Aggieville hasn’t dropped the ball on the ball drop.
Representatives of the Aggieville Business Association say they had no intention of letting the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration end — or leave the district — after Varney’s Bookstore owners announced in June they would not be sponsoring the event.
Varney’s general manager Steve Levin told The Mercury at the time that the business could no longer afford the $20,000 or $25,000 needed to fund the ball drop, which draws more than 10,000 people to Aggieville and includes live music and other festivities.
Following that announcement, the district’s business association formed a committee and decided to make sure the tradition continued.
“Oh, it’s on,” said Aaron Apel, business association president. He said the committee already has raised quite a bit of money for the event, and its members are planning new attractions.
The Little Apple Ball Drop will include a heated VIP tent with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in Triangle Park, confetti cannons, merchandise and activities and “glowy stuff” for children.
Diane Meredith, a member of the business association and the owner of several Aggieville businesses, said Varsity Donuts is pairing with Straight Upp Creative Studio to plan some sort of gathering place for kids and families.
“We want to try to send that message that it is appropriate to bring your kids,” Meredith said.
The event will still include a half-hour of fireworks, music and, of course, the countdown to midnight with the “apple” atop Varney’s.
“Varney’s is still letting us use their building,” Meredith said.
And she said the Varney’s owners have been helpful in getting the committee up to speed they have handled the logistics in the past.
Business association member Leah Hyman said people have been supportive of the endeavor.
“People are still joining the committee,” she said. “A lot of people want to be involved.”