Richmonders have always had plenty of options when it came to ringing in the New Year, and this year was no different….well, actually it was different for about 15,000 people.

This was the second year that Carytown put on what seems to be shaping up to be the new New Year’s Eve tradition for Richmond.  Given the results of the event this time, I don’t think there is any fear of the event going the way of <take your pick of any number of failed venturesmy choice for this slot was Sixth Street Marketplace>. 

December 31, 2006, saw the founding of the Carytown New Year’s Eve event, and it brought in a respectable number of people, somewhere between 5,000-8,500.  Even that seemed crowded, from the reports that I heard from friends that attended last year.

Take a look at the RTD coverage of the event from yesterday’s paper, and from today’s paper.  It’s worth a look online, even if you’ve already seen the print version of the stories.  The online version has a slideshow of pictures and a video (but you have to dig a little once you get to the site) with some ambient sound recorded at the event.

One of my favorite quotes from today’s RTD article:  "Michael Pace, owner of the Galaxy Diner, said he probably rang up more
in sales on New Year’s Eve than on any other day in his six years in
business."  Wow.

As with anything, the event has its detractors, and they raise reasonable complaints about a variety of issues surrounding the crowd that the event inevitably draws.  The question the nearby residents have to consider is:  Would you prefer that everyone left Carytown alone to dry up, or are you going to support events that draw lots of paying customers to support the small businesses that we all love so much?  You have to take the good with the bad, and learn lessons to improve on the experience for each following year.

Whatever you did to bring in the New Year, I hope that you had a wonderful night and a speedy recovery the next day.  Now get back to work!  🙂