New Bern to host fourth annual block party to count down to the new year

New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT)- Ringing in the new year is something to look forward to in New Bern this year. 

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At the corner of Craven and Pollock Street will be the fourth annual New Year’s Eve Bear Drop and Block Party. Music, beer, food and kid-friendly fun are just a few of the plans in store.  The streets of downtown New Bern will close and the event will begin at 2:30 pm on New Year’s Eve. Vendors, food trucks and live performances will all lead up to the grand bear drop to ring in the new year at midnight. 

“We will have a DJ play beginning at 530. Later that evening, we’ll have the Michaels Fields Band playing. And they’ll play into midnight. Of course, we’ll have the bear drop at midnight,” said Kari Warren, interim director of New Bern Parks and Rec.

“Well, you know, over the past couple of years, we’ve really increased our special events, and people always love them, and they always want more. So we thought New Year’s Eve will be a great time to have a celebration and ring in the new year.”

Warren said the Bear Drop part of Friday’s festivities is meant to remind people of the ball drop in Times Square, although not quite as big an event. 

“OK, so the bear is hoisted up on a lift from the clock tower here at City Hall. Before midnight gets here, we’ll give the key for the bear to start dropping, it’ll take it around 35 to 38 seconds to reach the bottom,” Warren said. “Once it reaches the bottom, here on this platform, it’ll light up. And we’ll have the big 2022 sign as well, and we’ll have the countdown clock set up. So everybody can see.”

Warren explained that last year, the city was only able to do a small Bear Drop event due to COVID, and they did it in conjunction with New Bern’s sister city, Bern, Switzerland. 

In addition, there will also be a Bear Cub Drop at 9 p.m. for any kids that need to get to bed. Warren said people are encouraged to wear a mask if they wish and try to distance themselves, but the city is so excited to have the full-blown party back this year. 

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