York won't be having its annual New Year's Eve in Continental Square this year because of a lack of funds, according to Kevin Schreiber, director of economic development for the city.

It was announced in last year's budget meetings that without donated funds, which pay for all of the city's events, there could be a cut in events - including the New Year's Eve's celebration, previously known as First Night, Schreiber said.

City officials confirmed Friday the event was officially off because no donors stepped up.

The very first First Night on Dec. 31, 1986 featured some sponsors, a volunteer committee and the event centered around the old courthouse steps to watch a white rose drop from the Yorktowne Hotel. More recently, the event was moved to Continental Square.

"We got enough (money) for Light Up Night, and got the tree for the square, but there just wasn't enough left," he said. "Unless we get some Christmas savior, we're not having the New Year's Eve celebration."

Jim Gross, director of public works, said the event costs about $35,000 to put on and the city has taken a financial loss the past 10 years.

Light Up Night was saved at the last minute, he said, when Kinsley Construction stepped in to donate to the $2,500 it takes to put on the Christmas-themed event, Gross said.

"It's unfortunate, because you see all these other events in jeopardy," Gross said. "As I see it, there has to be a business or agency that comes in and takes over all events for the city.


Advertisement

"

Most of the money spent on the event went toward entertainment, the large stage, fireworks and more, Gross said. It also included the kid-friendly events put on by the York Revolution at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

Gross said it would be possible for the event to go on should someone step forward with a large enough donation, but it would be difficult at this point to get the entertainment scheduled in time.

"We still tried to raise money even though we took it out of the budget this year," Gross said. "The money just isn't there."

Light Up Night

York's annual holiday celebration - Light Up Night - is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 in Continental Square. The event includes live entertainment, children's activities, horse and buggy rides, the arrival of Santa Claus and the lighting of the tree. Light Up Night is free to the public.

@ralefever; 771-2088 Also of interest

The New Year's giant white rose, closer than you'll ever see it.