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Downtown Grand Rapids celebrates with New Year's Eve ball drop

A ball drop celebration returns to downtown Grand Rapids for the first time in four years.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More than 10,000 people are expected to gather on New Year's Eve for the Grand Rapids Ball Drop in downtown Grand Rapids. 

"It has been a few years since we've had a ball drop in downtown Grand Rapids," says event coordinator Kristen Aidif. "We are thrilled for town square media and a lot of other generous sponsors for bringing us back, and we're even more thrilled that so many of the general public is planning to join us."

This is the first time since 2015 that Grand Rapids has hosted a ball drop celebration. 

The festivities begin at 4 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The ball is scheduled to drop at midnight and a fireworks display will follow.

"Expect a lot of people, a lot of fun, a lot of music and a lot of food," says Aidif.

Hard rock band "Pop Evil" out of North Muskegon will play live at the event. Frontman Leigh Kakaty is looking forward to this first-time experience in downtown Grand Rapids.

"We try to look for something different to do when we come back here to play, and the ball drop came up and so here we are," Kakaty said. "It's our first time ever doing a ball drop and for me personally, so I can't be more excited to see what happens tomorrow night."

General Admission tickets are free and VIP tickets cost $65.

"If you want to pay a little money and be VIP, you can get a heated restroom which is always exciting. Food is included as well as beverages and you're right up front by the stage," Aidif said.

And while the fireworks will be flying up above, the police will be patrolling down below. Dozens of GRPD officers are expected to cover the downtown streets. 

"A lot of tickets have been sold, a lot of alcohol will be available. Folks that come down, just be aware that security will be extremely tight," says GRPD Sgt. John Wittkowski. "No bags, certainly no firearms or fireworks. Service animals only and everyone will be wanded that goes through the gates."

Ahead of Tuesday night's event, Monore Avenue between Michigan and Lyon will close beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. Partygoers should plan to enter the event on either Monroe and Lyon or Monroe and Michigan.

For tickets, an entertainment schedule and all other information, click here.

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