Locals get set to bring in new year

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 1, 2008

NATCHEZ — As the first needles begin to fall from the Christmas tree and the last of the eggnog spoils, it’s time celebrate the last of the holidays ­— New Year’s Day.

In Times Square, people gather by the thousands to watch the crystal ball drop. In Paris, they light up the Eiffel Tower. But in Natchez, things are a little more low key.

“I’ll try to stay up to see in the New Year,” Anne Allmand said on a stroll down Main Street Monday evening. “And I’ll probably have a drink or two.”

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While Allmand said she does not have any special plans or traditions for New Year’s, she said as she looks back on the New Year’s Eve celebrations of past she has had some good times.

“The first New Year’s with my husband, before we were married, was great; it was like magic,” she said. “That was in 1951 at Stanton Hall. It was a good year.”

And while the dawn of a new year is a time for looking back, it is also a time to look to the future with hope and optimism.

Bruce Brice Jr., a downtown business owner, said he hopes to start the New Year by expanding his business and hiring a few new employees.

“It’s good for the economy and good for Natchez,” he said.

Brice also said he plans to spend the night with his wife and son.

“We’ll open some champagne when the ball drops,” he said.

While walking their two dogs, Suzanne and Craig Barrows said they will likely be in bed when the clock strikes midnight.

Craig said their up-all- night partying days have passed.

Craig also had a unique take on two New Year’s traditions — predictions for the future and resolutions.

“I wouldn’t make a resolution, things are great,” he said. “I won’t change a thing.”

As for predictions, Craig had just one.

“The Cubs will win the World Series.”

But not everyone in Natchez is planning on a quiet evening at home.

Bill Atkins plans to ring in the New Year at the Under-the-Hill-Saloon.

“It’s going to be a good time,” he said.

And as for resolutions, Atkins isn’t so keen on them.

“I’d like to say I’ll quit smoking but I probably won’t,” he said while taking a drag on his cigarette.