Downtown Buffalo preps for New Year's

Posted at 11:20 AM, Dec 31, 2015

Buffalo's New Year's Eve celebration draws more than 20,000 people downtown and in the words of Mayor Byron Brown this year is "bigger, better and brighter."

"We're encouraging people from across Buffalo, western New York, Canada and from across the United States to come enjoy the ball drop," said Mayor Brown. "Bring your families, bring your friends. As always it's going to be a great event and as you've heard it's going to be bigger and better than ever."

Crews began blocking off portions of Washington Street near the Electric Tower around 10 Thursday morning. They say their main concern is making sure everything runs smoothly and that everyone is safe.

"The police commissioner, his deputies and chiefs are not only reviewing the security plans for ball drop, they're reviewing security plans for all across the city," said Brown.

Security plans require an all-around type effort.

"The NFTA is on board, the sheriffs are on board and the state troopers are on board," said Michael Schmand the Executive Director of Buffalo Place. "I can't get into details but all I can tell you is you'll be very safe in downtown Buffalo like you are every night of the week."

Buffalo Place, Channel 7, Iskalo Development, 97 Rock and M&T Bank are among the events largest sponsors.

Not only will people be downtown for the ball drop, they'll be downtown for the Sabres "Tux and Pucks" game. With two big events on the same night parking downtown could be difficult.

Road closings, according to the City of Buffalo's website, are as follows: 

  • Washington between East Huron and Genesee will be closed at 7 am Thursday until 8 am Friday
  • West Huron Southside, between Pearl and Main, will be closed at 7 am Thursday until 8 am Friday
  • East Huron Southside, between Main and Washington, will close at 10 am Thursday until 8 am Friday
  • West Huron Northside, between Pearl and Main, will close at 10 am Thursday until 8 am Friday
  • Washington, between East Chippewa and East Mohawk, will close at 2 pm Thursday until 8 am Friday
  • East Huron Northside, between Main and Genesee will close at 4 pm Thursday until 8 am Friday
  • Genesee, between East Huron and Ellicott, will close at 4 pm Thursday until 8 am Friday

The ball drop and fireworks display is in its 28th year.

Entertainment on the main stage in front of the Electric Tower will begin at 10 p.m. The event will air live on 7ABC at 11 p.m. with hosts Mike Randall, Katie Morse and Ed Drantch.

The event will also be streamed live here online.




Stay in Touch Anywhere, Anytime with News, Weather and Video -- Download the WKBW app:

Android App

iPhone/iPad App

Or Sign Up for Our Newsletters -- Delivered to Your E-mail:

E-News, Forecast and Bills Beat Newsletters