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Chill shrinks New Year's Eve celebration in Pa.

January 01, 2001

Chill shrinks New Year's Eve celebration in Pa.



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - As millions of revelers in Times Square counted down the end of 2000 Sunday, about 500 Waynesboro residents congregated in their town square to welcome the new year.

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Organizer Ken Koll blames Mother Nature for the drastic reduction in attendance over last year's inaugural New Year's Eve event, which drew about 3,000 people.

"It's an event that hinges on the weather," Koll said. "It was a lot less (well-attended) this time because the weather kept a lot of people in."

Temperatures dropped to about 20 degrees Sunday night.

But despite a decline in numbers, Koll said the celebration was still worth the effort.

Hundreds packed the Waynesboro Theatre to watch and participate in the karaoke contest and enjoyed hayrides down Main Street.

Waynesboro Police did not report any problems with the celebration, according to Sgt. Edward Gebhart.

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Koll said there was an influx of people around 11:30 p.m. as a crowd formed to count down with Dick Clark and party-goers in New York City's Times Square, a scene projected on a large screen.

Koll said people lingered a little longer after midnight this year.

"Last year it seemed to be over real quick. This time people were hugging and hung out longer," Koll said Monday.

Volunteers helped clean up the square Monday morning, which proved to be a tough task.

"The cleanup was much harder because of the snow and wet ground. The confetti stuck and it was more difficult to clean up," he said.

Koll, who hadn't slept in nearly two days, said Monday afternoon he would need a large volunteer pool in order to pull off the event again.

"I don't think people realize how much work there is with fund-raising and contacting entertainers. There are a lot of phone calls and a lot of research," he said.

Koll said he has had the help of two or three loyal volunteers the last two years, but added, "We haven't had a large volunteer base and in order for it to continue, we desperately need that to change."

However, he is still hopeful New Year's Eve in the Waynesboro square will become a tradition and expressed his thanks to the local businesses that donated money to fund the entire event.

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