Montgomery "Night of Lights" Competes Against Mobile Moon-Pie Drop
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the first ever New Years Eve "Night of Lights" may give the capitol city some leverage against Mobile's famous Moon Pie Drop.
It may not be not be the Big Apple, but local businesses and residents feel like Montgomery is putting itself on the map as a force to be reckoned with.
“It was phenomenal to see downtown lit up and so bright and all the festivities going on,” said Ryan Dougherty, manager at AlleyBar. “From a business perspective it was even better, the amount of people that came down made it to be one of the best New Year's we've had here.”
Mayor Strange says there were five to six thousand people crowding Commerce Street and the surrounding areas near the Renaissance Hotel.
“That's what counts in the street, now obviously we know there are a lot of people in Montgomery, but it was in the six thousand range, especially right there at the stroke of midnight,” Strange said.
Instead of the traditional ball drop, Montgomery created a star to rise up, with fireworks and a laser light show, plus music and dancing.
By doing so, Montgomery may be giving the Moon-Pie Drop in Mobile a run for it's money, because the capitol city plans on improving the show next New Year's eve.
“The fireworks were kind of over to the side, we should have had it more centered so that everybody could be able to see that,” Mayor Strange said, explaining the lessons learned to apply to next year’s festivities. “We need to work more on that laser light show, got to make that more dramatic.”
Dougherty says he hopes the city considers incorporating Riverfront Park next year.
“It's such a beautiful space and I think to do something down there as well as on Commerce Street,” he said.
“I think Montgomery is competing very well with Mobile,” said Chuck Patterson as he walked nearby the Renaissance Hotel. “I think with everything is going on in the new administration and what the Mayor is doing for the town, I think ya'll are doing a good job in Montgomery, I think it's a matter of time before it takes off.”
Mayor Strange says the clean-up after the party was just as important, calling the sanitation crews the “unsung heroes of the night”, as they worked to restore the celebrated streets to normal in no-time.
City officials also said the downtown hotels were fully booked for New Year's Eve.