Buffalo, NY (WKBW-TV) It is a New Years tradition. Thousands of people, crowding the streets of downtown buffalo, ringing in the new year. Last year, 40 thousand people on the streets watched it, and tens of thousands tuned in to see the ball drop along with the one from Times Square.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown was surrounded this morning with the sponsors who will make the downtown event happen.
Buffalo Place and the City Of Buffalo work together on logistics for the event, which include everything from staging to crowd control and clean up.
WKBW Channel 7 was recognized as the Official Television station, having broadcast the event since 1988. Eyewitness News coverage showcases the downtown event and the impact it has on bringing people to the second largest New Year's Eve celebration in the country. Keith Radford will again anchor for his 23rd year from Roosevelt Plaza, and will be joined by Joanna Pasceri and Eyewitness News this Morning Anchors Patrick Taney and Ginger Geoffery.
Mayor Bryon Brown was excited to see the event continue. The mayor commented that even though the economy is tough, it was encouraging to see sponsors step forward to keep a positive event for the city in place.
In addition to the Ball Drop at midnight, music and fireworks are also a part of the event. The fireworks show is spectacular, and unique because it is set off from a downtown building in an urban area.
Tune in to EWN for the very latest on the New Year's Eve celebration!
Here is the official release:
BUFFALO BALL DROP RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN FOR 23rd YEAR
BUFFALO, NY – The 23rd annual “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks Display” at the Iskalo Electric Tower is back, to ring in 2011!
This year, get ready for a special show and concert so Western New York can celebrate together. Key donors stepped-up once again to make sure the annual tradition continues, and show the thousands of guests from around the world here for the World Junior Hockey Tournament how Buffalo rings in the New Year.
A live concert featuring local band, “More Than Me,” who opened for Paul McCartney in London this summer, will headline this year’s stage performances.
It will be fun for the whole family when Dennis George, ”The Quizmaster”, takes the stage at 10:30pm in Roosevelt Plaza. Test your skill while he engages the crowd with a fast-paced trivia show to warm-up early revelers coming from First Night prior to the concert start.
The Police Athletic League of Buffalo, one of the event producers along with Iskalo Development and WKBW Channel 7, is pleased to announce all necessary funding has been secured for this year’s production.
"The Buffalo Ball Drop is a twenty plus year tradition for the community, and our viewers. Channel 7 is proud to continue that tradition in making good things happen for the Police Athletic League, our sponsors, viewers, and everyone who attends this exciting event," notes Channel 7 President and General Manager Bill Ransom.
The “Countdown To 2011” special will air on WKBW-DT beginning at 11pm Friday December 31st, showcasing all the excitement from Times Square and the Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks display.
Independent Health has been an anchor sponsor for many Ball Drop events over the years. Once again, Independent Health has come forward to continue this Buffalo tradition, the second largest such event in the United States. Michael W. Cropp, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer stated,
“Independent Health has sponsored the Buffalo Ball Drop for more than a decade and we’re pleased to continue supporting this great community event to ring in the New Year in downtown Buffalo,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D. president and chief executive officer. “The Buffalo Ball Drop has been a community tradition for more than 20 years and we’re grateful to the many organizations and individuals dedicated to continue this tradition in downtown Buffalo. We recognize the New Year is a time for making resolutions, setting new goals, and making a fresh start. This often starts with more exercise, eating right and taking better care of yourself. Take a step toward a healthier life this year and let it begin with the Buffalo Ball Drop on New Year's Eve.”
The fireworks show, shot from the top of the Electric Tower, will once again be orchestrated by the Skylighters of WNY. For 2011, the Chevy Dealers of WNY have signed on to sponsor this spectacular fireworks show, one of the most unique in the country displayed in an urban setting.
Returning sponsors also include Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS) and WGRF-FM 97 Rock.
Other sponsors include Veolia Water; and Local Edge Media.
Last year’s event was nearly postponed due to lack of a significant funding source necessary to cover the large production, security, fireworks, and ancillary costs of the Buffalo Ball Drop and Fireworks Display.
The Ball will drop in sync with its sister in New York’s Time Square, with the giant fireworks display starting immediately after the new year begins! The show is choreographed to classic rock and seasonal music favorites at multiple launch points on the Electric Tower.
A video presentation looking back over the last year will be played on the Jumbotrons, produced courtesy of WKBW-DT and Channel 7’s Eyewitness News, the official station of the Ball Drop for the entire twenty-two years.
A “test drop” of the Ball will be held at 535 Washington Street, in front of the Electric Tower at 12 noon Tuesday, December 28th.