30,000 fill downtown GR for ball drop

8:01 PM, Jan 1, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Freezing temperatures? That's just an after thought for a mother and daughter who drove across the state to see pop star Jesse McCartney perform at the HOT New Year's Eve party in downtown Grand Rapids.

Ashlen and her mom Cammy Olive drove from Ann Arbor to stand in line for six hours.

"We spent two nights in a hotel so we could get here early and she could meet Jesse," Cammy said.

Organizers estimate 30,000 people are filling the streets of downtown Grand Rapids tonight to ring in 2013. But not all are out in the cold. Across the street from Rosa Parks Circle there is live music at Mojo's Dueling Piano Bar.

"A few (performers) are local, but two made the trip to be with us on New Year's and that's a big deal for us," Luke Kolarik.

Kolarik started taking dinner reservations at Thanksgiving, and his packed bar of 450 guests will certainly get a feast to ring in the New Year.

"It's just a good time to let loose, and have a lot of fun, do some dancing and enjoy everybody. He doesn't have to cook," said Teri Plaat, who came with her boyfriend and another couple.

But the best part of the night is upstairs.

"If you actually walk up to the window at the end of the night, which a lot of people will do, you can actually see that ball perfectly right from here," he said.

"I mean it really is the best view in Grand Rapids from a bar. Bar none."

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, this is the perfect spot," said Plaat.

Back outside, two McCartney fans will tell you otherwise.

"I've never seen anything like the ball drop, this is like a mini-New York," said Steph Rachwal of Shelby Township, who came to the concert with her friend.

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