“Top of the list: no towing was done on New Year’s Eve in the downtown Falls Church area of its annual Watch Night event – a first!” exclaimed event organizer Barb Cram in a report to the News-Press.
She reported that F.C. Police Chief Mary Gavin credited the City’s Economic Development Office for urging cooperation from local businesses on that night. Ireland’s Four Provinces owner Colm Dillon said, “It was by far the best Watch Night ever. Did you see the line? It went clear around the building.” New and efficient heaters on the main outdoor stage and the firepits around the open 100 block of W. Broad Street kept the crowds warm despite the chilly weather, as did the free hot chocolate and potato leek soup from the Ireland’s Four Provinces. A new sound system made the performances from the open stage more enjoyable. New City food truck vendors, Mary O’Donnell and Bonita Woods, provided snacks and treats for sale, while John Messenger served Kettle Korn and cotton candy.
All this was in addition to the indoor events, including at the Falls Church Presbyterian, Falls Church Episcopal and the offices of Dr. Gordon Theiz’s Family Medicine of F.C. and Paul Cannon’s F.C. Foot and Ankle Center. Local Market’s manager Chris McMaugh said he gave out 250 to 400 cups of hot mulled cider and Pat Gianelli of Sweet Belly Cookies donated 300 individually wrapped cookies.
“This is the energy that we would like to sustain in the downtown area for small businesses, and Watch Night is a good event for drawing many to our City’s center. This was a record year for lots of new faces,” Cram said.