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A flaming man-made meteor hurtles down on Wetumpka each New Year’s Eve. Photo by Peggy Blackburn
A flaming man-made meteor hurtles down on Wetumpka each New Year’s Eve. Photo by Peggy Blackburn

New Year’s Eve event to combine traditional elements in new setting

Published 5:00am Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wetumpka’s New Year’s Eve celebration will be a little different this year, but it will still include the signature meteor strike, countdown to midnight and fireworks show.

Activities will kick off as usual with a POW/MIA recognition program held adjacent to the flag display on the lawn of the old Elmore County Courthouse in downtown Wetumpka. The schedule will then deviate from past celebrations.

In a site change, the event will be held in the lower parking lot behind the city administrative building. Beginning at 10 p.m., attendees can enjoy music provided by Mark Cranage Entertainment.

“There will be two slide shows going on large screens during the evening,” said Gardner Perdue, now in his fifth year of overseeing the event. “One will show photos from community events during the past year.”

The other screen, Perdue explained, will feature photos from events in which the late Jack DeVenney was involved. DeVenney started the New Year’s Eve celebration in Wetumpka and this year’s event will be the 22nd consecutive for the city.

“I call this year’s event a Tribute to Jack,” said Perdue. “I have about 20 old photos of Jack and hope to get some more for that slide show.”

As midnight nears, the official countdown will begin. The popular asteroid strike (mimicking the cataclysm that created the Wetumpka impact crater 85 million years ago) will welcome midnight for the ninth straight year.

The night’s offerings will conclude with what promises to be the city’s largest-ever fireworks display, sponsored by Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino.

“People can bring their blankets, chairs and coolers,” said Perdue. “Everyone is welcome. This is a free family event.”

Last year Wetumpka’s New Year’s Eve celebration was included on TripAdvisor’s list of 10 unique New Year’s Eve events in the United States.

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