PRinceton rings in the new Year with a street-wide Celebration
Every year, people gather from all over Southern West Virginia to see the ball drop, not in Times Square, but in the heart of Princeton—the Mercer Street Grassroots District. This will be the 10th annual Downtown Countdown held on Mercer Street and the first one in-person after two years of virtual events.
The Grassroots District is a blossoming neighborhood in downtown Princeton where craft, culture, and commerce come to thrive. Some of the businesses that will be open and celebrating this event include:
- Wild Roots Coffeehouse, a cozy, locally owned coffeehouse with a variety of warm beverages and delicious treats;
- Jimmies Restaurant, a local favorite serving delicious burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, and more;
- Sophisticated Hound Brewing Co., where you can sit back, relax, and get a brew with your New Year’s Eve buddies as you listen to live music from local musicians; and
- The RiffRaff Arts Collective, a great location to peruse local artists’ work downstairs and listen to the good grooves of local musicians at The Room Upstairs.
There’s more to see than just the many local businesses open during the Downtown Countdown. When walking down Mercer Street, you’ll see fire dancers spinning with dazzling flames at the ends of metal rods. Ice carvings that turn from giant cubes of ice to intricate and beautiful sculptures will be on display to melt away by the end of the week. Live music provided by multiple regional musicians such as Mama and the Ruckus takes place in a variety of unique venues right around the area where the ball will drop.
You can also explore other creative venues in the neighborhood, like The Pigment Sanctuary, where you’ll likely find Lacey Vilandry stationed. She is the owner of Silver Arrow Art and creates stunning, visually complex paintings live right in front of you.
If the attractions of music and art don’t convince you to check the Downtown Countdown out, then maybe the ball drop will. Around 10 minutes before midnight, all of the people in attendance gather at the center of Mercer Street, where the ball is hanging. As the time draws near, excitement fills the The air in anticipation of the New Year. Then finally, at the 1-minute mark, the crowd counts down, the ball touches the ground, confetti floats in the air, and the entire town celebrates the start of a new year. Be in the crowd this New Year’s Eve when celebrations kick off at 8:30 p.m