Midnight on Main is back!

Chamber plans to host ball-raise and fireworks

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You guessed it. COVID cancelled it.

Midnight on Main didn’t happen last year in the physical sense, but this year, Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce officials are promising its Main Street return this New Year’s Eve, Friday, Dec. 31.

Last year, the chamber hosted a virtual Midnight on Main Street New Year’s Eve Celebration. The year prior, in 2019, the ball rose for the first time at the intersection of West Main Street and Clare Rose Boulevard/West Avenue.

This year, the chamber plans to do the same with Grucci Fireworks in the Blue Point Brewery parking lot. Midnight in Patchogue Village is still at 9 p.m., representing the ahead-of-its-time village. The party starts at 7 p.m.

“We’re delighted that it is coming back, like many things are coming back,” said Phil Grucci, CEO/creative director of Fireworks by Grucci Inc. “Our pyrotechnics are all jazzed up. Our family is so proud to be a part of New Year’s down in Patchogue with a growing community. It’s picture-perfect for us.”

Grucci hinted at some of the fireworks displays he will be presenting that night.

“There will be powerful, white glitters and flitters to emulate snow, and hopefully there will be a little dusting on the ground as well,” he said, excited for the night.

In anticipation of the event, Blue Point Brewery will remain open; however, they have promised to close a portion of their lot for the event, with western access for patrons.

“We’re basically looking to repeat what we have done in the past,” chamber executive director David Kennedy said, explaining the additional concern with a Friday night event.

Midnight on Main committee vice chair Lori Belmonte, co-owner of the Colony Shop, said Midnight on Main is her favorite event.

“It’s Times Square without traveling to the city,” she said. “It’s a fun family event. We’ll be handing out hats and noisemakers with dancing in the streets. Guaranteed fun for everyone!”

Ball to rise, not drop

True to the event, the original ball—a 4-foot multifaceted Lucite geodesic sphere with LED lights made by NorthStar Signs & Neon Inc.—will rise to the anticipated crowd of about 3-5,000 in rain, shine, or snow on Dec. 31. 

“We’re going to go as long as the weather allows us to,” Kennedy said, noting it will commence if it’s safe to do so. “We will keep an eye on the weather and make the call a few days before.”

The ball will be situated directly in the middle of the intersection, just west of and much higher than the traffic lights. Extra preparations will also be made to further secure it, anticipating additional winds due to the lack of building coverage.

Safety measures

The event might seem like one big party, but getting the job done is a joint effort among private security company PSA, Village of Patchogue public safety officers, Patchogue Fire Department firefighters, Patchogue Ambulance Company members and Suffolk County police. Garbage trucks will block either side of Main Street for protection, and clear garbage bags will outfit the streets.

Though the pyrotechnics are low-key and not dangerous, Kennedy said there is also always a concern for wind. That, coupled with COVID concerns, he promised to take into account all protocols while also promoting mask wearing.

“At this point, it’s clear mask wearing should be encouraged,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Street closures

Streets will close from East Main to West Main streets at the intersection of West Main Street and West and Waverly avenues at the spur beginning at 5 p.m.; music will kick off at 7 p.m.; and the event will start seeing a crowd at around 8 p.m. Additionally, the following roads will be closed: 

West Main Street between Railroad and River avenues

West Avenue between South Street and West Main Street

The Waverly Avenue spur from Lake to West Main streets

Roads will reopen by 10 p.m. 

Event features

The countdown to the ball rise and the fireworks will commence at 9 p.m. Partygoers are encouraged to come early for a good spot and free hats and noisemakers, and to treat themselves to the local bars and restaurants. JVC Broadcasting will again provide a live DJ. 

Also, the chamber is planning their “30 Days of Dining” baskets that help sponsor, which will be raffled off at the event. Tickets are currently being sold on the chamber website.

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