Annual New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown returns in-person to Mercer Grassroots District after two years of virtual

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – The annual Downtown Countdown will be making an in-person return to the Mercer Street Grassroots District in Princeton.

It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition that the town has been coming together to celebrate for 10 years now.

“It’s like the culmination of so much growth and work that we’ve all done together downtown, but it’s also just like the beginning of a brand new chapter,” says organizer of the event, Lori McKinney.

The event had to be moved to virtual for two years during the Covid pandemic. But now, live music, circus performers, and ice sculptors, among other activities are expected to fill the area between 8th and 9th along Mercer Street yet again.

Of course, these festivities all conclude with the ball drop and fireworks at midnight.

It’s a long-awaited tradition that is finally again being able to be celebrated the right way– together.

“To us, it’s all about traditions, and creating meaningful milestones that we can all share together, and I know that not being able to do the events for a couple of years, not having those milestones or sort of checkpoints where people come together, you know, everybody was really missing that,” McKinney adds.

Various musicians and artists will be set up at 6 different entertainment venues around the district, plus outdoor entertainment and activities are all starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 31.

Jimmie’s Restaurant and Sophisticated Hound will be open until 1 a.m. that night.

Mercer Street will be closed to traffic.

General admission to the event is free. The cost is $20 for an all-access entertainment pass.

To purchase the tickets in advance and to see the full lineup, you can visit Downtown Countdown on the web.

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