December 28, 2004
Families can ring in the New Year together at Gilbert’s annual Mayor’s New Year’s Eve Party.
Billed as the alternative to the Scottsdale and Tempe block parties and a premiere family New Year’s event in the Valley, Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman said the party is for people who want a safe, nonalcohol and nonsmoking environment.
"Our New Year’s Eve party is for people that don’t go to New Year’s Eve parties," said Berman, who will be dressed in a tuxedo and will take his 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.
"This is somewhere between your neighbor’s party and a big block party, but you’re still going out."
Family-oriented entertainment will be featured on three stages 7 p.m. to midnight Friday in the Gilbert High School auditorium, 1101 E. Elliot Road.
Performers will include Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers, music from the musical of "Forever Plaid" and Gilbert singers Katy Burleson, Beth Fraser and Tara Glaizer, said Pam Jackson, a member of Gilbert’s community activities board, which is hosting the event.
A teen stage will feature high school and junior high school bands, including Bailey’s Window, a junior high rock ’n’ roll band; Mydoll, an all-female punk band; and The Manuscript, a heavy metal punk band.
The teen stage also will highlight Split the Enemy, a metal band; the Kerosene Kids, a rock band; and Wilby Dunn, a Christian rock band, Jackson said.
The $5 entrance fee per family and $2 individual fee will benefit the Southeast Valley Military Support Group, an East Valley group that helps families whose loved ones are serving overseas in the military. Last year more than $8,000 was raised for the Gilbert Emergency Relief Fund of the Gilbert Fire Department, Jackson said.
The auditorium will also have carnival-style games, food vendors and free licensed child care through Children’s World. Kids can enjoy an early balloon drop with the mayor at 10 p.m.
"We will have a lot more balloons and decorations and a new center stage built with a countdown clock," Jackson said of this year’s event. "It’s the old Gilbert water tower replicated for the countdown."
Last year about 1,800 people attended the family party, and a couple of thousand are expected this year, Jackson said.
The New Year’s Eve party is put on at no cost to taxpayers, and sponsored by Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, Southwest Ambulance, Paul Lee’s Chinese Kitchen, Capital Pacific Homes and VIP Homes, said Bill Montgomery, chairman of Gilbert’s community activities board.
WHAT: Mayor’s New Year’s Eve Party
WHERE: Gilbert High School auditorium, 1101 E. Elliot Road, Gilbert
WHEN: 7 p.m. to midnight, Friday
COST: $5 for any size family or $2 per person.