Downtown Countdown Organizers Say Event Was Success

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By Catalina Trivino

Last night, Alabama News Network brought you live coverage of Montgomery's Downtown Countdown which brought thousands of people to one of the city's biggest events -- the crowds were large, so was it a success?

It was the second year the city held its New Year's Eve celebration downtown. In 2012, organizers say they had about 5,000 or 6,000 people show up then. But this year, blew that number out of the water.

The party is over -- and it's now time to clean up.

Montgomery clean up crews got to work with brooms and blowers to clear the confetti and paper streamers after the massive New Year's celebration held in downtown.

What you see in downtown now is a different sight and sound compared to New Year's Eve, where thousands of revelers packed the streets for the annual celebration

"It was the entire city blocked, just full of people and right at first, right around 9 p.m. it didn't look like a lot of people out there, but there were a lot of people downtown already in the bars and restaurants taking part in New Year's Eve," Said Tony O'Donnell who attended the event.

Event organizers say at least 8,000 people came to downtown -- that's at least 2,000 more than last year. It's an impact, T.J. Hardaway says affected business at Wintzell's Oyster House, located in the heart of the Downtown Countdown.

"[It was the] single-day highest sales we did since we've been here 4 years. We did a little over $23,000 for the day. It was a good day, packed all day, waits where people were patient and they enjoyed their food," Said Hardway, Wintzell's kitchen manager.

That's $23,000 dollars compared to what Hardaway says Wintzell's usually makes on a Friday or Saturday night (usually about $15,000.) Event organizer, Tom Pierce, says the event was overall a success.

"The downtown hotels were sold out, the restaurants were to capacity, all the bars were packed so the concert was sold out, the Jamie Johnston concert was sold out, the boat was sold out, so it definitely gives the economic boost to the city with that many people downtown," Said Pierce.

 We did check in with Montgomery Police, who had double the officers on duty, to see if there were any public safety incidents last night and they say there weren't any.

Event organizers also say they noticed more people coming to the event earlier. They believe they hit the 5,000 mark as early as 10 p.m. They say they will no doubt do this celebration again this new year's eve.

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