Tamaqua's 15-year-old New Year's Eve tradition almost became a casualty of the bridge construction project currently under way just yards from party central the Tamaqua ABC High Rise at 222 E. Broad St.
But after organizers reviewed all options, they decided the party will go on as usual, with one blessing in disguise. They won't have to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's permission to close the 200 block of East Broad Street to traffic, as it's already closed due to the construction project.
Linda Yulanavage, executive director of the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce, noted, "We were concerned the bridge construction may have interfered with the light display and the crowds gathering in the street for the event. But, after looking at the area and discussing it with Frank Fabrizio (lighting display coordinator) and Kevin Steigerwalt (Tamaqua's borough manager), we all agreed it was possible to continue the tradition.
Fabrizio's display is unique in that instead of a ball drop, or something similar, he has crafted a series of eagles to "fly up" the side of the high rise building, which is the tallest building in Schuylkill County. They will then illuminate an oversize 2014 sign anchored at the top of the building. The sign will remain lit for the entire month of January.
A live feed from New York City will begin at approximately 11 p.m., displayed on a large screen that will be located outside the high rise building. Music will be provided by Fabrizio and DJ Brandon Fritz. Light refreshments will be available.
"This event has become a family tradition here in Tamaqua for over 15 years. It is attended by hundreds of people every year," Yulanavage said. "We are excited to continue the tradition and invite everyone to come downtown and enjoy the festivities."