RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–It wouldn’t be an official New Year’s Eve Ball Rise if it wasn’t announced at the last minute, as was the case today when Hardywood Park Brewery made a low key announcement on their Facebook page.
This would’ve been the eighth annual Carytown New Year’s Eve ball rise, an event that started organically and became one of the largest gatherings in Richmond every year.
Todd Schall-Vess, the manager of the historic Byrd Theater and the man who created and raised Richmond’s ball, said the cancellation made him sick. He confirmed with CBS 6 that the ball rise has been relocated to Hardywood.
“I can’t believe that we formed this homegrown thing,” he said when we spoke with him recently, “this thing that is about Richmond and we put it together here. It isn’t like some mega corporation came in and said, ‘Hey, we want to package a New Year’s Eve ball event.’ It was all about what was going on here in the community and now – pfft! – we’re not going to do it.”
In a nutshell, the problem is 20,000 or so souls flooding Carytown for what started as kind of a renegade event put on by Schall-Vess, Tsiptsis, RVA Magazine and others.
Hardywood, who said they made the decision at the last minute, will have its tasting room open until midnight and there will be food trucks on site. There will be cabs there to help people get home safely.
CBS 6 was told there are police at Hardywood checking to see if there are appropriate permits in place. Mark Holmberg has headed there to check out the situation and will have a full report tonight.