Party on new street ushers in new year

Published Dec. 31, 1999|Updated Sept. 30, 2005

Forget the Big Apple.

The other Times Square _ the one in downtown Zephyrhills _ is the place to be for New Year's Eve in east Pasco.

Millennium 2000 on Main Street, a family-oriented New Year's Eve celebration, will run from 6 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. on the newly renovated Fifth Avenue.

The no-alcohol event, sponsored by Main Street Zephyrhills, will include rides and games for kids, concessions, dancing and a big-screen television to watch the ball drop in New York's Times Square.

Admission to the event is free.

Fifth Avenue will be closed beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. Organizers say the event will have the atmosphere of a small-town, family-friendly block party _ with a few added bonuses.

"It's New Year's Eve, a new millennium and a new Fifth Avenue," said Jerry Miller, events chairman of Main Street Zephyrhills. "It's a three-in-one deal."

After being closed for construction for four months, Fifth Avenue reopened last week to rave reviews. The street received a fresh layer of asphalt, the old concrete sidewalks were torn up and replaced with brick, and antique lights were installed in the median.

The New Year's Eve celebration begins at 6 p.m., with a variety of rides and games.

"We're trying to focus on families and give them a safe place to celebrate so they can stay off the highways," Miller said. "We want to keep local people close to home."

For those who want to dance the night away, a disc jockey will spin tunes from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. in the bandstand area in Times Square.

A large-screen television will be set up in Times Square and wired with cable so partygoers can watch national broadcasts of the historic night.

The Zephyrhills High School senior class will sell noisemakers and other party favors to revelers.

Concessions will include black beans and rice, Cuban sandwiches, hot dogs, cotton candy and soft drinks. Main Street Zephyrhills will sell T-shirts to commemorate the occasion.