Providence welcomes 2019 with 1st-ever ball drop


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Last Dec. 31, a ball was projected on the Superman building in downtown Providence as revelers celebrated the arrival of 2018.

At midnight Monday, the city held its first-ever real ball drop, despite the weather conditions.

This is the second consecutive year that Skyline won a $14,000 bid from the city to host the outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration. The event is free and open to the public, with no tickets necessary. Umbrellas will be allowed in and attendees can drink outside.

Along with the ball drop, the event featured musical performances from Aeromyth – an Aerosmith cover band –  and Raiche, a fire show by Cirque de Light, as well as a fireworks display and laser light show. 

Now the ball isn’t quite the size of the one that will fall in Times Square but it’s one of only two of its kind in the US, according to Skyline.

The 600-pound ball composed of LEDs is about three feet in diameter and will drop about 30 feet.

If you’re planning to celebrate the new year in Providence or anywhere else, public safety officials urge you to make a plan to get home safely, whether it be a designated driver, taxi, rideshare service, or staying in a hotel.

Members of the Providence firefighters’ union are also offering free rides home to people who live within city limits. To request a safe ride, call (401) 272-7999.

Rhode Island State Police say they will have extra patrols out to catch those who choose to drive impaired.

Those who are driving are also advised to be careful with the rain expected to continue through midnight. 

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