Downtown Marion set to ring in 2018

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At midnight, everyone in downtown Marion will celebrate the New Year with the traditional dropping of a large replica of a gold nugget from a boom crane truck provided by McDowell Cement Products onto Main Street. This will be the second year for the new metal gold nugget made for New Year’s Eve last year by Turtle Laboratories. Once again this year, the gold nugget will drop into a 10-foot giant doughnut made by Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts.

Plans are set for the Ninth Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration in Downtown Marion on Sunday, Dec. 31 from 8:30 p.m. until midnight.

This year’s event will feature more activities and fun than ever. There is no need to go out of town on New Year’s Eve as you can save time and gas and celebrate the New Year in Downtown Marion, according to a news release.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration will begin at 8:30 p.m. at the City Stage on North Main Street with the Resolution Run 5K. Runners and walkers are encouraged to sign up for this unique 5K. To sign up, you can visit www.runsignup.com, type in Resolution Run under Find a Race and then select the Marion NC race. The 5K will be limited to the first 100 entrants. Registration will be allowed up to the time of the race. All entrants will receive a shirt, finisher medal and glow bracelet.

Other activities at the New Year’s Eve Celebration will run from 9 p.m. until shortly after midnight and will include music, food, shopping and entertainment. During the celebration, Main Street will be closed between New and Henderson streets. The event is designed to be family friendly. No alcohol will be permitted on public streets or sidewalks or public property, except in designated sidewalk cafes. The Marion Business Association (MBA) is encouraging downtown businesses to remain open during the celebration. The MBA anticipates that many restaurants, bars, and retail businesses will be open during the event, providing food and beverages for sale.

Entertainment at private businesses is planned. Specifically, Crabby Abby’s, Spillway Bridge & Co., Mulligan Mack’s After 5, Mr. Bob’s Donuts, the Crooked Door Coffee House, Burrito Bros., Refinery 13, the McDowell Arts Council, Shuck’s Pearls and Killough’s Music will be open, with different entertainment, sales and promotions planned at each business. McDowell County’s first craft brewery Mica Town will hold their grand opening on New Year’s Eve. Other downtown businesses may be open as well.

At 9 p.m., there will be story and craft time for children in the theater at the McDowell Arts Council (MACA). Children and families are invited to participate. At 10 p.m., a costume parade and contest will take place on the stage on the Courthouse lawn, with cash prizes awarded to the winners in different categories: youth, teen and adult. There is no cost for either the story and craft time or the costume contest, according to the news release.

DJ Doug McCraw will play music on the Courthouse lawn throughout the event, with plenty of room for dancing. There will be line dancing and dance music at various times during the evening. A scavenger hunt will also take place, with a $100 first prize and a $50 second prize. Scavenger hunt forms will be available in the MACA building. The scavenger hunt involves answering questions about downtown businesses and is suitable for all ages. There is no cost to enter the scavenger hunt.

Beer and wine sales will be handled by the many businesses that will be open on New Year’s Eve in the downtown area. The North Carolina Gold Foundation will have hot food, drinks and snacks for sale, a gold nugget raffle, games and videos in the Possibilities Day Program (the old Moore’s) building at 81 South Main St. Possibilities Day Program provides programs and activities for individuals with disabilities in a safe and fun environment.

The McDowell Historical Society will offer a historical ghost walk in the downtown area for a small charge. The Historical Society will be set up in the Possibilities building selling tickets for this walk.

Wagon rides around the downtown area will also be available for a small charge. The wagons will load and unload near the intersection of Main and Court streets. Wagon ride tickets can be purchased at that location. The Marion Rotary Club will sell novelty items such as top hats, tiaras, noisemakers and glow sticks in front of the McDowell Arts Council. Children will be able to enjoy miniature train rides with Mayor Steve Little for a small fee. The train will load and unload near the Crooked Door Coffee House.

In addition, there will be more street vendors than ever selling hot food, such as pizza, popcorn, kettle corn, hot boiled peanuts, funnel cake, fried oreos, hot dogs, hamburgers, hot chocolate, hot cider, honey, crafted jewelry and other items. The Marion Rotary Club is inviting interested churches, non-profit groups, businesses and individuals to sell crafts or food and non-alcoholic drink items on Main Street during the New Year’s Eve Celebration. A craft vendor space can be obtained for $10 and a food or beverage vendor space can be reserved for $20.

Contact Bob Boyette at 652-3551 or Freddie Killough or Lou Godfrey at 652-2215 to register as a vendor.

At midnight, everyone will celebrate the New Year with the traditional dropping of a large replica of a gold nugget from a boom crane truck provided by McDowell Cement Products onto Main Street. This will be the second year for the new metal gold nugget made for New Year’s Eve last year by Turtle Laboratories, according to the news release.

The gold nugget is sponsored by the North Carolina Gold Foundation, Turtle Laboratories, McDowell Cement Products, McDowell Trails Association and Don Markum/Bathfitter. Once again this year, the gold nugget will drop into a 10-foot giant doughnut made by Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts. After the gold nugget drop, Mr. Bob will serve coffee and donuts to anyone who is interested. The beautiful gold nugget and Mr. Bob’s giant doughnut are sure to be the highlights of the event and be a great way to ring in 2018, according to the news release.

There will also be a sparkler display on the courthouse lawn after the gold nugget drop, so the public is encouraged not to leave right at midnight.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration is sponsored by the Marion Rotary Club with assistance from the Marion Business Association, the city of Marion, McDowell County and the McDowell Arts Council.

The event has many corporate sponsors this year. This year’s Signature Sponsors are Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts, CarePartners Foundation and Steve Jones Sells Homes. Platinum Level Sponsors are the McDowell Chamber of Commerce and the Marion Rotary Club past presidents. The Gold Level Sponsor is Asheville Savings Bank. Silver Level Sponsors include the Crooked Door Coffee House, Realty 1, WBRM Radio, Johnson Price Sprinkle PA, Sharon L. Parker PA and GEM Constructors. The gold nugget sponsors are the North Carolina Gold Foundation, McDowell Cement Products, McDowell Trails Association, Don Markum/Bathfitter and Turtle Laboratories.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration is being funded through contributions from the Marion Rotary Club, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce and the corporate sponsors already listed. The city of Marion will provide staffing support for the event through its Police, Public Works and Fire departments, with assistance from the Marion Business Association and McDowell County. The Marion Police Department, Marion Fire Department and McDowell County EMS will have personnel on hand during the celebration and provide security and medical assistance for the event.

“Please make plans to join the fun on Main Street on New Year’s Eve and invite family and friends to come out and enjoy a great evening,” reads the news release.

For further information, contact Marion Business Association Events Coordinator Lou Godfrey at 652-2215 or lougodfrey@frontier.com or City Manager Bob Boyette at 652-3551 or bboyette@marionnc.org.

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