Restaurateur considering ball drop to ring in the new year in Minden

MINDEN - With the temperature hovering in the 90s, restaurant owner Leslie Barone's thoughts have turned to New Year's Eve.

Barone is considering adding a New Year's Eve celebration on Esmeralda Avenue.

"What about a ball drop on New Year's Eve in downtown Minden?" she asked Minden Town Board members Aug. 3.

She said the Minden celebration would be an alternative for families and older residents who want to ring in the new year without the throngs that clog the casino core at Stateline.

"It's not going to be fancy. We're novices at this and could use some input," she said.

When asked from where the ball might drop, Barone suggested a fire truck extension ladder or a crane.

By contrast, the giant ball that drops at Times Square in New York City is 6 feet in diameter, weighs a thousand pounds, and is covered with Waterford crystal.

The Times Square ball drops 77 feet in 60 seconds.

Town Board chairman Bob Hadfield suggested the Minden celebration might be moved up to 9 p.m. to coincide with the celebration in New York.

"We could have a place for we 'older' people who don't want to get crowded in with 50,000 other people," Hadfield said. "Our older segment is growing rapidly. If it's not sophisticated, so what? We would invite people to enjoy the ambiance of the town of Minden."

Barone said she is aware that Douglas County sheriff's deputies are busy at Stateline, so she would consider hiring private security if the plan unfolds.

"After the gazebo lighting and the Parade of Lights, it would be a nice way to finish off the Christmas season," she said.

Barone said she would check with residents and other businesses in the area to get their comments on the idea.

"We imagine people would celebrate, then disperse," she said.


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