Falling snow and freezing temperatures kept the crowds huddled inside until minutes before the ball dropped during the 10th annual Little Apple New Year’s Eve celebration on Tuesday.
“I wish it was about 10 degrees warmer,” said Devin Randal, a member of Reckless Rebellion, the band that was featured Monday night.
The band members had more to worry about than just standing out in the cold. Brady Moddelmog said when he was performing a sound check, the microphone was so cold, he wondered whether it would ice over, and Brian Nelson said it is hard to keep their instruments in tune. Even with the space heaters blazing on stage, the band had to stop to tune instruments during its performance.
After their performance, Coach Bruce Weber took the stage. He got the crowd cheering and chanting “KSU” after making a New Year’s resolution to follow the lead of Coach Bill Snyder and win the Big 12 championship. His daughter, Megan, was given the honor of changing the Moro Street sign to Broadway.
As the snow stopped and the time for the apple to drop neared, crowds filled the streets, pressing toward barricades around the stage. The barricades relieve crowd pressure.
“The first few years, the crowds got bigger, and we really didn’t have any kind of [crowd control],” said RCPD Capt. Kurt Moldrup. “It was just crushing. People couldn’t get in and out of the bars and you actually had people just crushed up against the stage.”
Excitement built as Weber pressed the button and everyone counted down the last seconds to the New Year. Fireworks and flames shot into the sky above Varney’s and the crowd cheered when the countdown reached its conclusion.
It was over as quickly as it began. As the fireworks subsided and DJ Stix took the stage to play in the New Year, people had already began heading back inside, and to their cars to scrape the layer of snow that piled on in the hours prior to the apple drop.