Ring in the New Year in Esky

ESCANABA – Those attending New Year’s Eve events in Escanaba are in for a couple of unique experiences this holiday. The city will be the site of a fireworks display later followed by a “pasty drop” commemorating the start of 2014.

A “Fireworks Extravaganza” is scheduled to light up the winter night sky beginning at 9 p.m. from the municipal dock at the east end of Ludington Street.

The New Year’s Eve event is courtesy of the Esky150 Committee, which paid $5,000 for the light show. The committee organized the celebration of the city’s 150th anniversary with a variety of events during a 10-day period in July.

A total of 191 fireworks will be set off at the municipal dock beginning at 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, giving all ages a chance to view the display on New Year’s Eve, said City Manager Jim O’Toole. City council recently approved hiring Wolverine Fireworks Display Inc. to furnish and supply all labor, equipment, materials and insurance for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Wolverine Fireworks is the same company that presented Escanaba’s Fourth of July fireworks and the Esky150 fireworks this summer.

In conjunction with New Year’s Eve, a “pasty drop” will take place at the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) at 1025 Ludington St. Organizers plan to have the pasty lit up by 8 p.m.

At the stroke of midnight, the pasty will be lowered from a C.R. Meyer crane to celebrate the beginning of the new year.

The approximate 12-foot-by-eight-foot-by-four-foot pasty is constructed out of metal tubing, chicken wire and Christmas lights.

The public is invited to attend the pasty drop where hot cocoa, hot cider and cookies will be for sale beforehand inside the DDA building. There will also be a sound system with music.

Dobbers Pasties of Escanaba has also donated free pasty coupons, which will be distributed at the pasty drop.

Holiday reminders include community ice rinks will be open in Escanaba, weather permitting, at Royce Park on the 700 block of South 19th Street and at the Webster School on the 1300 block of North 19th Street.

The Indoor Farmers Market at the Escanaba Civic Center will be open as usual from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The Escanaba Civic Center will close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31, for the New Year holiday and reopen on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Escanaba City Hall and the library will close at noon on Jan. 31 and reopen on Jan. 2.

Escanaba residents can drop their Christmas trees off at “Christmas tree recycling” areas located behind Lemmer Elementary School on 8th Avenue South and behind the bandshell in Ludington Park.

Trees must be free of decorations, wire and lights. Trees will be recycled at the Delta County Compost Site. Wreaths and garland will not be accepted.

Gladstone residents can dispose of their Christmas trees at the city’s compost site on top of the bluff.

Gladstone Ski Hill will be open for skiing and tubing during the holiday at 900 N. Bluff Drive. In addition to a concession stand in the chalet, the ski hill offers three rope tows, a wire rope tow and T-bar, and three tube runs with a lift.

The ski hill is open from noon to 6 p.m. today and Sunday (Dec. 28-29). Ski hill hours on Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 30-31) are from 1-8 p.m. The ski hill is open from noon to 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day. On Jan. 2-3, hours are 1-8 p.m.

The Gladstone ice rink, located south of the Jones Elementary School, is also open for the season.