Bethany ready to drop the ball on New Year’s Eve


Coastal Point • File Photo: Following a successful tree-lighting ceremony and a round of fun activities surrounding their Weekend Wonderland series, the town of Bethany Beach will keep the holiday momentum going with the first-ever New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop at the boardwalk end of Hollywood Street, next to the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites hotel.Coastal Point • File Photo: Following a successful tree-lighting ceremony and a round of fun activities surrounding their Weekend Wonderland series, the town of Bethany Beach will keep the holiday momentum going with the first-ever New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop at the boardwalk end of Hollywood Street, next to the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites hotel.While it’s been warm enough to toss around a beach ball on the beach this holiday season, there’s an event set for New Year’s Eve in Bethany Beach that could top that.

The first-ever New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop is set for midnight on Jan. 1. The 7-foot inflatable ball will be dropped from the top of a ladder truck on loan from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and will light up when it reaches the end of its drop.

The “Drop” will take place at the boardwalk end of Hollywood Street, between the north and south buildings of the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites hotel, which is sponsoring the event.

While tickets are required for the black-tie ball being held inside the hotel at 99 Sea Level, the hotel’s restaurant, the ball drop itself is open to the public. Starting at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, complimentary hot chocolate and coffee will be served. D.J. Magellan from radio station Ocean-98 will provide family-friendly entertainment, according to Sarah Witkowski, assistant marketing and events director for the company that owns the hotel.

The idea for the drop came from Jack Burbage of owner Blue Water Development Corp.

“He came up with the idea even before the hotel was done being constructed,” she said. Planning began in earnest about three months ago, and Witkowski credited town leaders for their support in bringing the event to Bethany Beach.

“The Town was really welcoming to the idea,” she said. “It’s a great environment for the public to come together and celebrate.”

Plans are for the ball to be dropped “rain or shine,” Witkowski said. For more information on the events at the hotel, go to www.bethanybeachnewyearseve.com or check out the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Facebook page for the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop event.