By Robert Tomlinson
THREE RIVERS — Local residents and visitors to downtown Three Rivers rang in 2023 Saturday night with a festive celebration right on Main Street.
The third Midnight on Main event, put on by the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority, attracted dozens of attendees downtown for music, games and drinks, all culminating in a ball drop at midnight, assisted by the Three Rivers Fire Department.
“I think it went great. I think that the weather helped, not being snow on the ground. Last week we had that huge blizzard, but things cleared up really quick and people were able to come out,” DDA Executive Director Cameron Mains said.
The New Year’s Eve celebration featured a number of attractions, including multiple bars and restaurants offering food and drink specials, live music from the rock band Spork Fight, party games held on Portage Avenue by Daly Dope such as beer pong, cornhole and disc golf, and a photo booth at the Riviera Theatre.
Weather was cooperative for the outdoor event, albeit a tiny bit chilly and windy, which pushed many partygoers inside to many of the restaurants for most of the event. However, everyone in attendance came outside to watch the ball drop at midnight, some taking pictures with the ball after everything was all over.
Mains said he was pleased with the traffic at the local restaurants and bars during the event.
“I think people were really kind of hugging the bars, but that’s not a bad thing,” Mains said. “It’s a great night for them, and that’s what it’s all about. This is also growing awareness of the bars, letting younger people know, letting people from out of town know there’s a scene down here and there are things going on.”
Mains said he didn’t have any expectations about crowd size, but that overall, turnout was “a little small” at some points because of the chilly air, but noted that “everyone came out when it counted.”
“The community came together, had that moment, which I just love,” Mains said.
Mains also gave props to Spork Fight, the night’s musical entertainment, for their performance, going right up until 12:30 a.m.
“They played exactly what we needed in terms of well-known hits for all age groups,” Mains said. “Something like this, everyone’s coming together, you’ve got to play a little bit of everything, and I think they did that really well. It’s cool to support local artists, since they live in this area too.”
Looking ahead to the future, Mains said he already has ideas for how to go about improving the event in subsequent years. The biggest thing: More outdoor heaters.
“I think definitely that’s kind of what kept people in the buildings, the weather, but yeah, more heaters,” Mains said, adding that bringing in more participating businesses is another of those big goals.
Overall, Mains considered this year’s event was a success, thanking the volunteers, fire department and everyone who participated.
“Everyone came out at the last minute, it was great to see everyone come onto the street and have that moment [with the ball drop] and just be a community,” Mains said.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or email@example.com.