A laser light show, street dancing, a midnight beach ball toss and fireworks display are all part of the New Years Eve celebration in South Haven.
One of the few lakeside towns to host a New Years Eve party, South Haven activities will begin at 4 p.m. Friday and end at midnight with the release of 1,000 beach balls, downtown and a bonfire. fireworks thereafter.
Pyrotechnics is new this year, according to Jen Sistrunk, executive director of the South Haven / Van Buren County Visitors and Convention Bureau, which hosts and sponsors the New Years Eve event.
“The display will be a 6 minute shock and awe type spectacle that can be best seen at the top of Water and Kalamazoo streets or on the north side of the Black River,” she said.
Pyrotecnico Fireworks, formerly known as Melrose Pyrotechnics, will ignite the city’s Southside Marina fireworks on Water Street in Riverfront Park, a short distance from downtown.
The other favorite event, Sistrunk suspects, will be the beach ball fall. The drop debuted in 2019 and has been a crowd pleaser ever since. In the past, hundreds of beach balls were held in place by netting attached to light poles at the main downtown intersection of Center and Phoenix streets. As the crowds chanted the New Years countdown, the beach balls were handed out to those standing below who were allowed to take them home as keepsakes. This year’s event will be a little different.
“A thousand beach balls will be lifted in a giant bag over the intersection of Phoenix and downtown by a South Haven area emergency services truck (ladder). US Tarp engineers in South Haven made the bag, and SHAES is loaning out a few of the guys and the truck for the night, ”Sistrunk said. “It will definitely have more of a ‘wow’ factor compared to the last time we hosted the event.”
People don’t have to wait until midnight to participate in the New Year’s Eve celebration. There are plenty of events, both outdoor and indoor, planned to keep people busy, including a red carpet photoshoot, laser light show and DJ presented by DPM Events, a New Years ice skating party at the ice skating rink, an outdoor dance with the Miss and Mr. South Haven backyard and a holiday miniature train are displayed on the lower level of South Haven Town Hall.
“The idea (for most events) was to try and keep people out as much as we could,” Sistrunk said. “It’s not every day that South Haven closes the entire city center. We thought there should be activities on offer to encourage people to mingle outdoors – even if that means mixing Cupid with it. the whole city in the street. “
For those wanting a little relief from the weather outside, a number of downtown restaurants and businesses will be open for dining and shopping, while several other businesses have agreed to serve as “warming stations.”
“These warming stations are also where you can pick up your free New Years Eve glow sticks and accessories,” Sistrunk said. “Some of them are as simple as a cozy place to sit by the fire on the veranda between the Nichols Hotel and 42 Naturals at the north end of Center Street. Others are as unique as the Dimitridons. Rock Studios at the west end of Phoenix Street where you’ll find cider, free snacks and tea, a crystal-making demonstration, and a tarot card reader for an additional fee. “
For more information on the New Years Eve celebration in South Haven and a calendar of events, visit www.sudhaven.org