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What does it take to turn Market Commons into the ‘Southern Times Square’ for New Years?

A crane supports a disco ball Monday afternoon in preparation for the Market Common’s New Year’s Eve celebration.
A crane supports a disco ball Monday afternoon in preparation for the Market Common’s New Year’s Eve celebration. jbell@thesunnews.com

For most, New Year’s Eve is another day to relax, remember the year with loved ones and make sure you’ll be able to stay up until midnight to see the ball drop.

But for the crews that got The Market Common’s Valor Memorial Garden ready for the night’s celebration, it was go time.

A New Year’s celebration is the biggest event of the year for The Market Common, according to Marketing Coordinator Caitlen Buffkin. Before most guests are even thinking of their New Year’s plans, the staff at the venue is already thinking about what to do.

Dubbed the “Southern Times Square,” the event featured a ball dropping, fireworks, live music, a beer garden, arts and crafts and plenty of family fun. The night concludes with the ball dropping at midnight and then the fireworks going up.

Buffkin said planning what the night is going to be like takes month of preparations, but the set-up is basically done day of.

“It’s months and months of preparation, but it really comes down to today,” Buffkin said.

She said set-up crews were going from 6 a.m. to start getting The Market Common ready for the coming celebration. At 4 p.m. on Monday, eight hours before the ball would drop, crews were hard at work, blocking off streets, getting the crane into position and making sure the event would be safe for the thousands who would pour in.

The event was set to begin at 9 p.m., giving the crews a little over 12 hours to get ready. Buffkin said the work can take right up until the start time to get the vendors going and the bands set up.

Once the night is done and the fun is had, it all has to come down, but that’s a problem for 2019 to worry about.

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