Bank of Utica and Downtown Erupts with 2020 NYE Bash
Downtown Utica was celebrating the New Year like never before on Tuesday night with a whole night of festivities.
The evening began with a Utica Comets win at the Adirondack Bank Center, a 3-2 victory over Rochester. It was also the drawing for the holiday Mega-Month 50-50 Save of the Day Foundation raffle drawing. The jackpot grew to an amazing $89,380 and as of the close of last night's game, no-one had claimed the winning ticket, which is A-140637. Comets staff believes, based on the number, the winning ticket was sold early in December. Comets representatives say, ultimately there must be a winner, so a plan will be announced soon if no-one claims the prize. The winner's cut of the jackpot will be $44,690.
While the crowds were exiting the Adirondack Bank Center, and Mayor Rob Palmieri had recently been sworn in for another term, concert goers were packing into the Stanley Theatre for the New Year's Eve rock concert. Thousands of dedicated Moe fans from around the country filled the Stanley, and as the iconic jam band cranked up their amplifiers, Utica officials were busy shutting down a section of Genesee Street as they prepped for the night's finale' - the Bank of Utica Downtown NYE Party, an outdoor block party in front of the local bank's newly remodeled main branch.
There were several private parties that filled storefronts along the corridor, along with bars, and restaurants that offered New Year's Eve specials with a front row seat to the festivities that were scheduled for the outside. The outdoor party in the street saw hundreds of celebrants taking part in a live television broadcast on WFXV, as well as live music including the band Classified, which gave their final public performance before they ultimately disband in January.
The night was capped with an enormous fireworks display that would ignite into the winter sky just as the clock struck midnight. The crowd seemed to enjoy the moment even as they realized the fireworks couldn't be seen from where they were standing because the Genesee Street buildings were blocking their view. Some revelers moved down the street to get an explosive visual, while others remained at the bandstand as Classified played on into the new decade.
"That was an epic bash," said Paul Buckley who was making his way through the crowd with a video camera as he taped for the city's television program, City Limits. "What a turnout," he added.
It was indeed, an epic night for Utica and it all seemed symbolic of what's happening in the region and in the city, much of which will be in the full blown construction phase over the next year. With a new hospital on the way, the new Nexus athletic center expected to be completed by November, the tech company Cree starting construction at the Marcy Nano location, old brick manufacturing buildings being turned into new modern loft apartments, new hotels and restaurants, and other development that hasn't even been announced yet, it seemed clear this was not an event celebrating the past. It was a deliberate celebration of everything coming in 2020 and beyond.
So, finish up those new year/new decade celebrations because starting next week, it's back to work, and there's a lot to be accomplished over the next twelve months. If all goes as planned, next year's New Year's Eve celebration is bound to be even bigger.