Escanaba events to commemorate the start of 2014

ESCANABA – A fireworks display and “pasty drop” will commemorate the start of 2014 in Escanaba tonight.

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.

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.

And for those opting for a night on the town, the Liferides program returns to Delta County for its 30th year this New Year’s Eve.

The program, which aims to reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents, is sponsored by OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group and the Island Resort & Casino, and will provide free rides to those celebrating the new year from 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 through 5 a.m. on Jan. 1.

JN Taxi and Escanaba Taxi will be offering rides throughout Delta County during this time with assistance from City Cab of Gladstone, which will also offer rides within Gladstone. Those in need of a ride in Escanaba should call 786-4448 or 786-1122. Rides in Gladstone can be requested by calling 420-2939.

Bus service for passengers traveling shorter distances will be available from Charter Celebration. The buses will be traveling along the main streets of Escanaba and Gladstone. No phone calls are needed for bus service.

Donations to the Liferides program are tax-deductible and can be sent to the OSF Foundation at 3401 Ludington St., Escanaba, 49829. All checks should be made payable to the OSF Foundation and designated for “Liferides.”