Fireworks at NYE 2011 Cherry Blossom Ball Drop, Courtesy Cherry Blossom Festival.
For the last 2 months, Sean Pritchard with the Cherry Blossom festival has been working on a plan to turn Cherry Street into Central Georgia's version of a Times Square New Year's Eve.
"We just want to encourage people to come out and celebrate what is the unofficial kick off for the 2013 festival and get people thinking pink," said Pritchard.
He said this year, the fireworks show at midnight will be bigger, and there'll be a shorter version at 9 p.m. to cap off a family-friendly version of the celebration.
"We'll have kid's activities from 7 to 9," he said. "We'll have free inflatables, face painting, and other activities."
"If the children want to stay and the parents can tolerate that, then go ahead and stay until midnight," said Cherry Blossom CEO Jake Ferro, "but it gives the parents an opportunity for the children to enjoy it and then if they have to, take the children home, and come on back down."
The Cherry Blossom ball drop is the first event with Ferro at the helm. He said the ball drop will set the tone for the annual festival in March.
"It's friendship. It's community. It's having people have fun," he said. "And also improving the quality of life in our community. That's our charge."
Spirits and non-alcoholic drinks will be sold at Cherry Street Plaza. There'll be a live feed of Times Square projected on the Tubman building, and Laura Starling will be the the DJ. The event is free of charge.
"If you've been to any of the Cherry Blossom events before, you know we like to have a good time," said Pritchard. "We want to celebrate, and we hope people come out with us."