The city of firsts may add another as IronBound MarketPlace and 4 Life Entertainment prepare for a “First Night” New Year’s Eve celebration on Mount Vernon Street.
If it’s approved, the event would be the first time Lynn has celebrated New Year’s Eve in a generation, according to City Council President Darren Cyr. The event to ring in 2019 is waiting on a final sign-off from the council. Once it gets the final OK, it’s set to have local food vendors, ice sculptures, a multi-color light show, live entertainment, beer and wine, and a countdown to midnight, according to Justin Morley, the administrative coordinator for IronBound.
“Cisco (Ironbound owner Francisco Meneses) put the idea in my head when we started doing the block parties earlier this year,” said Morley. “He said we had to do a first night celebration, the first one on Mount Vernon.”
The city’s last New Year’s celebration came in 2000, the same year President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton named Lynn a millenium city and sent the community a presidential citation. A committee of about a dozen people began plans in the spring of ’99 and raised $60,000 for the celebration, according to Cyr.
“We had upwards of 20,000 people throughout the day on Frasier Field and Manning Bowl for the millenium celebration,” he said. “There was a 30-minute continuous grand finale of fireworks and we had ice sculptures, live animals, floats from the Christmas parade, and over a million Christmas lights on both fields. We wanted it to be a family event so we did the big celebration at 9:30 p.m. so families could get their kids home early.”
While the Mount Vernon event will be family-friendly, Morley said he’d prefer if the celebration could run until the start of the new year. He has spent the last few months meeting with Cyr, Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, and Lynn Police to get permission to start planning, he said.
“I know he is going to put on a good event where people can come, feel safe, and enjoy New Year’s Eve in Lynn and not have to go into Boston,” said Cyr. “For anyone who plans on attending, please behave and act responsible because there will be alcohol and music with kids all around. I know they want this to be as much of a family event as it can be.”
The event received approval from the city’s licensing board for a one-night-only beer and wine license. On Tuesday, Morley goes before the council in hopes of getting a special permit so the celebration can go past 11 p.m., he said.
A private security company will help keep an eye on everything going on inside the event, said Morley. The private detail will also walk residents to their nearby apartments when the celebration ends at 12:10 a.m.
“It is something new we are going to try and I think it’s great to try new things,” Chakoutis said. “If it is a success, then next year it could be bigger and better.”
Morley started a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs associated with the ice sculpture walkway including ice benches where people can sip on hot chocolate, a live sculpture demonstration, the multi-light show, and two projection countdowns, one for the 8 p.m. family crowds and the one for midnight.
There are a few perks for anyone eager to become community sponsors, he said. Contact Morley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-780-7453.
“Closing out 2018, this will be a great way to leave a lasting impression after all the great things that have happened this year,” he said.