Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Thousands gather to usher in 2023 at Allegan’s riverfront

In past years, the celebration has rung in the New Year through subzero temperatures, rain, and snow – 2023 began in a dry and balmy 30 degree temperature that drew revelers to the Riverfront before the official 8pm event start time. In addition to the 20-foot long gas fireplace, a permanent fixture along the boardwalk, ten large firepits were strategically placed throughout the event space and maintained by the public with supervision by the Allegan Fire District.
If space near an open flame wasn’t available, eventgoers kept warm through dance. From 10pm-midnight, the Riverfront Stage was alive with ten-member act, The Soul Syndicate, West Michigan’s premiere horn, soul, R&B, and funk band who kept the energy of the audience elevated with instantly recognizable multi-song medleys including their rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight and an encore performance of The Isley Brothers’ ‘Shout.’
On the opposite end of the Riverfont, a seemingly quieter scene took place on the splash pad. From the outside looking in a silent disco seems just that, but to those participating by donning a set of headphones, it’s anything but. With three different channels streamed straight to every headset, dancers are in control of what station they want to dance the night away to. At one point, all 150 headsets were in use at once.
Hot food and drinks were available from popular food trucks including Around Baking Co, Big Moe’s BBQ, Coffee Rescue, NOM NOM Ninja, The Mobile Crave, and Patty Matters. Adult beverages were enjoyed responsibly throughout the event as part of the Downtown Allegan Social District from Allegan Eagles, Schaendorf Brewing Company, Sherwood’s Cove, and Tantrick Brewing Co.
As the hours carried on the crowd size grew under the pulsating glow of the ball hanging 60’ overhead. The gargantuan globe measures 10 feet 6 inches in diameter – the largest in Michigan – and just a foot and a half smaller than the Times Square ball. Manufactured for the City of Allegan by local company RCI Adventure Products in 2017, the ball is made up of 30,000 synchronized LED lights and is lowered from a crane parked in the center of the Riverfront Park.
NYE!23 was organized by Downtown Allegan and made free to the public by contributions made from The City of Allegan, RCI Adventure Products, Abonmarche Consulting, Allegan Community Players, Andy’s Ace Hardware, and Bartz/Rumery Agency, Inc.

Leave a Reply