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North Adams Marks the New Year With First Annual Ball Drop
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:10AM / Monday, January 01, 2024
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North Adams celebrates New Year's with a ball drop in the Center Street parking lot.

Mayor Jennifer Macksey, left, and her sister, Libby Macksey, pose with the New Year's ball on Sunday night. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Several hundred people gathered in the Center Street parking lot to watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve. 
It was hours before midnight and took a double count to make its way down but cheers, whistles and tooting horns filled the air for an early welcome to 2024.
The event was the inspiration of "first sister" Libby Macksey. 
"My sister has a lot of crazy ideas," said Mayor Jennifer Macksey. "She said we need to have our own ball drop ... and ran right to Bud Sherman."
Forrest "Bud" Sherman and his crew at North Adams Sheet Metal took on the challenge, designing and building a lattice ball wrapped in rope lights and the 20-foot pole to drop it from. They donated all the labor and materials. 
"They made tonight possible," said the mayor, thanking their hard work from the flat bed set up with the pole. 
Libby Macksey said she had felt the city should have some kind of New Year's event and envisioned something bigger next year with maybe food trucks and activities. 
For Sunday night, there were horns and glasses and headgear being passed out for the family friendly event. People began to cheer as the ball made its way up the pole and then gave out a loud shout as the lights came on at the top. 
The mayor asked for a "slow roll" for the countdown at 8 p.m. to give the ball time to make its way down but the crowd was a little too eager. About halfway down someone shouted "nine" to restart the count and the ball successfully made its journey to the bottom. 
The crowd sang a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" before breaking up to head for parties or home. 
The mayor said at the start of the event that she doesn't like New Year's but seeing all the people who came "makes me love New Year's and love the job I do even more."
"I want to thank all of you for coming out," said the mayor. "This is hopefully going to become an annual tradition for us. We're going to have bigger and better every year. But this is a fantastic crowd."
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