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Carytown New Year’s Eve Ball Raise canceled

Posted at 7:37 PM, Dec 18, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—The Byrd Theatre Foundation announced Wednesday that the beloved, but informal, tradition of the Carytown Ball Raise has been canceled this year, and put out a call for help finding a new place to host the event.

“After consultation with the Carytown Merchants Association and several to the community partners, it is clear that many in the Carytown and surrounding communities share serious concerns about the Ball Raise, “Melissa Savenko, President of the Byrd Theatre Foundation said in arelease posted on Facebook.

“We are respectful of and share some of those concerns. While it saddens us to eliminate any festive element during such a celebratory time of year, our highest priority is the safety of patrons of the Byrd Theater, Carytown, and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Local law enforcement has said that the event, which drew over 35,000 people last year, has outgrown Carytown, according to the press release. The Carytown Watermelon Festival, a daytime event, usually brings over 100,000 people.

A police presence is required to maintain the crowds. Problems from past years include vandalism, trespassing and littering.

“We are hopeful that we can work together with the CMA and the rest of the community to find an alternate event solution or location for the Ball Raise for New Year’s Eve 2014,” Savenko said.

With just under two weeks until we prepare to welcome in 2014, let the suggestions start.