RICHMOND (WRIC)—The Carytown Ball Raise, a Richmond New Year's Eve tradition that draws thousands annually, has been canceled.
The Ball Raise over the Byrd Theatre started out with just a few people years ago, but by last year, more than 30,000 took over Carytown.
"3,000, 4,000 people to come out in that little block? Fine," said Raul Cantu of the Carytown Merchant's Association. "35,000 people? Not fine."
The Byrd Theatre Foundation met with the Carytown Merchant's Association and other neighborhood groups, and decided to cancel the Ball Raise this year. Their biggest concern is safety, along with noise, leftover trash and vandalism.
Carytown already holds several events each year that attract thousands, but those crowds are usually spread out over several blocks. What makes the Ball Raise different is that everyone heads to one spot: right in front of the Byrd Theatre.
The event has been canceled before—only for it to happen anyway. But this year, organizers say it really is canceled; even law enforcement is involved.
"Don't come out to think, ‘Oh, they're just gonna do it anyway,'" Cantu said. "It's not gonna happen, because there will be consequences this year if it does happen."
The Byrd Theatre's general manager, who started the New Year's Eve tradition, says he's very disappointed.
The Byrd Theater Foundation hopes to find a new location to host the event in 2014.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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