With New Year’s Eve
falling on a Saturday, it’s going to be even more of a party this year! And
when the clock strikes midnight, downtown Kokomo will be the place to ring in
the new year.
The Greater Kokomo
Downtown Association invites residents, guests and families to celebrate the
closing of another year on the Courthouse Square on New Year’s Eve. The annual
event will be 10:30 p.m. to midnight and will feature the annual ball drop and
establishments will be open to provide food, beverages and entertainment for
revelers, but the celebration officially begins at 10:30 p.m. with a music and
light stage show by X-Sight Music.
“We encourage people to
make a plan to gather early at one of our downtown establishments and then
celebrate the new year with their friends and watch the ball drop on the
square,” said Susan Alexander, manager of the Greater Kokomo Downtown
At 11 p.m., Kokomo High
School’s TechnoKats Robotics Team will light the 32,000-bulb ball, which can
display more than 4,000 colors and is powered completely by solar energy.
Kokomo-based clean energy company Green Alternatives Inc. will supply the solar
energy collection that will power the lighted ball. At 11:59 p.m., the ball
will begin its descent – and, after a countdown into the New Year, guests will
be treated to a fireworks display from the Howard County Courthouse roof.
Sponsored by the
Greater Kokomo Downtown Association, the festivities will be centered at the
corner of Sycamore and Main streets. Revelers are encouraged to wear a festive,
funny, glamorous or crazy party hat.
History of the lighted
ball drop in Kokomo:
• 1998: The downtown
association invited the TechnoKats to make a New York-style lighted ball to
lower at midnight from the roof of Kokomo’s tallest building — the six-story
Armstrong Landon building.
• 2004: A neon sign
indicating the new year was installed at the bottom of the descent track.
• 2005: A second-generation
lighted ball was designed and built. It contained more than 30,000 LEDs in 240
separate triangular panels, with each controllable to produce more than 4,000
different colors. It contains 60 individual microprocessors with a main
computer to execute the colors and animated patterns. It remains in use today.
• 2008: A countdown
clock was added so event guests could synchronize their countdown.
• 2012: The ball
started using solar power donated by Green Alternatives Inc.
• 2015: Lights rewired
to allow for more intricate designs and control of the patterns across the
entire ball surface.