Adriana Acosta

Complete with a ball-dropping experience, people in the Rio Grande Valley will not have to drive long distances to bring in the New Year with a bang. Wednesday night the downtown entertainment district will close its streets for a night of New Year’s celebration with live music in the streets.

The McAllen’s Heart of the City Development Corporation, in association with Sir Kingston.com will host the first Drop the Ball New Year’s Eve Bash. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 2 a.m. Streets that will be closed are Austin Street, to Chicago Street and 15th, 16th, and 17th Streets.

The countdown to the New Year will be done by Mayor Richard Cortez and will take place in the intersection of Beaumont and 17th Street.

The event will also have outdoor vendors, booths, and a carnival. Venues open for the night include: Shine, Boiler Room, Flesh, The Patio on Guerra, Dive Downtown, The Piano Bar, Vicio, Rhythm & Brews, Cine El Rey, Club M, Element, and House. Wine.

City of McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez said he hopes this event will be a continuation of their desire to attract families and young people to come to the city, recreate and have a good time in the area.

“I believe this is long overdue and will give our residents and visitors an opportunity to get together in a wholesome environment to celebrate the New Year. This is consistent with our vision to make McAllen the center for culture and entertainment,” said Cortez.

The event will also have two stages setup for bands to perform in the streets. El Cine El Rey will have Del Castillo performing live at 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Ez-Tixx.com and an after New Year’s party will take place at Flesh located on 200 South 17th street.

An after-party is planned, and will be held at Flesh night club, located 17th street for $20. Proceeds to the concert will go to the Heart of the City Development Corporation. The majority of the events will be free of charge to the public, but other events will have cover charge.

City Manager, Mike Perez, estimates a total of 20,000 people will attend the New Year’s Bash.

“The New Year’s Eve Bash is a great community-wide event; free of charge to the public. It is definitely branding McAllen as a destination city,” said Joe Rodriguez, Director of the Heart of the City Development Corporation. “No other city in South Texas has attempted a ball-dropping event like Manhattan. We want the public to know that McAllen is ready for these types of festivals and events; we are a city that can attract visitors from all over the country. This gives our community and the surrounding communities options on where to be when the clock strikes for the New Year,” he said.

Visitors will be able to park at the City Parking Garage located at 221 S. 15th Street.