CRA mulls potential Main Street ‘First Night’ celebration

first night main street

Main Street could become a regional gathering spot for welcoming a new year if a Community Redevelopment Agency proposal for a “First Night” celebration comes to fruition.

FILE PHOTO | News Bulletin
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Forget New York City’s Times Square ball-drop. If Community Redevelopment Agency board member Robyn Helt’s proposal becomes a reality, historic Main Street could become the next hot spot for welcoming a new year.

The board voted unanimously Monday to form a committee to consider having a First Night in Crestview celebration.

However, it is too late to organize a committee and plan a major event for this New Year’s Eve, Helt said. Board President Ben Iannucci supported her proposal.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” he said. “The way Main Street is set up, it’s a perfect location. The businesses could really prosper if we draw more people into town.”

Board member Charles Baugh Jr. said that if the celebration kicks off in 2014, “it could also form as a sort of dry run for the 100th birthday celebration of the city.”

Helt envisioned an activity-filled “First Night” New Year’s Eve downtown street festival similar to events such as the Music and Arts on Main Street, First Friday and other downtown festivals.

“A lot of our citizens make plans to leave town for New Year’s (Eve),” Helt said. “They go to Fort Walton (Beach), they go to Mobile, Ala. We have Main Street, which is a perfect place to hold something like this.

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