January 1, 2013

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2013 New Year's ball drops on Uptown Kingston

KINGSTON – A little bit of Times Square came to the Hudson Valley on Monday night, for Uptown Kingston's New Year's Eve celebration.  Over 1,000 spectators turned out for the event, which adopted a century-old “1913” nostalgic theme, to commemorate the historic nature of Kingston's Stockade business district.

Wall-to-wall revelry on Wall Street

History was in the making as the clock struck 12, with Kingston's first-ever dropping of the ball, at the intersection of Wall Street and North Front. Throngs of people gathered in the street sporting party favors and vintage regalia, cheering the commencement of yet another calendar page.

Area establishments organized and sponsored the gala. Maria Philippis, owner of Boitson's restaurant, explained that the idea was “just to get everyone together Uptown for New Year's Eve.” She predicted this celebration will become an annual tradition for Ulster County's city.

“It's a great turn-out,” Philippis said.

Set designer Paul O'Connor, a nearby Bloomington resident, created and operated the illuminated orb, fashioned in miniature likeness to the famous centerpiece used in New York City to mark the stroke of midnight.

“I wanted to try to stick to the theme of 1913, and go back in time, so I had an old-fashioned globe, and the moon and the sun will revolve around it as it lowers to the ground,” O'Connor said. A “very excited” O’Connor said the people who showed up were equally as enthusiastic.

Other attractions included a sideshow and burlesque at the old Vaudeville theater on Wall Street. Several restaurants and bars hosted similar soirees.

Mayor Shayne Gallo was said to be home sick with the winter flu, and could not make it to the festivities.

The small-town nature of the evening offered a pleasant and tolerable microcosm to Manhattan's yearly outdoor winter bash – yet without the pressing crowds, horrendous traffic, long lines, police barricades, and security issues which plague the Big Apple.

Only one uniformed policeman was visible on foot patrol, amidst an orderly group of relatively young and giddy revelers. Local photographer Eric Coppolino joked about his 2013 New Year's Resolution. “I'm going to finally change the oil in my helicopter,” he grinned.


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