5 Michigan ball drops to keep in mind for New Year’s Eve

Photo of Chris Carr
FILE—For those unable to make it to New York's Times Square, there are more options closer to home for New Year's Eve.

FILE—For those unable to make it to New York's Times Square, there are more options closer to home for New Year's Eve.

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If you haven’t yet decided on your New Year’s Eve plans, there are several options around the state to explore.

With yet another pandemic year beginning, many are looking for socially distanced ways to ring in the new year. One great option are ball drops (or variations on them). Traditionally taking place in the outdoors, the state of Michigan has several different opportunities that work in local traditions and claims to fame.

Traverse City CherryT Ball Drop

Of course, the cherry capital would find a fun way to incorporate its famous export. With gates opening at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 people attend the annual celebration in downtown Traverse City. The event has been drawing people for their cherry drop since its inception in 2008. With a DJ keeping the party alive until midnight, the only requirement to attend is a $3 donation at the gate. All proceeds will go to local charities. For more information on the celebration, visit CherryTBallDrop.org.

Ludington Ball Drop

Ludington boasts west Michigan’s largest New Year’s Eve Ball Drop as the perfect way to ring in the new year. The celebration begins at 9 p.m. on Ludington Avenue in downtown and is free to attend. The event will feature music, a beer tent and fireworks throughout the evening. Several businesses will be participating in the festivities as well as local tow companies offering rides for the evening. For more information on the evening’s offerings, visit DowntownLudington.org.

Metro Detroit Mitten Drop

If you are looking for a uniquely Michigan take on the New Year’s ball drop tradition, look no further than the Michigan Mitten Drop in Canterbury Village in Lake Orion. Just as its name suggests, the dropping of a ball in the shape of Michigan’s lower peninsula will signal the new year. The event also features a kid friendly celebration with a drop at 6:30 p.m. so the young ones can get to bed on time. For more information on the event, visit MichiganMittenDrop.com.

Manistee Ball Drop

For a smaller, but no less exciting, way to ring in the new year, head on down to Manistee’s very own Chopo’s Northside Bar for their own New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. The event will take place in a heated tent starting at 10 p.m. There will be no cover charge for the celebration and there will be plenty of champagne in stock as well as live entertainment. More information on the event can be found at Chopo’s Northside Bar’s Facebook page.

Midland Midnight on Main

If you find yourself in the Midland area on New Year's Eve, have no fear as there will be a party beginning at 7 p.m. at Dow Diamond. Food and alcoholic beverages will be available as well as live entertainment from Jedi Mind Trip and Club DJ from Sound Productions. The highlight of the night will of course be the ball drop at first base with a fireworks show immediately following. General admission tickets are $35 with VIP tickets for $150. The event is limited to those age 21 and older. Tickets for the party can be purchased at MidnightonMain.info