New Year's Eve Party
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
City officials threw a free party for everyone on the Downtown Plaza. Cool temperatures couldn't keep people from dancing the night away.
It's the first year back for the party after being cancelled last year due to a tight budget. It was free to the public, but cost the city about $8,000. But Gainesville Event Coordinator David Ballard says that's a fraction of the $20,000 price tag of previous years. He says largely that's because there is no ice skating rink this year, meaning the party can be in the plaza and not on the street. That cuts down on stage rental costs and overtime costs for police officers.
"You could say we could close the pool or all of our art," says Ballard. "You have to make choices and I think the choices are what serves the public and the citizens the best."
And the citizens who came down to the plaza agreed it was money well spent.
"It's worth it because anyone can come," says reveler Melanie Barr. "It's free and it's something you can do so you don't have to get all drunk and everything."
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