Ringing in the New Year, Coney style!
There was no sophomore slump at Coney Island during the beachfront nabe’s second annual New Year’s Eve celebration, hosted by Borough President Eric Adams and the Alliance for Coney Island. Over 7,000 party goers (some reports have attendance as high as 15,000) were on hand during the growing Brooklyn tradition on the evening of Thursday, December 31, a significant increase from the over 5,000 that attended last year’s inaugural celebration.
This year’s event — which was supported by local representatives Councilmember Mark Treyger and Assemblymember Pamela Harris — featured the same fan favorite festivities as last year’s event, such as watching the digital “burst” countdown from the Parachute Jump, fireworks, hot chocolate and music.
However, this year there were also extended hours of operation for favorite Coney eateries such as Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Wahlburger’s, Applebee’s and Coney Island Brewery. Several rides were also in operation throughout the night, adding to the fun.
“This year’s New Year’s Eve Celebration was another tremendous success,” said Trey Jenkins, marketing and corporate partnerships manager at the Alliance. “This year, the Thunderbolt, Deno’s Wonder Wheel and the B&B Carousel offered free rides to the public from 8 to 11 p.m. and there was free skating at the Abe Stark Skating Rink from 7 to 11 p.m.”
The New York Aquarium also was involved, extending hours with reduced admission. “It’s clear that our New Year’s event is increasing in popularity and it helped tremendously that Luna Park, the Aquarium, Abe Stark and local businesses opened, further increasing the amount of people who were interested in coming out to Coney Island to celebrate their New Year’s,” Jenkins added. “Our celebration also included local performers, a DJ and a band that helped keep the crowds engaged. The addition of vendors of both food and apparel helped as well.”
“It’s so important what we are doing here because at the end of the summer season, Coney island’s economic viability slows down,” said Borough President Eric Adams before the event. “We want to show that this is a year-round destination with so much to do.”
Attendees were impressed with the experience, with some preferring Coney over the famous Times Square celebration. “It was a lot of fun. It was a great atmosphere,” said Robert Pollock. “There were a lot of families there. People in all age ranges, even kids, were there.”
There were several noteworthy festivities, but Pollock’s favorite was what Coney typically does best. “The fireworks were probably the highlight of the night,” he said. “I’ve done Times Square years ago and I didn’t like it. It felt like a rock concert that I didn’t want to be at. I would go to Coney again. I’m probably going to do it again next year.”
Councilmember David Greenfield also enjoyed the event. “”I had a great time at this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration at Coney Island. Everyone knows that Times Square is for tourists, Coney Island is for the real New Yorkers,” he said. “Thousands of Brooklynites had a blast ringing in the New Year. That sense of community is something that is very uniquely Brooklyn.”