January 20, 2022

New year ball drop in Cortland looks unlikely

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

A crowd gathers just before midnight to watch the ball drop at First Light in downtown Cortland in this Cortland Standard file photo from January 2, 2020

As the clock runs out on 2021, Cortland will ring in the New Year with a series of events, but a traditional event to watch a ball-dropping on Main Street isn’t one of them.

At least not yet.

“There’s no plans, no requests from anyone for closing the streets,” Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said Tuesday, a statement that Public Works Deputy Superintendent Alan Ricotelli echoed.

Tim Bennett, owner of FunFlicks, who has organized First Light celebrations since the 2020 event, said Wednesday he would plan events, but he did not offer details.

John Scanlon, owner of the clocktower at Main and Tompkins streets, which traditionally dropped a lighted ball at midnight, said Wednesday that plans remained uncertain.

Many Main Street businesses said they would keep their normal business hours on Dec. 31, instead of having special celebrations to mark the start of the new year.

“We are not doing anything special this year. Just keep normal hours until 9,” said Jamie Drake, Bru 64’s assistant manager.

However, other events are planned:

  • The Center for the Arts of Homer will have a concert — Driftwood with special guests James VanDeuson and The Rollin’ — starting at 9 p.m, center Development Officer Joseph Cortese said. The evening will include a four-course locally sourced dinner starting at 6 p.m.
  • Greek Peak Mountain Resort will have a torch light parade, live music and more starting at 6 p.m.
    Tobin did suggest that people take steps to celebrate responsibly and mask up in public spaces, according to the state’s mask mandate re-instituted earlier this week.