Fort Wayne ball drop ‘bigger than ever’ to ring in 2018

NewsChannel 15's Rob Lydick and Alyssa Ivanson hosted the 2016 New Year's Eve ball drop in Fort Wayne. About 4,000 people showed up for the event.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After last year’s inaugural New Year’s Eve ball drop in Downtown Fort Wayne, organizers heard one thing– there needs to be a real ball. Last year featured a digital projection of a ball drop. This year the event will feature a real ball drop, and is expanding to a new venue.

Engineers are designing an eight-foot LED ball. The ball will be hoisted 80 feet in the air, and lowered by a crane as the clock hits midnight.

“Our group was inspired by the outcome of last year’s NYE event! We have been eagerly looking for a way to give back and be a part of the new life being brought to Fort Wayne’s downtown, and helping add to this event seemed like a great opportunity. Within an hour of the New Year, there was a group [of] four engineers excited to get started,” Phil Sheets, a lead engineer working to create this year’s ball, said in a press release.

The event will take place outside Parkview Field this year. The ball drop will be in the silver lot at the corner of Baker and Ewing streets. It will take place December 31 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Once again, NewsChannel 15’s Alyssa Ivanson and Rob Lydic will host the event. There will also be live music, vendors, food and drinks, and a warming tent. It’s free for all ages.

Live entertainment includes Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra and Alicia Pyle Quartet.