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By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
January 1, 2009, as expected, the first New York style McAllen New Year’s Eve Ball Drop 2009 was a success. Even with a light rain, people continued to flow into South 17th street. This new city event brought visitors from all over the Valley hungry for a good time. The famous ball descended as scheduled before the stroke of midnight, and ended with a spectacular light display and confetti showering down on the crowds.
McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez was happy, however he told night Texas Border Business about two hours before mid, “I hope it does not rain more.” And as it turned out, the rain ended early enough to give the celebration a chance to end up on a good note.
Most of the city officials were present and having a good time. City Manager Mike Perez had estimated about 20,000 people would show, but at time of press there was no official number of attendees.
Seventeenth Street, which has been designated by City leaders to be the entertainment district, got a good shot in the arm as thousands of visitors showed up looking forward to the end of 2008 and the beginning of a happy 2009. John Ingram, McAllen City Commissioner District 5 was also present during the event and he talked to Texas Border Business about a McAllen Mardi Gras as a possible second new celebration for the City.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is one of the most famous Carnival celebrations in the world. This could be another great event to attract people from all over the region, if City leaders decide to adopt it. It was originally reported that about 10,000 people attended this event. There are now reports that there were more than 17,000 people in attendance.
McAllen’s Heart of the City Board headed by Alida Hernandez, participated diligently in this event. McAllen City staff also worked well into the night to make this event a success. McAllen Chief of Police, Victor Rodriguez, and the McAllen Police Officers were present to create a safe environment for the citizens who brought their families to enjoy the festivities in the entertainment district and beyond.
Some people that Texas Border approached had excellent comments about the first McAllen New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Celebration and you can see a parade of photos by clicking on any of the pictures. TBBMore Photos