Check your calendars! We're just days from New Year's Eve and that means we're close to the 31st annual First Night Burlington.
It's crunch time at the First Night office on Church Street. The New Year's Eve celebration usually attracts between 10,000 - 12,000 people and that doesn't include the nearly 400 volunteers it takes to put on the event.
Organizers say button sales so far are on par with previous years. Those are needed to check out some
of the performances. We're told 20% of button sales usually take place on New Year’s Eve day.
This year, organizers are worried about the weather. Temperatures are expected to dip below zero as it
gets close to midnight..
First Night Burlington Executive Director Tom Ayres said, “Dress warmly, obviously layers, layers, layers. And warm up inside all the wonderful venues. In the past we've had cold, cold First Nights and it hasn't daunted people. This is Vermont."
And all those thousands of people have to eat and celebrate somewhere. New Year’s Eve is a huge night for businesses downtown.
Manhattan Pizza & Pub is just one of many Church Street bar restaurants that are jam packed on the 31st. They order extra pizza toppings, liquor and kegs of beer. Extra staff and security are also planned.
Manhattan Pizza & Pub’s Hannah Lebel told us, “It's a big night so you want to make sure it runs smoothly. It brings in a lot for us as far as people, revenue, everything like that. We get to show off everything that we have. Hopefully people will come back because they experienced it."
Staff members say the bar is allowed to stay open until 3am.