Full Circle! Georgetown rings in the New Year

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Dirt Road Outlawz band member George Jenkins sings a song accompanied by his children Shelby and Parker Jenkins and his niece Delana Messick.

GEORGETOWN – It was full circle with revelers New Year’s Eve on The Circle in Georgetown as 2016 arrived in Sussex County’s seat.

More than 1,000 people packed the circular heart of Georgetown to bid farewell to 2015 and welcome 2016 during the town’s second annual “Raise the Ball” event.

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Millsboro resident Ellen Edwards dances with daughter Allison, 7, to the Watermelon Crawl during the Raise the Ball event. In background is her other daughter, Angel, 10.

Just before midnight, Georgetown Mayor Bill West, on stage between songs from the Dirt Road Outlawz band, led the 10-second countdown to the new year as a crane raised the huge digital LED ball, flashing Happy New Year … 2016.

Millsboro resident Ellen Edwards, who boogied with daughters Allison and Angel to the Watermelon Crawl in 2015’s final hour, said her family will definitely return next year.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “We’ll be back next year.”

Seaford residents Travis and Ashley Heinicke were among those who captured Kodak moments in a photo booth, among the event’s attractions that included brew from the taps of 16 Mile Brewery and food vendor offerings from Hotdogs & More, JD Shuckers Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill, Delmarva Popcorn, Maxie’s Grill and Jakarta’s Indonesian Food.

“It’s the second one we’ve been to,” said Ms. Heinicke.

“It’s community; we want to make sure that we’re there for something that they are trying to build up,” said Mr. Heinicke. “It is amazing. They are doing a great job here. And there is at least twice the amount of people here than there were last year.”

Mayor West, who has helped to facilitate several community-oriented events in his first mayoral term,  couldn’t be happier.

“This year it’s 40-some degrees, and there are probably close to 1,200 people. A fantastic event; a fantastic turnout and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Mayor West. “That’s the idea: Let’s bring this county together.”

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Sussex County Sheriff Robert T. Lee and his wife Lori at Georgetown’s Raise the Ball New Year’s celebration.

Sponsors of Raise the Ball were 1st State Chevrolet, Boulevard Ford Lincoln and Floyd A Megee Motor Company.

Mayor West saluted the work of the Town of Georgetown and its staff, including public works, for the time and effort required in making the event a smashing success.

Georgetown’s mayor also dropped a teaser bomb – make that pyrotechnics – as something that might possibly be forthcoming in 2016.

“And, I’m not done yet. I’ve got some things planned,” said Mayor West. “I’m looking maybe for a Fourth of July event.”

Plans are solicit business support to the tune of approximately $22,000 to fund an Independence Day spectacular in Georgetown.

“Let’s look at doing the Fourth of July,” Mayor West told the audience prior the New Year’s countdown. “Stick with me people, we’re moving!”

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Bonfire pits with a glaring connection to 16 Mile Brewery provided warmth at Georgetown’s Raise the Ball bonanza.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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