Wearing a black party hat and 2023 glasses, Jeanne Barton smiled as Top 40 cover band The Good Life performed on stage at Lindenhurst’s Village on Square on Saturday night.
As the crowd poured in for the New Year’s Eve Centennial Ball Drop, Barton had another reason to celebrate: it was her 75th birthday.
She came with her daughter, Jaime Layton, to the village’s first New Year’s Eve celebration.
“I said, ‘Ma, everyone is celebrating your birthday!’ ‘ said Layton, who lives in Lindenhurst with her mother.
Brian 31 and Samantha 34 from Lindenhurst enjoying themselves on New Year’s Eve. Family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration with Ball Drop at 9:00pm Lindenhurst Village Square Park and Gazebo. Saturday December 31, 2022 Source: Howard Simmons
Despite a steady rain that fell throughout the night, residents rang in the New Year in style with events in Lindenhurst, Farmingdale and Patchogue. The family-friendly events included a ball drop (or ball rise in Patchogue’s case) intended to emulate the traditional Times Square party. Farmingdale and Patchogue beat Manhattan’s celebrations by marking the start of the New Year at 9 p.m., and Lindenhurst even celebrated ahead of schedule at 9 p.m. by dropping its ball at 8:45 p.m., followed by fireworks.
The Lindenhurst event, hosted by the Lindenhurst Chamber of Commerce and Village of Lindenhurst, served as the kick-off to a year-long celebration of the village’s centenary. The hope is that the Lunar New Year festival will become an annual tradition.
Jeanne Barton 75 from Lindenhurst celebrates her birthday with daughter and grandchildren. Family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration with Ball Drop at 9:00pm Lindenhurst Village Square Park and Gazebo. Saturday December 31, 2022 Source: Howard Simmons
Nathalia Valentin from Lindenhurst brought her 9 month old daughter Mia to the celebrations. She said she just found out about the celebration via social media earlier that day. Because her husband, an FDNY firefighter in Queens, had to work, she sought local employment with her daughter.
“I wanted to celebrate with her and I think it’s great that the ball falls at 9 a.m.,” said Valentin. “At least we’re out, we’re partying, it’s local and it’s in town.”
Volunteers gave out festive hats and noisemakers, while members of Lindenhurst Moose Lodge provided free cups of hot chocolate.
John Reynolds, a Chamber of Commerce member, said he was thrilled with the turnout as people began to fill the area ahead of the scheduled 7 p.m. start time.
“As a former merchant in the village for 38 years, it’s great to be able to just give things away,” he said. He and his wife sold their business, Diane’s Dance Center, to retire in 2019, he said.
Just after 7:00 p.m., the sphere, built by Chivvis Enterprises of Copiague, arrived at the site on a Lindenhurst Fire Department flatbed truck, setting the stage for what was to come two hours later.
Family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration with Ball Drop at 9:00pm Lindenhurst Village Square Park and Gazebo. Saturday December 31, 2022 Source: Howard Simmons
“Midnight on Main Street,” from The Village of Patchogue, which premiered in 2014, returned for the first time in three years as the ball culminated at 9 p.m., followed by fireworks from Grucci Grand Illuminations.
This year’s event honored the memory of one of the event’s founders, Louis Giancontieri of Patchogue’s LFG Rigging. Giancontieri died in June at the age of 68. His family members were invited onto the stage to press the button to start the countdown.
Mastic’s Isaiah Ramirez and Marissa Cafaro celebrate the New Year on Main Street in Patchogue. Credit: Gary Licker
Joseph Garcia, the president of the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, said the 9 p.m. ball toss on the Village Green is an ideal window for people with younger children or those going out for a late dinner.
“It complements our inner city,” he says.
The Village of Farmingdale last held its Ball Drop in 2019.
“I think our downtown businesses like it, too,” Garcia said. “Anything that draws more people into our downtown area is always a plus for Farmingdale.”
Joe Werkmeister covers the cities of Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and previously worked as an editor for two community newspapers in North Fork.
Comments are closed.