," Madigan said. "Best of Brews will have brats and beer down there for the game."

There is a Winter Carnival for the children at a small fee and a giant snow slide for all ages for free. Duluth is using the same equipment that Stone Mountain uses for its winter creation, Snow Mountain.

The amphitheater stage will have live music during the night and the line-up includes My Salsa, Tyler Talks to Doors, Gwinnett School of Rock, Allatoona and Banks & Shane.

At midnight, attendees count down to 2012 with Duluth's New Year's disco ball which adorns the city's logo. A fireworks display will follow.

"Our ball rises up instead of drops to the new year," she said. "Duluth rises to the occasion ... your spirit will soar."

Those who are of legal drinking age have the ability to walk freely throughout Downtown Duluth with an open container between the hours of the event. Plastic cups are preferred, but glass will also be allowed.