State News

Fayetteville drops New Year's party

Posted September 13, 2012

— While Raleigh drops its acorn and people in Mount Olive celebrate the pickle drop on New Year's Eve, Fayetteville residents will have no local celebration to ring in 2013.

The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival has produced the New Year's Eve Party at Festival Park for the past three years, but officials say they're scrapping it for financial reasons.

"We had a three-year plan, and last year was the third year, and when you can't make any money, you can't keep doing it," said Greg Hathaway, a former Dogwood Festival chairman and the artist who created a 12-foot dogwood blossom that was the centerpiece of the New Year's Eve event.

Organizers said they want to focus on the the city's award-winning springtime Dogwood Festival party.

"We've got enough great ideas to have a party every weekend. We just don't have the money," Hathaway said.

Dogwood Festival executive director Carrie King said the party costs between $20,000 and $25,000, and last year's event almost broke even. She says the three parties have lost a total of $20,000.

Organizers were criticized last year for trying to charge admission to the New Year's Eve party, which attracted 8,000 people.

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Hathaway said attendance grew every year but "the profitability kept going down" because of high costs. It also was difficult to attract people to organize and run the bash.

"Because you're staging it on New Year's Eve, everything's inflated anyway," he said. "It's hard to get (volunteers) on New Year's Eve. They want to be part of the party, not a part of the working thing."

Mayor Tony Chavonne said Fayetteville is looking at recruiting another group to operate a local New Year's Eve celebration.

"We are looking at other organizations that might be willing to pick the baton up after three years and continue to offer that to our citizens," Chavonne said.

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  • mfarmer1 Sep 13, 2012

    I knew it was a wast of money, just like all the other things they tried to do in fay. at one time they talked about putting up a tower for people to see, that was scraped after thy payed a large consulting fee. they really know how to waist the money In fay, NC (I am local, just out side of there reach).

  • Commenter Sep 13, 2012

    If I'm reading it right, I'm pretty sure the "Fayetteville Dogwood Festival" is a not-for-profit group that puts on events to promote Fayetteville. That means the New Years Party is NOT put on by the City. Unlike the gov't, a not for profit group actually has to provide something that people are willing to pay for and cannot make up the difference by printing money or raising taxs. Good on them for showing fiscal responsibility. I wish the gov't would do the same.

  • mautry Sep 13, 2012

    YOU GO FAYETTEVILLE; EVER SMELL EASTERN BLVD. ON A WARM SUMMER EVENING? IT STINKS!

  • mautry Sep 13, 2012

    YOU MEAN THEY DIDN'T HIRE A CONSULTING FIRM FOR SIX FIGURES TO HELP MAKE THIS DECISION

  • mautry Sep 13, 2012

    THEIR WAY OF CELEBRATING THE TROOPS COMING HOME

  • gtstallings45 Sep 13, 2012

    Fayetteville: The little engine that can't...

  • Hans Sep 13, 2012

    New Year's Eve in Fayetteville - where else would you rather be?

  • Just Plain Common Sense Sep 13, 2012

    Too dangerous to celebrate in Fayetteville. Bad public transportation so if one drinks...they will get arrested for sure....but the real reason is safety, and Fayetteville is not safe....not according to me. When I can, I will leave Fayetteville.

  • jwms32 Sep 13, 2012

    Yes!! Ditto what zl1cor69 said. Ramsey Street is a cluster!!!!

  • ellengraham5660 Sep 13, 2012

    I can't imagine anywhere I'd rather be LESS than Fayetteville on New Year's Eve. ICK..............

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