BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There’s a few ways for locals to ring in the new year Monday.
In Lockport, a New Year’s Eve celebration will start off at 9 p.m. in the Ulrich City Centre parking lot. Organizer Gary Chapman of Lockport Promotions is expecting a big crowd.
“We’re expecting 10,000,” he said.
The New Year’s ball drop started in Lockport about 12 or 13 years ago with Alderman John Lombardi running the show, Chapman said. The event was held in the city hall parking lot until Chapman took over and moved it to the Ulrich City Centre about five years ago.
“My motto is bigger is better,” Chapman said.
Monday’s activities include live performances by The Teasers and 100 Proof Justice, as well as a petting zoo run by Lakeview Animal Sanctuary for kids. That’s weather permitting of course, Chapman said.
“We were spoiled last year,” he said, referring to the 59-degree temperatures.
Fireworks will be shot off from the parking ramp on Main Street for the final time. The ramp will be taken down in 2013.
And like they always have, Clark Rigging will provide a ball for the midnight drop. Chapman said Clark gave the ball to the city, which inspired the idea for the New Year’s Eve event.
The Wilson House will host a New Year’s Eve event Monday night with dinner and live music. Also, a family friendly event starts at 7 p.m. in Wilson, including music and fun for all ages. The ‘Lil Apple Ball Drop, a lighted New Year’s ball drop, takes place for the youngsters at 9 p.m. and then again at midnight.
In North Tonawanda, 2013 will be welcomed in the Gateway Harbor for the fifth year. Family activities start at 6 p.m. with two alcohol free Kids Fun Zones and a scavenger hunt with prizes. The band High Horse will perform on Sweeney Street from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.
For those over 21 years of age, a Pub Crawl will take place, most stops will have live music and no cover charges.
A 10-foot Gibson guitar will “drop” from a new location in downtown Niagara Falls on New Year’s Eve Monday night as the Hard Rock Cafe continues its fourth annual tradition of ringing in the new year with a full scale indoor/outdoor celebration in and around Old Falls Street.
The guitar will descend from the Giacomo Hotel and two national artists will perform for a free concert on Old Falls Street. When the guitar drops, concert attendees will be able to see it from all vantage points on Old Falls Street.
The free outdoor concert will feature mulitiplatinum rock band Everclear and special guests, Eve 6. Also performing are The Albrights. The free outdoor show starts at 8 p.m. with the guitar drop and fireworks at midnight.
The live music will welcome the midnight hour when the 10-foot Gibson guitar, painted by local artist Rob Lynch and illuminated by Ken-Ton Electronics, will be lowered off the Giacomo Hotel.
Additional outdoor festivities will include food and beverage concessions, as well as a fireworks display at midnight. In addition, there will be a “Guitar Drop Gala” at the Quality Inn Hotel and there will be live music and table service available inside the Hard Rock Cafe.
Contact reporterJoe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.